BARTLETT – St. Charles North baseball coach Todd Genke could have pointed to many things to blame after his team’s 13-2 loss to Bartlett on Friday in Upstate Eight Conference crossover action.
But after his team was dispatched in just 4 1/2 freezing innings, a victim of the 10-run mercy rule, Genke took the heat.
“I’ll take the blame,” Genke said. “We did not come prepared, and that’s my fault. I just think the coaching staff needs to do a better job preparing [our players], ,and [our players] need to understand in baseball you have to be ready every single game.
“When you are in the grind of a conference season, you have to come ready. If you don’t, this is what happens.”
The North Stars (6-6, 2-4 UEC River) scored a run in the top of the first when Tim Misner doubled and scored on an error.
But Bartlett (5-2, 4-2 UEC Valley) came right back against North Stars starter Sawyer Chambers, scoring four runs, two of them earned, on five hits and an error.
North got a run back in top of the second, as Cory Wright and Jack Dennis singled and Kurt Barbeau knocked in Wright with a single.
However, the Hawks exploded for six runs in their half of the second, with only one of the runs earned as the North Stars committed two more errors, knocking Chambers out of the game in the process.
“[Thursday’s cancellation] gave us a chance to work on some things fundamentally, like hitting,” Hawks coach Chris Pemberton said. “Some of that paid off. The guys had a good attitude, didn’t let the elements bother them and made contact from the get-go.”
Bartlett added one run in the third and two in the fourth to close the game out.
“I hate to state the obvious, but we need to pitch better, play better defense and hit better,” Genke said.
“It starts on the mound. We didn’t have a good performance on the mound. We didn’t play well defensively. You can’t give up extra outs. You can’t let pop flies drop. You cannot drop balls in the infield.”
Chambers allowed 10 runs, only three of them earned, on 10 hits, no walks and a strikeout. He was relieved in the second by Drew Underwager.
Doug VanDyke, making only his second varsity start, earned his first win for Bartlett, going the distance and allowing seven hits and a walk while fanning five.
“For the first time this year we had some confidence,” Pemberton said. “Teams are going to make mistakes and you need to take advantage. I am happy after seven games we finally had some confidence.”
Misner had two doubles for North and Wright, a sophomore, added two singles.