FLOSSMOOR | Jeremy Orbik knew the game was on the line when he entered in relief in the sixth inning with Homewood-Flossmoor leading 7-5.
Rival Marian Catholic had the potential tying runs on base with two outs. Orbik struck out Luiscarlo Avila to retire the side.
“I was a little nervous coming in,” Orbik said. “The rivalry, the crowd was big. I just wanted to get him out. I knew (previous reliever Brenden) Luif was tired, so I had to come in.”
In front of more than 300 fans, Homewood-Flossmoor held on to beat Marian Catholic 8-7 on a chilly Friday night.
Orbik struck out the first two in the seventh before giving up a two-run double to Erik Callaghan to make it 8-7. After a talk on the mound with coach Todd Sippel, he got Eric Hurley to ground out to preserve the win.
Callaghan's double just missed going over the right field fence.
“I just wanted him to put it in play,” Orbik said. “ I knew my fielders would make the play.”
Jesse Forestell (two doubles) drove in the much needed insurance run in the sixth inning with a double to center, scoring Quincy Jones, who led off the inning with a walk.
“This was a big one to beat them,” Jones said. “This is a big rivalry and we all know each other. “
At one point, Homewood-Flossmoor (11-9) led 7-1 as a result of some fielding miscues by the Spartans (13-8).
Marian coach Phil Wail said his team made some mistakes, but was glad about the way they came back.
“We earned every run we got,” Wail said. “I don't think they earned any of those. We didn't make them earn it.”
However, Marian's first five runs were unearned as a result of H-F miscues.
The Vikings appeared to break the game open with two runs in the third and four in the fourth. Jacob Klemp had a two-run double in each of those innings as a result of a couple of misplayed fly balls. H-F was also the beneficiary of an error, but Marian came back with four unearned runs in the fifth as a result of some walks and two Vikings errors.
Ironically, in a game which so many balls were hit to the outfield, there were no homers.
The Spartans scored an unearned run in the top of the first when Luiscarlo Avila led off with double and scored on an error.
H-F tied it in the inning when Jesse Forestell doubled in Patrick Sheehan, who led off with a bunt single. Sheehan showed his hustle as he threw out Marian's Connor Madey in the third. Madey appeared to have singled to center, but Sheehan charged the ball and threw Madey out at first.
“I just like to creep up when I don't think the batter will hit it over my head,” Sheehan said. “I saw I had a play on him and I made a throw and my brother James made a great scoop at first.”
Marian's Avila and Callaghan had two hits each. Callaghan started. H-F's Teddy Romas went 4 2/3 innings, but some mistakes by his teammates prolonged the four-run inning. He had had a one-hitter through four innings.