GENEVA – St. Charles North’s junior pitching duo of Cory Wright and Sam Hubbe held Geneva hitters to seven hits, all singles, in the North Stars' 8-2 win Wednesday.
Wright, in his third start for North, pitched five innings to earn the Upstate Eight Conference River victory. Hubbe held Viking batters hitless in his two innings of relief.
"Wright was on a pitch count. He’s on four days rest and his pitch count got a little bit higher than we would of liked last time,” said North assistant coach Brett Wikierak about the decision to bring in Hubbe in the sixth. “Sam’s throwing the ball really well for us. He threw a great game last Saturday.”
Wikierak was filling in for ailing coach Todd Genke.
“[Genke] just couldn’t make it today,” Wikierak said “He wouldn't miss this for anything but he was really struggling. You could tell he wasn’t himself. “
The North Stars (13-2, 7-1 UEC River) led from the first inning in beating Geneva for the second straight day. Wright, who led off for North, opened the game with a single, advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt and a balk and scored on a Jack Dennis single.
North picked up a two runs in the second and a run in the third for a 4-0 lead.
After being retired in order in the first, the Vikings batters got on base in the next four innings but were unable to make the most of the scoring opportunites.
“I thought the game was a lot closer that the score shows,” Geneva coach Matt Hahn said. “They gave us a chance. We got plenty of guys on base. We just lacked the big hit when we needed it.”
Geneva (9-4, 5-3 UEC River) narrowed North's lead to 4-1 with a run in its half of the third.
Wright pitched out of two jams in the fourth and fifth innings. In the fourth, three of four first batters the junior faced reach base on singles. The third single, by Nick Porretto, scored Ben Chally with the Vikings’ second run. Porretto and Nate Montgomery were left stranded as Wright induce Max Novak to ground out and struck out Alex Lobrillo to end the inning.
Jason Croci opened the fifth with an infield single. After striking out Garrett Davis and Nick Derr, Wright gave up his first walk of the day to Chally. Both runners were left stranded as Jack Wassel went down on strikes.
“My curveball didn’t have much bite to it but my changeup was working well so I stuck with that and threw it for strikes,” Wright said.
North gave Wright some breathing room with a three-run fifth to take a 7-2 lead.
Wright scored the third run of the inning on Nick Drawant’s double, his second of the game, to the base of the left field fence. The North Stars added the final run in the top of the seventh.
The two teams finish their three-game series at St. Charles North this afternoon.