Baseball Regional Final Kaneland vs Benet Academy 05.30.22

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Benet Academy baseball celebrates its memorial day in the Kaneland regional final against the Knights ball club. Previous weather conditions have pushed this contest to a windy Monday but that won’t stop the Wings from wanting to capture a second straight regional. For the Knights, they look to rebound after falling in last season’s regional final to Hampshire. This highlight is sponsored by BMO Harris Bank.

Second Inning

Kaneland with a 2-1 lead in the top of the second inning, and Alex Panico extends that advantage. His hit brings home his teammate Gabe Gooch and it’s now 3-1.

In the bottom of the frame Redwing Cole Rosenthal gets his team started with single into right field.

Two runners on and Cole Laughlin gets a hit nearly in the same spot as Rosenthal, who sprints to cross home plate after beating the throw. That makes the deficit 3-2.

Third Inning

Knights keep the offense going in the third inning. Anthony Campise puts this ball out of the infield and coming home to score is Collin Miller. 5-2 Kaneland.

Fourth Inning

Sill 5-2 in the fourth inning but the Redwings continue to battle back. After a Cole Rosenthal walk, Luke Bafia gets a nice base hit and wants to gamble on a double. The play is close at the plate so Bafia slides for safety and it in time. More importantly Rosenthal scores another run and they now trail by two runs.

Fifth Inning

Momentum stays with Benet. Tyler Dean behind the plate throws to Bafia at second to catch Patrick Collins steal. Redwings relief pitcher Max Babich then gets back to back strikeouts to end the inning.

BA up to bat, here’s Peter Messina with an rbi single scoring Ryan Snell, who reaching with a leadoff single and this ball game is all tied up at 5.

Seventh Inning

Still tied with two outs in the top of the seventh. Johnny Spallasso for Kaneland puts this ball into right field and that brings in Dylan Conklin and the Knights retake the lead 6-5.

Bottom of the seventh and it’s not over yet. After a Peter Messina infield single, Tyler Dean rips this ball into left center, over the fielder’s head to the wall. That allows Messina to score, this game is once again tied up at 6. Rosenthal is intentionally walked and Marc Iozzo lays down a sacrifice bunt, but it’s placed so perfectly that he makes it safely. Bases loaded, nobody out for the Redwings.

But Knights pitcher Dylan Conklin gets a pop out and a strikeout. And with two down, Jack Kane does not put enough juice on this fly ball and we go to extra innings.

Eighth Inning

Two on and two out in the top of the 8th inning. Dylan Conklin hits one to third that skips over the glove of Rosenthal into left field. Colin Laughlin throws to the plate but it skips away. Cole Pugh comes in to score. Alex Panico heads to the plate, Max Babich finds the ball and throws to Tyler Dean covering home, but his throw hits the umpire in the head as Pancino slides in safely. Dean chases down the ball again as Conklin comes all the way around to score. A truly wild play that features three errors and a plunked ump leads to a 9-6 lead for Kaneland.

Benet still battling as Jackson Bayer launches a leadoff solo home run to left field to make it 9-7 after the win carried it away.

Back to back walks put the tying run on first but Marc Iozzo puts a can of corn in the air and Gabe Gooch makes the catch and this ball game is over. Kaneland is victorious 9-7 over Benet and capture their second regional title in three seasons. The Knights advance to play Dixon in the sectional semis.

For more prep sports highlights, visit the Naperville Sports Weekly page!