BATAVIA – At times during Thursday’s game, it was hard to figure out which was faster: the speed with which Laren Eustace was flying around the bases or the frequency with which the Bulldogs were scoring runs.
The scoreboard operator had just as tiring a day as the players on the field during Batavia’s 13-6 victory over Waubonsie Valley on Thursday, the Bulldogs’ seventh consecutive win to start the season.
The Bulldogs were an offensive machine, scoring in every inning and scoring multiple runs in all but one.
“Our offense got back on track,” Batavia coach Matt Holm said. “I think we had cold bats on Tuesday when we were playing against Bartlett. It was nice to have those back. We’ve got a little bit to work on in the lineup, I think, but overall we’re a pretty tough offensive team right now.”
Eustace, Batavia’s lightning-quick junior left fielder, went 2 for 3 with a triple, a double, a walk, a sacrifice fly, three RBIs and three runs scored. In his second at-bat, he laced a triple to the wall and just kept running as the second baseman bobbled the relay throw, allowing Eustace to score.
The speedster was also involved in what proved to be the game-winning hit, an RBI double off the bat of junior first baseman Micah Coffey in the fourth inning. Eustace, who drew a one-out walk two batters before, scored on the hit to break a 5-5 tie. The Bulldogs didn’t look back and outscored the visiting Warriors, 7-1, after snapping the stalemate.
“The thing is you don’t want to pitch to him because he hits the ball so hard,” Holm said of Eustace. “On the other hand, if you don’t pitch to him, he’s a stolen base, maybe two. That’s a great element for a baseball team to have, especially with the guys we have behind that are contact hitters that can move him around and score runs.”
“It’s about time for me because a little bit earlier during the season, I was kind of slumping a little bit,” Eustace said. “I just needed to figure it out and find my groove, and I think I’ve found it so far. I’ve just got to continue what I’m doing.”
Other offensive stars for the Bulldogs included senior shortstop Billy Zwick, who reached base four times including twice by triples, and senior designated hitter Luke Horton, who picked up three hits and a pair of RBIs.
Jacob Piechota pitched three innings of one-run ball for the Bulldogs in relief of starter Colby Green.
The game was tight for a moment because of a four-run third by Waubonsie Valley, which included back-to-back home runs to briefly give the Warriors a 5-4 lead before Batavia tied the game with a run in the bottom of the inning. But it was all Bulldogs from there.
The Bulldogs sit at a perfect 7-0, including 2-0 in Upstate Eight Conference River Division play after wins over Bartlett and Waubonsie Valley.
“It’s special so far,” Eustace said. “7-0, you can’t get better than that.”