GENEVA – Batavia baseball coach Matt Holm did not have much to say after an extra-inning loss to Geneva on Tuesday. He thought the team, himself included, was doing too much talking and not “getting it done.”
Batavia had no problem getting anything done Wednesday against the Vikings, scoring four runs in each of the first two innings en route to a 13-0 win in five innings to even the Upstate Eight Conference River Division series at one game apiece.
Once again, Holm’s message was short and to the point.
“We hit well, we pitched well, we played pretty good [defense],” he said. “It was nice to put a complete game together, but it’s time to get it done.”
Kyle Niemiec and Luke Beckmann combined to go 6 for 7 with 10 RBIs and five runs scored to bring the Bulldogs (12-12, 11-5 UEC River) back to the .500 mark for the season.
“We won as a team today,” Niemiec said. “At the beginning of the year, it was either pitching was good or the hitting was good. Of late, they have both been there and you can see today’s outcome when it is all there.”
Beckmann’s three-run home run to straightaway center field chased Geneva starter Bryan Callaly. As with the junior right-hander’s most recent start, Vikings coach Matt Hahn used four relievers to finish the game. But the last time, it resulted in a win.
Along with the Bulldogs’ 13-run, 13-hit outburst, sophomore pitcher and Louisville-commit Glenn Albanese tossed a one-hit shutout, only needing 60 pitches. Geneva catcher Nate Montgomery’s two-out first-inning single was the only blemish against Albanese in the hit column.
Albanese allowed only four Geneva baserunners on the afternoon, retiring the final eight Vikings he faced, to improve to 3-2 on the season.
“It really helped to have a lead early,” Albanese said. “The first couple innings of any start can be nervous and stressful, but getting eight runs after two innings really allowed me to just throw strikes and feel comfortable out there.”
It was a bit of a disappointing performance to Hahn after the eight-inning, 5-3 win in Game 1 of the series only one day before.
However, Hahn knows it only counts as one game, regardless of the score, and that his team will be ready to go into today’s finale.
“I really didn’t like our demeanor from the beginning,” Hahn said. “[Batavia] came out ready to go and we were flat. Falling behind that big that early really doesn’t help either. We will regroup and be ready for tomorrow.”
The Vikings (12-9, 9-7) will turn to sophomore Mitchell Merges on the mound to try to take two of three from the Bulldogs.
Niemiec knows the Vikings will be looking for revenge but the Bulldogs will be ready, knowing they need to keep things simple, like he found out from his coach when he reached third base in the first inning.
“We had been trying to do too much at the beginning of the season,” Niemiec said. “After my first hit, [Holm] told me, ‘I’m not giving any signs in the box, just hit the ball.’ It seems to be working so far so we are going to continue to do what gives us success and build off today moving forward.”