GENEVA – St. Charles East junior Austin Regelbrugge has a new top baseball memory.
With two on and two out in the bottom of the eighth Wednesday night, the left-handed batter lined an RBI single to left field, scoring Alex Abate with the game-winning run as East knocked off St. Charles North, 3-2, at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark.
“Probably the top one right now,” Regelbrugge said. “This is like the best field I’ve ever played on. Getting that hit, it’s at the top.”
Regelbrugge called the final offering from Kansas State-bound left-hander Cory Wright a fastball “belly button high and a little bit outside.”
“I was just looking for a fastball,” Regelbrugge said. “He was throwing a lot of different pitches the whole game. He did a great job and I was just like, alright, I’m going to wait for a fastball, and I got one first pitch. I stayed on top, tried to hit a line drive.”
Saints leadoff man Reid Olson and No. 3 batter Brannon Barry singled early in the inning, setting up a first and second with two outs scenario for Regelbrugge.
Wright went the distance for North, starting with three perfect innings.
“We didn’t have a whole lot of quality at-bats but in a one-run ballgame like this, a tie game, all you need are two or three quality at-bats in a row, and that’s what we got, and boom, there’s a run,” East coach Len Asquini said.
East might have ended it before going extra innings but North right fielder Anthony Lambert battled the lights to make a difficult catch while going to the ground on Erik Anderson’s drive to begin the bottom of the seventh.
Both left-handed pitchers – East’s Adam Eck and Wright – breezed through the early innings but the North Stars and Saints offenses each found their footing in the fourth inning.
North (16-6, 10-4 UEC River) scored two in the top of the fourth as Joe Kuczek (double) and Nick Drawant (bunt single) both came around to score.
East (16-8, 12-6 UEC River) matched that output with two in the bottom half, aided by a pair of North errors.
A bunt single by Alex Abate and an RBI single from Regelbrugge were part of the inning and the Saints’ first hits of the night.
Eck pitched seven innings of two-run ball, allowing five hits, striking out eight and walking two.
“Adam Eck threw super out there for seven innings and Kyle Cook came in [for the eighth] and did a nice job there, got himself into a little jam and worked his way out of it,” Asquini said.
Riley Coomes, Kuczek and freshman Zach Mettetal each had two hits for North, which was without coach Todd Genke because of his ejection in Tuesday’s series-opening North Stars loss.
The teams are scheduled to conclude their three-game series today at North.
“We were in a situation with Batavia [winning the first two but losing the third],” Asquini said. “We’re hoping we can put the finishing touches on the series tomorrow.”