ST. CHARLES – Glenbard North's baseball team was just one big hit away from a regional championship Saturday.
But in the end, it was host St. Charles North that came through in the clutch to pull out a 2-1 victory in nine innings.
Kyle Khoury produced a leadoff double in the final frame and came around to score on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Riley Coomes to send the North Stars into the sectional.
On the Panthers' side, starting pitcher Eric Orze did all he could to keep the visitors in the game. The junior right-hander allowed just four hits while striking out two in six innings of work. Luke Greenberg came on in relief and yielded two hits in 22/3 innings on the mound.
“I was trying to do my best to keep the ball down, let my defense work,” Orze said. “We knew coming in we had to play some very good baseball, this is a very good team. And I want to give credit to them. They played really well, they played a little bit better than us, executed a little bit better. But overall, we played a clean game all together, both teams. And I’m proud of all our seniors and the way we played today.”
Offensively, Nolan Jasinski, Chris Murray and Zach Heck all had two hits apiece while Matt Albin knocked in Sam Ledbetter with a sacrifice fly in the third inning to account for the lone run.
Glenbard North had advanced to the title game after beating Glenbard West 2-1 on May 29.
In another pitcher's dual, Albin got the best of Hilltoppers' starter Grant Greeno, yielding four hits while striking out six in a complete-game effort.
The hero offensively proved to be Heck, a freshman who pinch hit in the bottom of the seventh inning and produced a single which drove in Jasinski with the winning run.
Number to know
20-15 Final record for Glenbard North's baseball team