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Callaly shines on mound for victorious Geneva baseball

GENEVA – Unlike the fans, Geneva baseball players could not spend the entire game Tuesday afternoon sheltering by the shade trees on the first base side of the diamond.

The Vikings had to endure heat and humidity while on the field. Most players would wilt under those conditions as the game progressed, but Bryan Callaly, Geneva’s starting pitcher, grew stronger as the game wore on.

Callaly, a 6-foot-6 sophomore, threw a complete game shutout in Geneva’s 4-0 victory over Hampshire in the second round of the Phil Lawler Summer Classic Tournament.

Geneva advances to face Batavia in today’s St. Charles Regional semifinal at St. Charles East.

During the last three innings, the right-hander faced 11 batters, had seven of his nine strikeouts and gave up only one hit, a one-out double to Tim Jansen in the seventh inning.

Center fielder Michael Kruse was the only other Hampshire batter to reach base during the last three innings reaching on a misplayed flyball in the fifth inning.

“His velocity went down as the game went on, like most pitchers, but his other pitches got better,” Geneva coach Matt Hahn said. “Only being a sophomore-to-be and pitching in a second-round playoff game, I thought he handled himself real well.”

Jansen’s double, a one-out drive to the right field warning track, prompted a visit to the mound by Hahn.

“I told coach that I just wanted to finish it out,” Callaly said “I was throwing my fastball harder, and hitting my spots and getting the kids out.”

He struck out the next two batters to end the game.

Callaly wiggled out of a second-inning jam with a unique double play. Hampshire (8-11) had loaded the bases for No. 9 hitter Colin Gogoel.

With one out, the Whip-Purs’ catcher attempted to lay down a bunt for a safety squeeze play.

Instead of bunting the ball to the ground, Gogoel popped it up, and Callaly caught the ball. He then threw to third baseman Ben Chally to double up Hampshire’s Adam Maizonet, who was attempting to score, for the third out.

Hampshire had only four hits and left seven men on base, with five in scoring position.

“I’m a tad disappointed. We didn’t compete like we have in the last few games,” Hampshire coach John Sarna said. “I thought we came out with less intensity. We made too many metal mistakes and that’s been our Achilles heel all spring and summer. We had our opportunities in this game, and we didn’t execute.”

Geneva (13-11) took the lead in the third inning. Leadoff batter Jason Croci reached second base on a dropped flyball in the outfield. He scored two batters later on Chally’s single down the third-base line.

“[Croci] did a great job of getting on second base so I was able to drive him in,” Chally said.

Geneva added a run in the fourth when Matt Guenther scored on another safety squeeze, by Brandon Evert. The sacrifice also turned into a double play as Garrett Davis, who was on second base, also tried to score.

The Vikings finished their scoring in the a fifth inning that featured back-to-back doubles by Max Novak and Chally.

Kyle Rutkowski, who pitched into the fifth inning for Hampshire, took the loss.

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