ELMHURST — Facing the defending state champions and holding a two run lead entering the seventh, York just needed to close the door to pick up an elusive big victory.
Unfortunately for the Dukes, the big win remained out of reach as Oak Park River Forest scored five in the seventh inning off Louis Alcaraz to turn a 4-2 deficit into a 7-4 lead. York pulled one back in the bottom half, but it wasn’t enough in a 7-5 loss on Monday.
The Huskie win completed the sweep after 6-1 and 3-0 victories on Saturday in Oak Park.
York (7-9, 4-7 West Suburban Silver) had won its last two Silver series after being swept by Downers Grove North in the first conference series of the season. The setback against OPRF, which is now 7-0 in the Silver, represents the barrier facing York at this stage in the season.
“I just feel like we’re close and we just can’t get through that brick wall,” said York coach Dave Kalal. “It was a good series. Two of the three games were very good. We’re just missing a little something. I truly believe that one of these days it’s just going to click for us and we’re going to get on a roll. Our pitching is too good. Our defense is too good not to help us out in situations where we need to close the door.”
Josh Paparone had a lead off home run in the first inning to answer a Huskie run in the top of the first.
Starting pitcher Anthony Santos homered and later drove in River Pitlock, who had two hits and two runs, to build York’s lead. Santos surrendered two runs in five innings.
“We’re right there and it’s a long season,” Pitlock said. “I think as the time goes the pitching will carry us through and our hitting will come along.”