Maine South Tops Wolves


By Danny Thompson

On Wednesday evening the Wolves took to the diamond to face off against the Maine South Hawks.  Before the game, both teams’ seniors were recognized, with special attention paid to the fact that senior and starting pitcher Kyle Colletta would be the last person to wear the number two jersey for Niles West.  West alum and World Series champion George Kontos had worn this number, and it is to be retired at the end of the season.

Maine South wasted no time getting on the scoreboard.  With a man on third and two outs, the Hawks were able to steal home on a wild third strike that rolled all the way to the on deck circle.  In the bottom half of the inning West was unable to return the favor.  The second inning went much better for the Wolves defense as they retired all three batters they faced.  Unfortunately, Maine South did the same and the score still stood 1-0 Hawks through two.

After a scoreless third and a three up, three down top of the fourth, the Wolves’ bats began to heat up.  Junior Matt De La Vega hit a leadoff single before reaching second on a sacrifice bunt by Colletta, and junior Cody Pazik followed that up with a double.  De La Vega attempted to score on Pazik’s double, but collided with Maine South’s catcher at the plate, causing South’s catcher to lose his mitt.  De La Vega was called out, sparking a short protest from Wolves head coach Gary Gustafson.  The call stood, and the score remained 1-0 in favor of the team from Park Ridge.  Next up to bat was senior Seth Rosenberg, who fired a shot through the infield gap in right.  Pazik scored from second, tying the contest at one.

Unfortunately for the Wolves, the bottom half of the fourth proved to be their best inning of the day, as Maine South added two more runs in the top of the fifth.  An error on what would have been a single allowed the Hawks’ leadoff man to advance to second.  A single off the next at bat moved the man to third, and a subsequent double scored him.  South’s next batter laid down a solid bunt, allowing a man on third to get home.  The inning ended on a pop fly and a runner called out for tagging up too soon.

The Wolves again went 1-2-3 up and down, and the Hawks added another run in the top of the sixth.

The rest of the game went scoreless, securing a 4-1 victory for the Hawks.

Throughout the game, it was evident that the Wolves were outmatched, specifically on offense.

“It’s tough to win when you only put up one run.  We tried our best but they out played us, out ran us, and out hit us, so there wasn’t much more we could do,” Colletta said.

On having his number retired at the end of the year, Colletta said it was an honor to wear Kontos’ number.

“It’s really cool.  George Kontos is my neighbor and I think it’s a real honor to be the last person to wear that jersey after all the people who have worn it before me,” he said.