Libertyville's rally in the seventh keeps Barrington at bay
Two of the top baseball teams in the Northwest suburbs met Wednesday afternoon as Libertyville hosted Barrington with a week remaining until state regionals begin.
And the game certainly lived up to its billing as it took a seventh inning rally by the Wildcats to pull out an exciting 3-2 nonconference victory over the Broncos.
"When you play Barrington you know you are going to get a good game against a team that is well coached, and a team that can hit," said Libertyville coach Matt Thompson, whose team has two regular season games remaining.
Trailing 2-0 in the fifth, Barrington's Logan Eisenbarth led off with a solo homer to left-center field against winning pitcher Michael Scarpelli.
Senior Mason Rasmussen followed with a single for Barrington (22-5-2) before pinch-runner Kurt Schnaubelt scored the tying run all the way from first base on a two-out double by designated hitter Payton Soske.
The score remained deadlocked until Libertyville freshman catcher Quinn Schambow began the seventh with a single off reliever Jake Kohanzo, who then walked Joey Yurek. Bruno Pallan replaced Kohanzo and struck out No. 9-hitter Andrew Sellers for the first out.
But Pallan hit Brenden Max with a pitch to load the bases before Libertyville's Everett Cortesi drew a bases-loaded walk to force home the winning run and set off a wild celebration by the Wildcats.
It was only the second varsity game for Schambow, who went 2-for-3. Libertyville's Tommy Latka pinch-ran for Schambow twice in the contest, scoring in the third inning, and crossing home plate with the winning run.
"It was fun to play in it, it was exciting to help the team out and lead off the seventh with a base hit," said Schambow, who was filling in for injured senior teammate Dylan Holmes. "The key for the team (in the playoffs) is to battle at the plate, get hits and throw strikes."
Libertyville (26-7) got singles from Schambow, Yurek, Sellers, and Max to take a 1-0 lead against Barrington starter Jackson Kanak in the bottom of the third inning. Then Ryan Thrawl was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded for a 2-0 lead.
"They're a fantastic ballclub there's no doubt about that. We knew that, that's why we put them on the schedule," said Barrington coach Pat Wire, whose team will play Buffalo Grove for the Mid-Suburban League title Thursday or Friday depending on the weather.
"You're trying to prepare for a playoff run and it felt like it had a playoff atmosphere. It was good to see Logan (Eisenbarth) hit the home run. That was fantastic."
The contest was pretty much of a pitcher's duel from start to finish as the Wildcats outhit the Broncos 7-4. Yurek and Max each had two hits.
Thompson was certainly pleased with the job his starting pitcher did.
"He (Scarpelli) does well as long as he's kind of keeping the same arm action on all of his pitches," Thompson said. "And he's a junior so we're excited about him, he's done a really good job for us this year."