Fenwick explodes for 4 runs in seventh to knock off Benet in regional final

SHARE Fenwick explodes for 4 runs in seventh to knock off Benet in regional final

RIVER FOREST — Both Benet and Fenwick last won regional baseball titles in 2008, so it seemed appropriate that Saturday’s showdown would come down to the final inning.

The seventh-seeded Friars scored four runs in the top of the seventh and junior reliever Kevin Forde struck out the side in the bottom of the inning as Fenwick stunned fourth-seeded Benet, 8-4, in the Class 3A Fenwick Regional final at the Priory.

Infielder Mike Krecek drove in the go-ahead runs in the seventh with a two-run double to left field on a 2-2 pitch from senior Pat Peterson. Fenwick (23-10) would add two more runs with one out as the host team sent nine players to the plate.

“I felt like I made good contact,” said Krecek, who struck out in two previous at-bats. “I just wanted to get a good hit for my team.”

The Friars, co-champions of the Catholic League White, won their 11th regional title under coach Dave Hogan since 1990.

Fenwick will play top-seeded Nazareth at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Glenbard South Sectional semifinal.

Fenwick had three hits in the final inning off Peterson. After an RBI single by Quinn Snarskis, junior pitcher Dan Minik entered the game and gave up a sacrifice fly to Gino Cavalieri to end the scoring.

The Friars took a 4-1 lead in the third inning on Justin Rodriguez’s RBI single and Mike Neill’s groundout.

“Everything is going well. We are a tough out from the top to the bottom [of the order],” Hogan said.

Benet (23-10) scored the tying run in the bottom of fifth on a controversial play that resulted in ejections of third baseman Joe Boyle and an assistant coach.

Boyle tried to score on a base hit, but was called out for barreling into the Benet catcher at home plate and was ejected for not sliding to avoid a collision. The next batter, Mike Ryan, drove in Jonathan Kruppe with the tying run.

“They played a great game,” Benet coach Scott Lawler said of Fenwick. “They kept coming at us from the first inning on.”

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