BATAVIA – The Batavia baseball team used timely hitting and two big innings to get out from under a back-and-forth game against Crystal Lake South.
The No. 3 seeded Bulldogs ended the No. 11 Gators’ summer Tuesday afternoon after jumping ahead late and hanging on, 13-10, in the second round of the Phil Lawler Summer Classic.
After four lead changes in the first 31/2 innings, the Bulldogs erupted for five runs in the fourth inning and then pushed across six more runs in the fifth to take a 13-7 lead, one they would not relinquish as Batavia’s pitching staff shut down the Gators’ offense the rest of the way aside from a two-out, three-run home run in the top of the seventh.
“The key was when we went up 13-7, because they are just going to keep hitting,” Batavia coach Matt Holm said. “Our depth with our pitchers helped us out. We went into the day with the idea that we were going to throw four or five guys out of the bullpen and save one of our starters for [today].”
Reagan McReynolds drove in three runs for Batavia (19-6) while Micah Coffey and Andrew Siegler each had two hits.
“We were hitting. It was a hitter’s day. … It was back-and-forth, we had some scoring opportunities and we were able to take advantage of them, and we had some good two-out hitting as well,” Holm said. “We feel really good about it.”
Added Batavia starting pitcher Jake Piechota: “It was really hot out today but we battled as a team and got it done. [Crystal Lake South] was a good team and had a good lineup but we just kept battling.”
Gators coach Brian Bogda called Batavia a “great team.”
“I’m proud of the way we battled and I suspected that Batavia would do pretty well, and they did,” he said. “I was proud of the way we responded when we were down and we didn’t hang our heads against a good team like that. We knew coming in that they can hit and they have some good guys coming out of that bullpen so I wouldn’t be surprised if they make it all the way down to the state tournament of this thing.”
The Bulldogs will face rival Geneva in today’s St. Charles Regional semifinal at 5 p.m.