ST. CHARLES – The St. Charles American Legion Post 342 baseball team was unable to recover from a shaky first two innings against Elgin Post 57 Tuesday.
Elgin scored seven runs in its first two at bats in a 10-5 win against St. Charles.
St. Charles was also unable to capitalize on scoring opportunities in the later innings, leaving a total of five runners in scoring position in the third, fourth and fifth innings.
“It’s tough to climb back, but I thought we did a nice job battling back and cutting the lead in half,” St. Charles coach Justin Moriarty said. “We could have gotten more. There were a couple innings there were we had guys on second and third and less than two outs and we couldn’t put another big inning together.”
Elgin (13-4) wasted no time in getting its offense going. Leadoff batter Riley Halter rapped a double to center field against St. Charles (4-10) starting pitcher Austin Lovelady. The team batted around in the inning, scoring four runs on four hits, a hit batter and an error.
Halter also started the offense in the second with single to right. Elgin sent seven men to the plate in that inning, scoring three more runs on three hits, another St. Charles error and a sacrifice fly.
Lovelady, who went the distance, found his stride in the third inning. He allowed only four hits in the remaining five innings, walked three and struck out three. Rob Bond accounted for two of the remaining hits, including a solo home run in the fifth.
“Austin battled back. Take away those [first] two innings and he pitched a good game,” Moriarty said. “In those first two innings, he probably had an extra 25 to 30 pitches because we couldn’t pick up the ball.”
St. Charles rallied for four runs in the third.
Elgin starting pitcher Tanner Gardon walked Erik Rabin and Alex Wiedemann to start the inning. St. Charles loaded the bases on Pat Hoan’s fielder's choice when Halter dropped the ball on the attempted force on Wiedemann at second. Back-to-back singles by Luke Corcoran and Bernie Pellissier plated Rabin, Wiedemann and Hoan.
Corcoran scored on Nick Drawant’s single to left. Pellissier and Drawant were unable to advance as Gardon retired the next three batters.
St. Charles threatened in the fourth when Rabin and Wiedemann reached base on a walk and an Elgin error. Hoan’s sacrifice bunt advance them into scoring position but Gardon struck out Corcoran and induced Pellissier to ground out to end the threat.
Drawant drew a walk to open the fifth, stole second and scored St. Charles’ fifth run on Duncan Szpara’s single. Brandon Strzelecki followed with another single. But again, Gordon retired the next three batters to end the inning.