BATAVIA – When the Batavia and South Elgin baseball teams last met in April, the Storm fell victim to a no-hit masterpiece from Bulldogs pitcher Colby Green in Batavia’s 6-0 win.
After South Elgin ousted St. Charles North in Thursday’s sectional semifinal to set up a rematch with Batavia (32-3-1), Storm second baseman Jared Kramer recalled that April matchup, saying the Storm hit Green relatively hard but hit in bad luck, adding “I’m kind of hoping that he pitches again.”
Kramer will get his wish, as Batavia coach Matt Holm confirmed Friday that Green will start for his team in the IHSA Class 4A Schaumburg Sectional championship game at noon today.
“We’re certainly not expecting a no-hitter, but we feel good about [Green],” Batavia coach Matt Holm said. “He can feel good and confident because he knows we have a deep bullpen behind him, and we feel good about what we have.”
Green is expecting a strong effort from South Elgin (23-10) today despite his no-hitter the last time around. He plans to allow the Storm to put the ball in play and let his defense behind him take care of the rest.
“[South Elgin] likes to run, so I’m going to need to keep their running game down if I can,” Green said. “I know we have a good shot of doing something special here.”
Holm expects to keep an eye on Green’s pitch count as the game progresses, but isn’t afraid to turn to relief pitching if need be, especially if Batavia likes certain matchups. Left-handed starter Evan Acosta – stuck behind Jacob Piechota and Green in the postseason rotation – could be a prime option, along with relief specialist Nick Rogalski.
“We might get to a certain point where we might tell him, ‘Hey, you’re batter-to-batter at this point’ ... that’s pretty typical of all of our guys,” Holm said.
Batavia isn’t sure who will be on the mound for the Storm, but Holm cited either Tyler Brown or Max Keough as potential starters. Standout senior right-hander Ryan Nutof threw more than 100 pitches in notching Thursday’s win against North.
Batavia has enjoyed a successful postseason after cruising to the Upstate Eight Conference River Division championship. Now playing for the sectional championship, the Bulldogs are “on a mission,” Holm said.
The winning team will face either New Trier or Evanston at 6:30 p.m. Monday in the supersectional, which will be played at the Boomers’ Stadium in Schaumburg.
Wins or lose, Green, who is set to attend Triton College in the fall, is thankful for the community support.
“Looking back, this is a great experience,” he said. “I’m going to miss all of this … great coaches, great atmosphere, and it’s a community I’m definitely going to miss.”