WHEATON – Sawyer Chambers could hardly do anything right to start.
Fortunately for Chambers and St. Charles Post 342, the game’s first several batters turned out to be a blip on an otherwise dazzling night for the right-hander.
Chambers shrugged off early wildness to mow down Wheaton Post 76 on Tuesday, leading Post 342 to a 3-1 win.
Chambers walked three batters in the top of the first as Post 76 scored a run without a hit but the recent St. Charles North graduate said he was able to refine his follow-through on the fly.
“I was missing a little bit high so I just fixed my mechanics a little bit and just went from there, and just located a little bit better,” Chambers said. “I just had to settle down.”
Chambers was wild enough early that some coaches might have considered warming a reliever up in the bullpen but Post 342 coach Dale Wilderspin said that wasn’t much of a consideration, especially given Chambers’ strong outing against Lockport last time out.
“I’m a pitcher’s coach, and I have a tendency to stay with these guys a little bit too long sometimes,” Wilderspin said. “Not in this case. But for the most part, I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt.”
Chambers didn’t walk a batter after the first and ended up allowing only a bunt single in his seven inning, complete game effort. He struck out 10 and popped the catcher’s mitt as well as Wilderspin had seen from him.
Chambers, who retired the final 11 Wheaton batters on the night, is preparing to pitch at Elgin Community College.
“Obviously we have great competition,” Chambers said of the legion season. “I just love the coaches, love the team. It’s a great program, and it’s a great way to get ready for college baseball.”
While Chambers stabilized quickly on the mound, Post 342 failed to generate a base-runner offensively until the fourth inning, when it scored all three of its runs off Wheaton pitcher Bryan Polowy.
After Polowy notched an out to start the inning, Tim Misner, Ryan Thomas, Jack Dennis and Anthony Bragg notched four consecutive singles to give Post 342 the lead for good.
A couple of the hits were bloopers but Wilderspin approved of the death-by-singles attack from his lineup.
“We have to do those kinds of things, we’re going to have to move runners and have patient at-bats,” Wilderspin said. “They did that tonight. They got themselves in decent hitters’ counts, and then you get a fastball, and then they’re ready for it.”
Post 342 was the home team since the game originally was to be played at St. Charles North High School before being moved to Wheaton because of field conditions at North.
Post 342 improves to 14-2-1, an impressive record enabled partially by weekend reinforcements that are not eligible to play in league contests during the week.
“You know what, it’s a team you would look at and say ‘How the heck can they be 14-2-1?’ ” Wilderspin said. “When you see us on the weekend, it’s a completely different team. … The whole team changes its complexion on the weekend. Then you’re a bunch of bashers. You don’t do anything, just sit and watch them play.”