GLEN ELLYN – Montini's baseball players were dejected after losing the sectional final, but coach Bob Landi wouldn't let the team stay down without learning a lesson.
The retiring coach and athletic director tried to give his team a boost after the Broncos' postseason run ended in a 6-2 loss against Fenwick in a Class 3A sectional final at Glenbard South on Saturday.
"Every team other than the last team standing goes home this way, but I was telling the kids after the game quite frankly this is a template about life," Landi said. "In life you got highs and lows, you work hard sometimes and things don't go your way and sometimes you don't work hard and things go your way."
The Broncos took an early lead with two runs in the first inning on RBIs from Jake Mencacci and starting pitcher Eric Frontzak, but didn't score again. Fenwick tied the game in the top of the third and took the lead in the fourth. The Friars sealed their first ever sectional title by adding three insurance runs in the top of the seventh.
Montini finished the season 23-10 and won its first regional title since 2010.
"It's tough on the kids," Landi said. "They came out here and were ready to play. ... They were in a good frame of mind. They were loose. We just got beat. It's not like we beat ourselves or we blew anything. They played better than we did and they beat us."
The loss to Fenwick marked the end for senior starters Mencacci, Frontzak, Tyler Quick, Tom Long, Rhett Wojkovich, Pat Hennessy, Eddie Bava and Austin Kline. Juniors Jake Pestel and Sean Frontzak, who emerged as a dominant pitcher this spring, and freshman Brandon Shilgalis are expected to be the core of the team next year.