Byline: Kevin Shepke Daily Herald Correspondent
Brian Hare picked the perfect day and the perfect opponent to have a strong hitting day.
The St. Viator senior left fielder belted his first 2 home runs of the season as its 9-7 win Wednesday was its second in three days over Carmel in the East Suburban Catholic Conference North Division game in Arlington Heights.
"I owe my hitting to coach (Greg) Kay and coach (Harvey) Foster because they helped me work on my stance all through practice and it's helped me with my hitting," said Hare, who is playing organized baseball for the first time since eighth grade.
Hare homered in back-to-back at-bats.
"His hitting was unbelievable," said Lions coach Bill Pirman, whose team beat Carmel 11-9 on Monday. "And our kids just came out swinging the bats. We ran the bases. Our pitching was good enough, although I was little nervous at the end there because Carmel's a great team. But we got the job done and I'm happy about that."
Viator (10-4, 5-1) jumped out to a 5-0 first-inning lead thanks in part to Jim Leone's RBI double to left and Hare's a 2-run homer. The Lions were looking to make the game a 5-inning contest after they pushed their lead to 6-0. Leone singled, stole second and scored on a throwing error.
But the Corsairs (11-5, 3-3) came storming back in the third with back-to-back home runs from Brandon Ziemann and Sean Walker. Ryan Myers connected for a solo homer to left-center one batter later to make it 6-3.
Viator added 2 more insurance runs in the bottom of the third on Frank Cirone's sacrifice fly and Chris Shelhart's infield single, and the Lions put the game away in the fourth on Hare's second homer, a solo shot to left field.
"This was a big win for us," Hare said. "Viator always has a rivalry with Carmel and it feels good to get the win because we only play them two times and we beat them twice. We made no mistakes and we hit the ball real well."
The Corsairs took one last shot at St. Viator's lead. Walker's 3-run home run to center in the seventh pulled the visitor within two.
"Give credit to Viator because they took advantage of every opportunity," Carmel coach Chuck Gandolfi said. …