Baseball: Frankos finished with phenominal three-year career at Maine South
Evanston, 5/30/12 Maine South's Jimmy Frankos fields the bunt and throws to first base for the out during their sectional game against Niles West at Evanston High School May 30. | Curtis Lehmkuhl~Sun Times Media
Updated: July 8, 2012 6:22PM
Jimmy Frankos turned toward the crowd behind home plate, sunk to his knees and covered his face with his helmet.
The Maine South senior’s prep career concluded Saturday when he fouled out to the catcher in the Hawks’ 10-8 loss to Oak Park-River Forest.
Frankos was the common denominator in one of the best stretches in program history. The Iowa-bound catcher won 79 games in three varsity seasons and started on the 2010 club that captured the Hawks’ first sectional final since 1966.
“It hurts a little bit now because you care so much,” said Maine South coach Bill Milano, who guided the Hawks to three consecutive seasons of 20-plus wins, two regional titles and a sectional championship. “This team was really close, and these seniors were one of the finest groups. Very dedicated.”
The Hawks didn’t go down without a fight.
Down 10-2 after the top of the fourth inning, Maine South rallied with two runs in its fourth, one in the fifth and three in the sixth, including a two-run homer by Jesus Saavedra, the first of his varsity career. The junior finished with two hits.
“He really stepped up,” Milano said of the second baseman.
Saavedra’s brother Rocky did his part by pitching three scoreless innings of the relief to provide the Hawks the chance to come back.
“Rocky was amazing,” Milano said of the senior. “He put up three goose eggs. His focus was great. He did a 180 from his junior year on the mound, at short and in his at-bats.”
Saavedra, who started the season in the starting rotation, ended the season as an ace closer, going 7-0 with four saves and an ERA less than one run a game.
Center fielder Kyle Richardson hit a two-run homer in his final prep game. The Notre Dame recruit is one of eight players on the roster who will continue playing in college.
John Forsythe (Cal-Riverside), Keenan Kelly (Illinois Wesleyan), Nick Mitrovich (Concordia), Brett Slager (North Park), Pat Aloisio (Oakton) and Rocky Saavedra (Oakton) all will suit up at the next level.
Although Aloisio didn’t have his best stuff for the sectional final, he was a big reason why the Hawks were playing on Saturday. The right-hander pitched all 10 innings in the regional final against Maine West.
Forsythe left his mark in the playoffs by throwing a no-hitter in the team’s 10-0 win over Niles West in the sectional semifinals.