BATAVIA – The Batavia and St. Charles North baseball teams each needed a quartet of pitchers to complete Saturday’s doubleheader.
The Bulldogs’ hurlers prevailed in both games as Batavia swept the Upstate Eight Conference River twinbill, 12-5 and 6-0.
Batavia’s Colby Green and Mitch Boyer manned the hill in the Bulldogs' come-from-behind win in the first game while Jacob Piechota and Nick Rogalski shut out North in the nightcap.
Frankie Farry started the first game for the North Stars, and his teammates gave him a 4-0 lead in the top of the third. Joe Kuczek reached base on a Bulldog error, and after retiring the next two batters, Green gave up three hits and a walk to score the runs.
Batavia (23-3-1, 18-2-1 UEC River) narrowed the lead to 4-2 in its half of the fourth. The North Stars (18-11, 12-9 UEC River) got back one of the runs in the fifth.
With two outs and a runner on first in the fifth, Boyer replaced Green on the mound. He retired Kuczek, the first batter he faced, to end the inning.
Boyer’s leadoff double in the fifth inning started a rally that plated six runs, giving his team an 8-5 lead. The Bulldogs combined three hits, a walk and three North errors to push across the runs.
“That was pretty cool. It was nice to get a hit and start it off for us,” Boyer said about the double. “We took the lead so it was exciting.”
“That one error [in the third inning] turned into a big inning for them,” Batavia coach Matt Holm said. “We scratched and clawed and put pressure on them. We put people on and put the ball into play to get back into the game."
Batavia added four more runs in the sixth. The Bulldogs loaded the bases on a single and two more North Stars miscues. With Piechota, who was the designed hitter, at the plate, North coach Todd Genke replaced Farry with Austin Lovelady.
“Farry didn’t pitch that badly,” North coach Todd Genke said. “His defense just didn’t back him up.”
Piechota hit Lovelady’s second pitch to the right field warning track. Jack Dennis tripped and was unable to catch the ball, and all three baserunners scored, with Piechota ending up on third base. He scored the final run on a Kyle Niemiec sacrifice fly.
Batavia made the most of its at-bats against North starting pitcher Sam Hubbe in the second game. The Bulldogs took the lead in the first, scoring two runs on a groundout and sacrifice fly. Batavia added a run in the second on an error and another run in the third on Micah Coffey’s lead-off home run.
Recent call-up Jack Lambert came on with one out in the fifth for the North Stars and finished the game. He gave up a run in the fifth on a wild pitch and a run in the sixth on another sacrifice fly.
Piechota gave up only one hit but walked six batters. Battery-mate Dino Simoncelli erased two of those runners on steal attempts.
“We just weren’t able to advantage of the opportunities we had,” Genke said.
“We were trying to get five out of him just to keep him in his routine,” Holm said of Piechota. “He struggled in the sense that he was having a hard time hitting that strike zone but they really weren’t hitting him. We didn’t feel we were in any danger."
Rogalski pitched the last two innings for Batavia. He retired the side in order in the sixth. The junior gave up two hits to open the seventh but got out of the jam when his infield turned a game-ending 6-4-3 double play.
Boyer and Piechota earned victories, while Farry and Hubbe were tagged with the losses.
The Bulldogs, closing in on a UEC River title, can go for the series sweep next Saturday in a game that was postponed because of field conditions on Thursday.