ST. CHARLES – A couple of pitchers who have struggled to get into the win column this season both turned in strong performances Thursday on the St. Charles North baseball diamond.
Yet St. Charles East’s Mike Boehmer and St. Charles North’s Sawyer Chambers walked away without a win.
Boehmer and Chambers kept the opposition off the board for five innings, but they couldn’t keep Mother Nature from putting an early end to the game. The game was called after heavy rain began to fall while the Upstate Eight River Division contest already was in a mandatory 30-minute lightning delay.
“We’ll come back and play the game if it means something for the conference race,” East coach Len Asquini said. “If it doesn’t, then it’s just going to go down as a tie.”
The Saints (14-7, 12-4) are in the thick of the league race, while the North Stars (11-11, 7-7) are just trying to get above .500 at this point in the season.
“We’ve had some things not go our way this year, but the kids still believe and they really care about the season and they want to end on a strong note,” North coach Todd Genke said. “We’re focused on trying to get hot here at the right time … and be ready for the regional and make some noise in the playoffs.”
Chambers (1-3) could help the North Stars down the stretch if he throws like he did against East. He allowed only four hits – all singles. Two of those came in the top of the fourth inning when it appeared Joe Hoscheit’s single to center had scored a run. But Nicholas Erickson was called out for missing third base.
“I left that pitch up and I was kind of beating myself up for it,” Chambers said. “Then coach said to appeal to third base and I was like, ‘Oh, there’s no way we’re going to get this,’ and when he called out, I was like, ‘Thank God.’ ”
Chambers still had work to do since that was only the first out of the inning, but he got a groundball back to the mound and a strikeout to end the threat. He had a pair of strikeouts, but mostly he got the Saints to beat the ball into the turf, getting 11 outs on groundballs.
“He’s a senior and we expect a lot from him,” Genke said. “The last two or three outings he’s been real good. He’s been able to throw his breaking ball for a strike, which is huge for any pitcher, but especially him.”
Boehmer (0-5) was equally impressive. The junior righthander gave up only two hits and did not allow a baserunner past second.
“Michael was throwing great,” Asquini said. “And, you know what, he’s done that for us. It’s been kind of a hard luck year for him. He’s got five losses, but, boy, he has thrown well. … He was doing it again today – keeping it down, making them put it in play.”
Boehmer struck out two and did not walk a batter.
The Saints are back in action Friday at home against Neuqua Valley, while the North Stars are off until a Saturday doubleheader at Larkin.