The Broncos should have been shocked by the four homerun performance by Lake Zurich and their dramatic 9-8 comeback victory during the opening round of the IHSA 4A playoffs, since the Bears were shocked by the number of long balls hit.
“We have never had a power outage like this before,” Lake Zurich junior Sean Eder said after his second home run, a walk-off to win the game. “We usually get good quality hits, but never like this.”
“Their home runs weren’t cheap,” Bronco’s coach Jim Hawrysko said. “They would have been homers at our place too.”
Eder’s first home run of the afternoon was a three run blast during the bottom of the second that cut the Bear deficit in half, 6-3.
Barrington (7-28) had jumped out to an early lead during an offensive outburst during the top half of the second inning. Aaron Foley knocked in two quick runs on a double. Second baseman Chris Coco’s sharp grounder, and hustle, forced a Lake Zurich error to push Barrington’s sixth run across.
The Broncos would score again in the third with senior John O’Connell’s first of two R.B.I. doubles in the late innings to tack onto Barrington’s lead, now at 7-3.
“O’Connell has been swinging a hot bat the last couple of weeks,” Hawrysko said. “He’s been driving in some key runs.”
In the bottom of the third Lake Zurich (16-16) would get on the scoreboard again, this time a solo shot by right fielder Mark Dorfman that kept the Bears down by three.
From their on it was essentially a battle of pitchers as Parker Asmann (5 innings, 8 hits, 6 k’s and a walk) pitched nearly identical to Barrington’s Greg Gerrard (5 1/3 innings pitched, 10 hits allowed, and 5 strikeouts with one walk on 95 pitches).
“He did a great job today, and all year long.” Barrington’s skipper said. “He was at 95 pitches and it was just time for me to make the change.”
The change came after a rough start for the Broncos in the bottom of the sixth as Anthony Drago would smack a pitch hit two run shot. The Bears would eventually tie the game at eight later in the frame with a sac fly off the bat of Mike Schnur that scored teammate senior Mitch Tuthill.
The Broncos looked poised to get the run back in the top of the seventh but with a runner on second, and the hot swinging O’Connell at bat, the Bears chose not to gamble by walking him and would later escape the danger with Asmann’s sixth strikeout.
With the Lake Zurich fans still in frenzy from the dramatic tie the inning earlier, and then navigating the top half dangers of the seventh, the stage was set for late game heroics at Mel Eide Field. Unfortunately for the Broncos, the heroics were coming off the bat of Eder who would hit his second home run. That was the game winner that gave the Bears a 9-8 victory over the Broncos.
“It was a good game all around; we scored runs when we needed to, and took advantage of some things,” Hawrysko said. “They just hit the ball out four times, hats off to them.”
Playing as the sixteenth seed, Lake Zurich moves on in the Barrington Regional and will face number one seeded Mundelein at 4:30 pm on Wednesday, May 25.