Oak Park and River Forest High School rallied twice during their IHSA Class 4A Sectional final against New Trier on June 11, tying the game in the sixth at before scoring twice and loading the bases in the seventh. However, the Huskies came up one run short, sending the Trevians into the supersectional round with a 9-8 victory.
“There’s no quit in these guys,” said OPRF coach Joe Parenti. “They always believe they can win a game, even when we were down three going into the last inning. The last few games were a lot of fun, and I’m glad the guys to experience the atmospheres they were in – that’s what postseason baseball is all about.”
The Huskies (17-8) fell behind 6-2, but rallied for one run in the fifth inning and three more in the sixth, when OPRF took advantage of a pair of wild pitches and an errant pickoff attempt at third to tie New Trier at 6-6, sending the home crowd into a frenzy.
However, Louis Florida led off the seventh inning with a long home run to right — his second of the day — off Jack Spinks to give New Trier a 7-6 lead.
“The kid was locked in today. There’s nothing else you can say,” said Parenti. “Those were two well-hit balls on pitcher’s pitches, not on hitter’s pitches.”
The Trevians added two more runs on a RBI single by Sam Zacks and an error by OPRF center-fielder Mason Phillips.
Yet, OPRF rallied once again. With one out, Miles Kirk homered to left. Then Phillips doubled and scored on a Jared Cortez single to cut the deficit to 9-8.
After Josh Diamond drew a walk, Ethan Glossa hit a grounder to New Trier third baseman Graham Mastros, who stepped on third to force Cortez. But his relay to first baseman Florida was errant, allowing Diamond to advance to third and Glossa to second.
Dan Michaud, who had three hits on the day, was intentionally walked by Zacks to load the bases, but Jack Flagg bounced out to Florida to end the game.
Afterwards, Parenti said he hopes his returning players for next season will learn from the seniors, whom he felt stepped up as leaders down the stretch and in the playoffs.
“Hopefully, the younger guys saw the example from the seniors on how to lead, and when it’s their turn next year, they’ll have the same kind of fun we had this year and represent OPRF baseball well,” he said.
OPRF soccer ends Cinderella run
The Oak Park and River Forest girls soccer team’s Cinderella run in the IHSA Class 3A state tournament came to an end June 8 as the Huskies fell at Benet Academy 4-1 in the sectional semifinal round.
Julia Daun had the lone goal for OPRF, which finished with a 7-8 record that included the program’s first regional title since 2011, a goal OPRF coach Christie Johnston set at the start of the season.
“It was a physical game. We gave [Benet] quite a game and the score doesn’t reflect how hard we played,” she said.
Johnston believed the Huskies’ competitiveness improved as the season progressed, and that bodes well for next year when several top players return.
She’s optimistic about more success in the near future if the offense can take more steps forward.
“I like the way the players have bought into my expectations for them,” she said. “If we’re able to put more goals into the net, next season’s going to be a lot of fun.”