ST. CHARLES – Great pitching and a little help from the opposing side, sometimes that’s all it takes to turn a season around.
St. Charles East grabbed its second consecutive win Wednesday over Batavia, the latest coming by the same score as the first, 3-1. A day after Adam Eck pitched terrifically for the Saints, it was Michael Boehmer’s gem that led the way for East. Throw in a few mistakes from the Bulldogs, and East’s recent losing streak is officially a thing of the past.
“We’ve been trying to get it all together,” East coach Len Asquini said. “We were just a little bit short in our game up till now. We’ve been a little bit short, whether it’s defense, whether it’s our offense, something has been holding us down. And the kids these last two days have put it together and played super. And that’s what we needed.”
Boehmer tossed a complete game, allowing just one run on four hits, two walks and a hit batter. Things looked dangerous in the first inning, when four of the first five Batavia batters reached base.
The Bulldogs scored a run in and the bases loaded with just one out, but Boehmer induced a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning. After walking the leadoff hitter to start the second, Boehmer settled in, retiring the next 11 batters and allowing just three more base runners the rest of the way.
“‘Just keep it down low. Don’t worry, your fielders are going to make the plays,’” Boehmer said of the message he received after that first inning. “I don’t strike guys out, I have my fielders do the work, so credit to them for making plays. … They did great, I love them out there.”
East managed to take advantage of a few Batavia mistakes to get the runs needed to back Boehmer.
Bulldogs third baseman Sean Townsend made a pair of throwing errors, the first of which brought home a run in the third inning to tie the score.
In the next inning, East shortstop Jake Asquini came up with runners at second and third and none out. He laid down a bunt that slowly rolled along the first-base line. As Batavia watched it roll and scooped it up in fair territory at the last moment, both base runners came home and Asquini had himself a two-run single.
“I got the squeeze sign, and it was a slider or curveball that was coming kind of toward my face. I just put my bat up, and it was perfect. It couldn’t have been a better bunt, it was right down the line,” Jake Asquini said. “Our baserunners did a great job coming around. Austin [Regelbrugge], when he came around that was huge getting that second run in. That was a game-changer, in my opinion, when we got both those runs.”
“Asquini did a nice job of getting around on it,” Batavia coach Matt Holm said. “We thought it’d go foul, and then [Batavia pitcher Jake Piechota] pressed a little bit to make a play, he wasn’t sure. If he would have let it go, we think it might have gone foul. But it’s an afterthought. They did a really nice job aggressively coming around on it, too. … They haven’t had many opportunities to score. When they do, they’re going to take advantage of it.”
East will try to take advantage again today when the Saints (9-5, 5-3 UEC River) go for a sweep of the Bulldogs (9-3-1, 5-2-1 UEC River).
If they can finish the sweep, the sudden turnaround will have the Saints feeling even better.
“It feels good. A lot of people, after the losses that we had, were looking at this series as making it or breaking it for us,” Boehmer said. “And we’re going to make sure that we stick around.”