Fenwick pitcher Mike Sosna fires a strike against St. Patrick in the IHSA Class 3A Fenwick baseball sectional June 3 at the Priory Campus. Sosna struck out seven in five innings and got the win as the Friars prevailed 5-2 to win the sectional title for the second straight year. | Carol Dunning

Senior Jordan Vazquez and his Fenwick High School baseball teammates suffered another disappointing IHSA Class 3A supersectional loss on June 5.

Fortunately for the Friars, nearly everyone returns for another shot.

The Friars lost a 2-1 heartbreaker to Grayslake Central in the Schaumburg Supersectional at Wintrust Field, but second baseman Vazquez was the only senior in the lineup for the Friars (17-17).

“I have all of the confidence and faith in my teammates next year that I’m going to come back [to watch] and they’ll make it to Joliet and they’ll win state,” said Vazquez, who will play at Concordia University in Mequon, Wisconsin. “I have full confidence in them.”

Fenwick was limited to two hits, a double by junior Tanner Malchow and single by junior Finnley Koch. 

In the top of the third inning, Fenwick took a 1-0 lead as junior Ian MacKinnon scored when the Rams were unable to convert an inning-ending double play on a ball by sophomore Ryan Lazewski (RBI).

But Grayslake Central answered in the bottom of the inning with two runs on a two-out double by Rogers after a double play nearly helped the Friars escape bases loaded with no outs. 

Rogers, who will play at Lindenwood University in Missouri, also was the winning pitcher and did not allow a baserunner the final four innings. Junior starter Joe Krzak (6 hits in 3.2 innings) and junior Justin Pinknowski (1 hit, strikeout in 2.1 innings) pitched for the Friars.

“We’re going to use this as fuel and motivation. We know what we’ve got to do to come back next year even stronger,” Fenwick coach Kyle Kmiecik said. “Our guys battled. We had a lot of adversity this year. A lot of guys had big injuries early on. We had one senior in the starting lineup. They’re resilient. They’re tough.”

At least the Friars were given their final chance. In the 2022 supersectional at Wintrust Field, the Friars lost to Crystal Lake South 8-6 after the game was called in the bottom of the sixth inning after a roughly 70-minute lightning and rain delay.

“We’ve prepared since last year. We didn’t have the outcome we wanted,” Vazquez said. “We trained all offseason. We made a promise to come back here.”

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