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Batavia baseball shuts down Panthers

CAROL STREAM – The Batavia baseball team turned in a performance Monday that was nearly as crisp as the weather.

With the thermometer hovering just below 40 degrees and a gusty westerly wind blowing out to right field making it feel about 10 degrees colder, the Bulldogs dispatched Glenbard North, 3-0, in less than two hours.

Luke Horton and Emilio Tenuta combined to pitch a three-hit shutout as Batavia improved to 5-0.

Horton (2-0) went the first three innings, allowing just one hit. He walked one and struck out four.

Tenuta gave up only a pair of singles over the final four innings. He walked one and struck out three.

“It’s our senior pitching again,” Batavia coach Matt Holm said. “Luke came out, he was on a pitch count, went three innings, kept them scoreless. And then Emilio won’t start until Monday, so we thought we’d let him go in relief and get his innings in. … I think our starting pitching has given up one run in five games.”

While he was on the mound, Tenuta appeared to have no trouble dealing with the weather conditions, but after the game he said the cold did make his job more difficult.

“I’m not the biggest fan of it,” he said. “I mean, my arm gets cold, my hands get cold, and you can’t get the greatest grip on the ball.”

Hitting in cold weather isn’t much fun, either, but Batavia did accumulate 10 hits. About the only downside on the day for the Bulldogs was the 12 men they left stranded on the basepaths.

“The bats were hot today, but we left too many people on base again,” Holm said. “We’ve got to find a way to get the timely hitting as much as we’re hitting the ball. We’ve had double-digit hits in the last three games.”

Batavia employed the hit-and-run effectively to score the first run of the game in the second inning. Robbie Bowman led off the frame with a sharp single to left and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Dean Simoncelli. An infield single by Andrew Seigler put runners on the corners with one out. Holm put the hit-and-run on with Colby Green at the plate, allowing Bowman to score and Seigler to reach second safely on a grounder to short.

Green picked up another RBI in the fourth, lining a single over the second baseman’s head after Siegler had doubled to deep left-center.

The Bulldogs used the squeeze play to score an insurance run in the fifth. Micah Coffey doubled with one out, advanced to third on Aaron Hurd’s single, and scored on a bunt by Bowman that he wound up beating out for a hit.

Tenuta said he’s enjoying the fast start to the season for Batavia.

“We’ve got a pretty deep pitching staff right now with like 13 pitchers,” he said. “Our bats are coming alive. We’re playing solid D, minimizing the errors. We’re off to a good start, 5-0. I like it.”

The Bulldogs will try to stay undefeated when they travel to Bartlett today.

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