Baseball wins second consecutive regional final

Season ends with 3-1 loss to Glenbrook South in sectional semifinals

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Baseball wins second consecutive regional final

Rigel Verciglio was named to the IHSBCA all-region team as well as pitcher of the year in the Jackie Robinson North Conference.

Rigel Verciglio was named to the IHSBCA all-region team as well as pitcher of the year in the Jackie Robinson North Conference.

Frank Rodriguez

Rigel Verciglio was named to the IHSBCA all-region team as well as pitcher of the year in the Jackie Robinson North Conference.

Frank Rodriguez

Frank Rodriguez

Rigel Verciglio was named to the IHSBCA all-region team as well as pitcher of the year in the Jackie Robinson North Conference.

By Frank Rodriguez and Glory Lozada

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The sun set amid roars of cheering and chanting on Wednesday, May 29, at Loyola Academy as Varsity Baseball was down to their final two outs against Glenbrook South in the IHSA sectional semifinals. Anthony Guy stepped up to the plate and drilled a line drive towards the second baseman who caught it and turned a double play, ending Lane’s season.

Lane (seeded no. 6 in the Wilmette Sectional) was coming off of a 2-1 win over Maine South (no. 3) on Saturday, May 25, in the regional final.

Throughout a tight game against Glenbrook South in the sectional semifinal, Lane only recorded three hits through the first five innings. Senior pitcher Rigel Verciglio started the game, giving up two earned runs through 4 ⅓ innings. Jack Hansen would come into the game in relief in the fifth inning, forcing a double play with the bases loaded to end the inning.

Lane’s offense would not score until the sixth inning, when Mason Petersen, Div. 975, hit a home run to left field to give Lane its first and only run of the game.

“I was like, ‘I’m gonna do this well… and then [the pitcher] pushed it right there, and I turned on it,” Petersen said. “It was kind of like a flash.”

Lane was able to get two runners on base via walks in the seventh and final inning of the game, but their comeback attempts would ultimately not be enough to overcome the deficit.

Even though they lost, Petersen was especially happy with the fan turnout and the team’s energy surrounding the game.

“Throughout the game, we had the most energy we’ve ever had,” Petersen said. “Our guys gave it their best, the heart — and everyone screaming, it was so fun. The atmosphere was insane.”

Assistant Coach Telles said that the team knew what they would be up against and still sees success in this season.

“We knew that these kids were special, and we thought we were going to take this section, so we are kind of disappointed right now,” Telles said. “We were close, 3-1; it was a good game. It’s how baseball rolls, but [we have been] beating good teams, making noise, a great record in the city, winning the conference.”

Although they did not win the sectional, the players were proud of winning back-to-back regional championships, a feat that Lane’s baseball team has not done since the 2005 season, according to IHSA.

“To win it back-to-back years, it’s a huge deal for the program,” Petersen said. “It really shows that we can compete at the state level; winning the regional puts us in the top 32 two years in a row.”

Will Heffernan, Div. 951, said that although the result was disappointing, he is still proud of the way that the team grew throughout the season.

“Just being able to play as a team more, and having confidence in each other, I think that’s what was able to push us over the top,” Heffernan said.

Josh Aguiniga, Div. 179, said that the team was a tight-knit group until the end.

“The energy was amazing, supporting every single person,” Aguiniga said. “Even if mistakes were happening, we were still there for each other and had each other’s backs.”

Telles said that in addition to the regional championship, he was happy to see the players develop not just this season, but cumulatively over the past few years.

“To me, as a coach, the highlight is watching these players grow over the last two, three years, and just watching them become great ballplayers,” Telles said. “This is one of the best teams I have ever coached.”

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