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St. Charles East baseball opens tourney with shutout victory

ST. CHARLES – Adam Eck and Mike Boehmer combined to pitch a shutout and St. Charles East found a way to manufacture runs against a tough pitcher Monday.

The Saints opened the Phil Lawler Summer Classic tournament with a 4-0 victory over Yorkville (10-17-1).

Eck (2-3) started the game on the mound for the Saints and did not allow a hit during the first four innings.

“He was wonderful. His last four starts have been great,” East coach Len Asquini said. “[He was] just ahead of the count on everybody, forcing them to hit his pitch.”

Eck, a senior left-hander, allowed only a pair of singles in five innings of work. He walked three and struck out seven.

“I had a lot of rest coming into this [game],” Eck said. “My arm felt good. I was able to throw strikes most of the time. I had confidence in my defense.”

Yorkville starter Kyle Shimp, also a southpaw, didn’t allow a hit until Erik Anderson led off the bottom of the fourth inning with a hit to right.

“He had a lot of movement on his pitches,” Anderson said. “He had a good curve coming into a lot of our lefty hitters. It was nice because we had a good long hitting session before the game that helped me a lot.”

Anderson had a pair of hits and also drove in East’s first run of the game with a first-inning sacrifice fly to center after the Saints (15-13-1) loaded the bases on a pair of walks and an error.

East added three insurance runs in the fifth with singles by Anderson and Austin Rees and a couple of hit batters. Ben Smith delivered an RBI sacrifice fly in the inning.

“We knew coming in we were going to have our hands full with [Shimp] and he lived up to his billing,” Asquini said. “He’s very good. Our lefties were having some trouble with his curveball because it was coming right at their hips then moving right on over for strikes.”

Shimp allowed three hits over five innings. He walked three (all in the first inning) and struck out six.

“Kyle was a little wild,” Yorkville coach Scott Luken said. “In some cases, he was effectively wild. Unfortunately, a couple walks and a couple hit batsmen ended up hurting us.”

Shimp had to leave the game after Boehmer hit him in the head with a pitch in the top of the sixth. The ball appeared to hit Shimp near his left ear. He lay on the ground for several minutes afterward while Luken checked him for signs of a concussion. As a precautionary measure, a parent transported him to a nearby medical facility for further evaluation.

Boehmer did not allow the incident to rattle him. He retired the next four hitters in a row to earn a save. He struck out two, walked none, and did not allow a hit.

“He did a really nice job of keeping his composure,” Asquini noted. “All in all, I was really happy with the way we played. Defensively, we picked it up. Both those guys pitched very, very well and I thought offensively we had great approaches and at-bats. We weren’t swinging at a lot of junk and stuff out of the zone. We made him work for his outs.”

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