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Ryan Evoy earns bragging rights for Sandburg

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This was both an awkward situation and an exciting opportunity for Sandburg’s Ryan Evoy.

The junior outfielder transferred from Marist at the start of the school year, and Thursday’s game presented him with the unique chance to face off against his old team in a playoff situation.

It also meant taking on one particularly important former teammate — his older brother, Kyle.

“It was, honestly, pretty weird going against all my old teammates and my brother,” Evoy said afterward. “It was strange, but it was fun.”

Ryan Evoy earned sibling bragging rights, driving in the go-ahead run on a bunt as the host Eagles rallied for a 7-3 victory over the RedHawks in a Class 4A Sandburg Regional semifinal.

Nick Bestrick improved to 9-0, striking out eight and allowing just one earned run in 6 2/3 innings for the Eagles (21-11).

Nick Morsovillo led Sandburg’s offense, going 3-for-4 with two runs and an RBI. Ryan Ulleweit finished 3-for-4 with two runs and Michael Stapleton went 2-for-4 with an RBI.

John McAuliffe managed an RBI single, while Joey Gumuls singled and was hit by a pitch for ninth-seeded Marist (13-17), which was held to four hits. Illinois recruit Aidan Flinn allowed four earned runs in five innings, striking out seven.

Sandburg's Ryan Evoy follows the ball on a popup while taking a lead from second against Marist during the Class 4A Sandburg Regional semifinal in Orland Park on Thursday, May 23, 2024. (Vincent D. Johnson/for the Daily Southtown)
Sandburg’s Ryan Evoy follows the ball on a pop-up against Marist during a Class 4A Sandburg Regional semifinal in Orland Park on Thursday, May 23, 2024. (Vincent D. Johnson / Daily Southtown)

Ryan Evoy, meanwhile, is certainly enjoying his fresh start for seventh-seeded Sandburg, which will take on top-seeded Lincoln-Way West (28-4) at 11 a.m. Saturday for the regional title.

“The environment in the school and the people here are great,” he said. “They’ve treated me well since day one. There’s nothing wrong with the baseball program at Marist, but I just fit better here at this school.

“I clicked with the coaches right away. They’re really cool.”

Changing schools meant separating from Kyle, a senior infielder who started at third base Thursday for Marist.

“We were on the same team these past couple years and it was a great time, so it was tough to end that,” Ryan said. “But I know this is the right place for me.”

Evoy’s big moment came in the fifth inning with the game tied 3-3 and runners at the corners.

Sandburg's Nick Bestrick pitches to start the game against Marist during the Class 4A Sandburg Regional semifinal in Orland Park on Thursday, May 23, 2024. (Vincent D. Johnson/for the Daily Southtown)
Sandburg’s Nick Bestrick throws a pitch against Marist during a Class 4A Sandburg Regional semifinal in Orland Park on Thursday, May 23, 2024. (Vincent D. Johnson / Daily Southtown)

He dropped down a bunt which Flinn fielded and then threw to home but too late to get Morsovillo, who slid in with the go-ahead run.

“My coach told me just to get the bunt down,” Evoy said. “(Flinn) is a tough pitcher, so it was a best-case scenario getting that down and getting the run in.”

Evoy was the third straight batter to bunt in the inning, following a sacrifice from Daniel Kohs and an RBI bunt single from Stapleton.

“That was our game plan going into this game,” Stapleton said. “Their pitcher has a pretty good name around here, so we just stuck with small ball and it got us the win.”

Stapleton wasn’t surprised to see Evoy execute.

“He’s been a big addition,” Stapleton said. “He’s a phenomenal right fielder. He’s thrown out many people at the plate this year. We love him.”

Sandburg's Ryan Evoy (3) swings a Marist pitch during the Class 4A Sandburg Regional semifinal in Orland Park on Thursday, May 23, 2024. (Vincent D. Johnson/for the Daily Southtown)
Sandburg’s Ryan Evoy (3) swings at a pitch against Marist during a Class 4A Sandburg Regional semifinal in Orland Park on Thursday, May 23, 2024. (Vincent D. Johnson / Daily Southtown)

Sandburg coach Jim Morsovillo is also glad to have Evoy on his side.

“Ryan’s been awesome for us,” he said. “I think he has five or six outfield assists for us. Our right field is one of the toughest around with the sun, and he’s played a great right field.

“He competes at the plate. All the guys love him, too.”

Growing up, Ryan Evoy always enjoyed competing with Kyle. He was thrilled to have earned the upper hand over his older brother this time around.

“It was awesome playing with him when we were young,” Ryan said. “We were always going back and forth about who is better. It was always fun.

“Of course, I’m going to enjoy these bragging rights.”



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