BASEBALL — Too much charity caught up to New Trier when 11 walks issued by four different Trevians pitchers played a key role in a 9-8 loss to Leyden June 2 in the semifinals of the Glenbrook South Class 4A Sectional.
Six of the hitters walked by New Trier pitchers came around to score.
“When you walk that many, it’s going to come back to bite you,” New Trier coach Mike Napoleon said. “You can’t walk their seven hitter and their nine hitter. Then you come to the top of the order, and those guys are good hitters. It also put our defense on its heels.”
Leyden’s No. 7 and No. 9 hitters in its lineup drew walks in the bottom of the sixth inning, fueling the Eagles during a six-run outburst that enabled them to come back from an 8-3 deficit.
New Trier starting pitcher John Cook struggled with his control from the start of the game. The lefty walked five in 1 2/3 innings. Leyden (28-5) finally took advantage with a two-out, bases-clearing, three-run triple by Carlos Olavarria.
The 3-0 lead held up for the Eagles behind starting pitcher Justin Stawychny until the top of the fifth. After New Trier (25-11) closed to within 3-2 in the fourth on a two-run homer by Campbell Lipe., Sam Thomas walked to lead off the fifth and scored the tying run on Christain Carr’s triple. Carr then crossed the plate with the go-ahead run on Charlie Tilson’s ground out. Later in the inning, Lipe drew a bases-loaded walk off Leyden reliever Angel Sanchez to give the Trevians a 5-3 lead.
After extending its lead to 8-3 with three more runs in the top of the sixth, New Trier began to get into trouble when pitcher Brian Kost, who had been outstanding since taking over in the second inning for Cook, walked a pair of walks.
An infield hit by leadoff hitter Eli Perez loaded the bases with out one for Leyden, and Olavarria then drew a walk to force in a run and make the score 8-4.
Kyle Nitiss took over on the mound for Kost and was greeted by a two-run single by Stawychny, bringing the Eagles to within 8-6. Eric Palmer followed with his three-run homer on the first pitch he saw.
“I was looking for a fastball, and that’s what I got,” Palmer said. “I knew I hit it pretty good, but I wasn’t sure it was going to go out.”
Palmer also was the winning pitcher for the Eagles. He took over on the mound with one out and two runners on in the sixth inning and the Trevians holding their 5-3 advantage. An error and a two-run single by Josh Perlmutter extended the New Trier lead to 8-3, but Palmer then got the two final outs of the frame and survived a walk and a base hit in the top of the seventh to close things out.
“Eric did a great job,” Leyden coach Gary Wolf said. “It was great for us that he only threw 60 pitches in five innings Monday (in the Eagles’ five-inning, 10-0 regional championship win over Niles North). We wouldn’t have used him today if he had pitched seven innings.”