SCHAUMBURG – Most likely, Marmion senior Eric Lundell won’t forget his final pitch of his three-plus varsity career.
Schaumburg sophomore Justin Gadomski will certainly always remember his seventh varsity at-bat.
Lundell and Gadomski’s path collided in one of the most unexpected places on Monday — in the bottom of the seventh inning of a scoreless Class 4A Schaumburg Regional quarterfinal game.
What happened was memorable — at least for the Saxons.
Gadomski, in a pinch-hitting role, drilled a two-run walk-off home run over the left-field fence to lift the Saxons to a stunning 2-0 triumph over the Cadets. With the defeat, the Cadets, two years removed from a 3A third-place state trophy, finished the season with an 8-17 record.
Lundell showed tremendous class by immediately walking to the first-base line to get ready to greet the Saxons (11-20) after allowing the season-ending home run.
Lundell, in 44 innings pitched, finished with a 2-5 record with 42 strikeouts.
“Everything seemed to be working today,” Lundell said. “That last pitch, as soon as it left my hand, I knew that I left it up and he did his part. My slider later on started working, but early on it was the curveball was really on.”
Gadomski spoiled a stellar outing from Lundell, ending the nearly two-hour pitcher’s fest in dramatic fashion by knocking a curveball over the fence.
“It was the right time and right place and he’s got a pretty swing,” Schaumburg coach Cal Seely. “He’s on our JV roster. He’s an add-on the lineup card.”
Before Gadomski’s blast, Lundell, a Division II Concordia-St-Paul recruit, had allowed just three hits and faced little trouble throughout the game, even in the later innings. The right-hander allowed four hits, walked two and struck out six batters.
The Cadets finished with two hits, with Tony Mele batting 1-for-2 and Cole Green hitting 1-for-3.
“I was confident and believed in myself,” Gadomski said, while getting dumped with water by teammates. “I knew I had to hit the ball and put it in play. I had to get a hit from the team. He hung it and I got a good look. I had a feeling it was gone. I think that’s my seventh varsity at-bat.”
”You have to tip your hat to (Schaumburg),” Marmion coach Frank Chapman said. “Eric had a great outing. We just didn’t hit the baseball.”
After throwing 28 pitches in a brief warmup outing against St. Charles North on May 16, Lundell bounced back with one of his best outings of the season.
Chapman praised his large group of seniors for sticking with the course after a rough season.
“They are my first group of kids,” Chapman said, in his fourth year. “They were part of the build. Three of them were starters for us when we downstate in Lundell, Nicholas Talarico and Dillion Di Lorio. Jackson Best came up for the postseason, so did Jake Carlson. Those guys got a taste of the run.
“Jack Zebig is a going to be a key one for us, plus we brought Leo Verdecchia to pinch run and he’s going to be a stud on the mound. We have a lot of young guys in our freshmen class that will be big in the coming years,” he said. “We’ll be young next year. We have to change a bit of what we do, in the weight room and get more athletic.”