LOMBARD – By the standards of Montini athletics, six years is a long time between conference titles.
That’s how long it’s been since the Broncos’ baseball team last won the Suburban Christian Conference.
Montini is on the verge of getting back on top of the SCC. The Broncos hold a 12-3 league record and are one win away from winning the SCC Blue.
Even Tuesday’s slip up against St. Edward hasn’t removed Montini from the top spot. That game was originally scheduled for May 2 but was suspended in the fifth inning. The Broncos held a 4-2 lead when play resumed, but St. Edward came out on top 6-5 in eight innings.
Montini has just one SCC game left, a Friday date with IC Catholic. St. Francis held a 10-4 record entering Thursday’s game with Wheaton Academy.
“Right now we control our own destiny and that’s what we’ve been telling the kids,” Montini coach Bob Landi said. “We don’t have to count on anybody else if we take care of our own business.”
A pair of St. Mary’s-bound two-way players have carried the Broncos to this success. Chris Bartosz and Ben Dobosenski are hitting more than .400 and are key starting pitchers for the Broncos. The senior pair plans to room together at the Division III school located in Winona, Minn.
Junior third baseman Austin Kline is another bat hitting more than .400 and No. 3 hitter Tyler Tumpane blasted a pair of home runs to bring his season total to five in the 12-2 win over Guerin on Monday.
That’s a lot of hitters having big years for a team that Landi still insists is built around pitching and defense.
“It starts with pitching,” the coach said. “We’ve got some pretty darn good pitching. We’ve got five kids that can throw 80-85 [mph].
“Our defense has played as well as any team we’ve had here in recent years.”
The Broncos received the No. 4 seed in the Class 3A Nazareth sectional that features strong programs from Nazareth and Benet and Metro Suburban teams having good years in Glenbard South and Riverside Brookfield
“[Winning conference] was a big goal for our team this year,” Tumpane said. “We wanted to do strong in conference and get a good run to start the playoffs.”