Joliet Catholic tops Benet 6-3

By Steve Nielsen
Scouting Supervisor - Illinois/Wisconsin

Benet 3
Joliet Catholic 6

JOLIET, IL - Joliet Catholic has quietly been one of the hotter teams in the state, winning 10 of their last 11 contests, improving their record to 17-10-1 and atop the ESCC with a 12-1 record. The Hilltoppers’ 6-3 win over Benet on Monday was their seventh in a row and looking primed for a 3A playoff run.

Antonio Saldana took the hill for Joliet Catholic and didn’t get off to the ideal start. The senior southpaw has been dominant this season, but a leadoff error and an infield single led to the first two runs of the ball game. Giving the Redwings a 2-0 head start, Saldana settled in nicely halfway through the second and retired the next 13 in order until Jack Schneider ripped a clean single that ended Saldana’s night in the sixth, giving way to fellow senior LHP Alec Hartsell.

Joliet Catholic answered Benet’s two-run first inning with a four spot of their own, and enough for Saldana and Hartsell. The first four Hilltopper’s reached safely and scored. Jack Surin and Matt Bebar came through with RBI singles in the first.

Joliet Catholic manufactured insurance runs in the third and fourth via a first and third double steal and a well-executed hit and run by Aidan Tyrell that gave Jack Surin the chance to drive in Michael O’Brien with a sacrifice fly. O’Brien, Tyrell and Surin all chipped in two hits to lead the Hilltopper offense.

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