Loyola’s spirited, late-game rally fell short in Saturday’s 5-4 loss to Fenwick at the Class 4A regional final at Priory Field in River Forest.
Although they came close, the Ramblers, seeded third at the Lane Sectional, were unable to overcome an early deficit.
Loyola (22-13) had the tying run on second base with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning, but the Friars got a fly ball to end the game on their home field.
After falling behind 4-0, Loyola got single runs in the third, fourth and fifth to get within one. Fenwick added a run in the sixth on its third home run of the game to make it 5-3. The Ramblers responded with one in their half of the inning, but they were couldn’t complete the comeback.
Senior catcher Brian Vance went 2-for-2 with two walks and two runs scored. Senior first baseman Sean Tully, who left the game in top of sixth after a runner hit him while he was covering the bag, had one single and one RBI. After sitting out 16 games with a broken leg, junior designated hitter Jason Vrbancic contributed a hit and an RBI.
Left-handed junior PJ McKermitt got the start, and right-handed junior Henry Haracz pitched in relief. Haracz struck out seven in 4 2/3 innings.
It was a tough end to an otherwise successful season, and 13 seniors played their final game for the Ramblers. In addition to Tully and Vance, they are: Drew Bartholow, Jack Blindt, Rich Campbell, Patrick Carpenter, Charles Hexamer, Quinn Janssen, Ryan Lin-Peistrup, Thomas Moran, Danny O’Brien, John O’Flaherty and Chris Toomey.
The Ramblers went 12-9 in the Catholic League, including winning five games against Blue division opponents. Two of the victories came against three-time defending Class 4A champion Providence Catholic.
Photo: Loyola seniors and parents
Photo credit: Melissa Krein/Loyola