BATAVIA – The Batavia baseball team rallied from a four-run deficit Wednesday to avoid getting swept by Upstate Eight Conference River Division rival St. Charles East in a three-game series.
The Bulldogs (14-3, 8-3 UEC River) scored three runs in the fifth inning and one in the sixth to pull out a 5-4 victory and pull even with the Saints (10-6, 8-3) in the league standings.
“We needed this one,” Batavia coach Matt Holm said. “There’s still several series to go in the conference, so I’m not going to make any predictions, but we needed it.”
The fifth-inning rally started with two outs when Laren Eustace reached on a bunt single. A walk and an infield single by Micah Coffey loaded the bases for Luke Horton, who singled to center to drive in a pair of runs. It was Horton’s second hit of the game and it chased East starter Nick Huskisson.
Robbie Bowman greeted reliever Mike Boehmer (1-3) with another hit to center, scoring Coffey with the tying run.
Batavia scored an unearned run in the sixth without a hit, using a walk to pinch hitter Jake Piechota, an error, a sacrifice bunt by Jeremy Schoessling, and a wild pitch to score pinch runner Jordan Zwart.
Austin Shanahan (4-0) went the distance on the mound to get the victory, overcoming a rough start. The Saints got three straight two-out singles by Brian Sobieski, Huskisson, and Erik Anderson to plate three runs in the first.
Anthony Sciarrino walked and stole second to lead off the second for East. He would eventually score, but Shanahan settled in after that, allowing only three baserunners over the next four innings.
“I wasn’t too worried,” Shanahan said of his slow start. “I felt like I was throwing the ball pretty well. They were just putting the ball out there, doing what they’re supposed to do, putting the ball in play. They were just getting it through little holes or little flares.”
Shanahan gave up seven hits, struck out six and walked five. He gave up back-to-back walks in the seventh to load the bases with one out, but he got Nick Erickson to pop out to the catcher and caught Saints slugger Joe Hoscheit looking with a third strike on the outside corner to end the game.
“What high school, college, professional team would not like their odds when they get their No. 3 and 4 hitters up with bases loaded and one out?” East coach Len Asquini said. “I thought we had a real good chance of at least tying the game up. Our hitters prior to that did a wonderful job getting us in that situation.”
Shanahan said he felt like he couldn’t let his team down in an important game.
“It was a huge win for us,” he said. “I was flabbergasted with my offense coming back and rallying. I had to do it. I had to get the job done for them. There was no way I was going to let the lead slip by me again.”
Billy Zwick had a pair of hits for Batavia, including a third-inning triple that scored Schoessling.