Benet baseball beats Kaneland in the Regional Semifinals

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We’re at Benedictine for a Regional Semifinal between one-seed Benet Academy baseball, and six-seed Kaneland. The visiting knights beat the Redwings 9-7 in the 2022 Regional final, but both sides now look completely different. Entering tonight, Benet has won seven of its last eight contests. This highlight is sponsored by BMO.

Benet Academy baseball and Kaneland both score runs in the first inning

Redwing pitcher Jake Rifenburg is on the mound with Kaneland’s Zach Konrad up to bat. Konrad hits an RBI double, sending Tom Thill to home plate.

In the bottom of the first, Marc Iozzo is up to bat, with runners on second and third. He hits one to third base as Ryan Cibulka runs home to tie the game at one.

Benet would add another run off a Josh Gugora sacrifice ground out.

In the second, Rifenburg gets to work with back-to-back strikeouts. The Redwing records K’s on the day.

Tied at two in the fourth it’s Preston Popovich who hits a fly ball to right center field. The Redwings can’t come up with it, and Popovich advances to second base and Dylan Borysiewicz runs home to give the Knights a 3-2 lead.

Jeremy DeWilkins starts a huge fifth inning for the Redwings

The action picks up in the bottom of the fifth with Jeremy DeWilkins hitting a line drive to right field. Charlie Kane runs home followed by Ryan Cibulka. The Redwings are up by one with a score of 4-3.

Coffey is back up to bat as he hits a hard ground ball to left field for a double. Pitello runs to home plate for another run.

Josh Gugora is at bat, until a wild pitch comes flying in with Iozzo stealing home plate. Gugora is still at bat and he hits a ground ball through the gap, and Coffey runs to home plate. It’s 7-3 Redwings.

With two outs in the top of the sixth, Thill hits a liner to Merrick Sullivan who makes a great diving catch! That keeps the Wings’ lead at five runs.

Benet Baseball defeats Kaneland and advances to the Regional Finals against St. Francis

Last chance for Kaneland in the seventh. After an RBI single from Campise, Borysiewicz singles on a line drive to left field sending Matthew Brunscheen to home plate.

Iozzo is pitching with Kaneland’s Michael Layne at bat with two strikes. The  Redwing strikes him out looking, as Benet takes down Kaneland 8-5 and they will now play St. Francis in the Regional Finals.

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