After back-to-back doubleheader wins against Highland Park propelled the Wildkits to achieve the elusive 20-win season, ETHS’ baseball team proved once again that the sky was the limit when it came to their potential in the playoffs. Coming into the first round of the IHSA Regionals with an appetite for victory, the team’s hunger culminated in a decisive 5-2 triumph over Whitney Young. The contest was highlighted by Class of 2021 senior Dylan Elwood’s two-run shot in the sixth that would prove to put the game out of reach of the Dolphins and move the Kits into the next round of the playoffs.
“It’s one of those things you can’t try to do but always hope you end up doing,” says Elwood about his piece. “At the time, I knew that I could have potentially [broken] the game open, and I think my teammates did as well. But, we also knew we had to continue playing our game to the end, and we did.”
The Kits were confident heading into their contest against Whitney Young ever since it became clear that the two teams would face in the first round, but their next opponent would be more of a challenge. Soon after defeating the Dolphins, Evanston had its sights set on their next opponent—Loyola Academy. It had been almost two months since the teams had met in just the Kits’ fourth and Ramblers’ third game of the season respectively, one that had ended for E-Town in a frustrating 7-5 disappointment.
But this time, neither team even managed a baserunner in the first two innings. That was, after all, seemingly the way the game was destined to be.
That was until then-sophomore Brandon Brokowski singled in the third, providing the first hit of the game on either side. Brokowski’s knock got the ball rolling, and though the next batter recorded a strikeout, what followed was nothing short of miraculous: four walks in a row. By the end of the inning, the Kits were up 2-0.
“It just made me happy,” said Brokowski about his hit, adding that he “knew it would start a rally that would win [Evanston] the game.”
This, in fact, turned out to be true, as the trend continued next inning. The first batter? Single. The next? Hit by pitch. After that? Error. Four walks in a row. Single. Double.
All in all, the Kits logged 11 runs total on the day—including nine in the fourth—on their way to a victory over Loyola, 11-0. The Kits did their work at the plate, including five hits, while their pitchers took care on the mound. Then-sophomore Hank Liss and then-senior Briggs Bossert combined for a shutout no-hitter, leading to the Kits’ first regional championship since 2018.
Despite faltering to Oak Park and River Forest in the IHSA Sectional semifinals, 7-6, one base hit away from victory, the Kits’ win against Loyola coupled with their stellar regular season record means that the calling year a successful one would be an understatement for many on the squad.