OSWEGO – Batavia's baseball team found itself with just two hits, nine strikeouts and trailing Oswego 4-0 through five innings during its opening round game in the Illinois High School Baseball Coaches Association Phil Lawler Summer Classic regional playoff game July 11.
Then, the Bulldogs came to life. They pulled to within 4-3 and brought the go-ahead run to the plate before coming up just short.
That fight, that ability to keep battling, is what caught the attention of head coach Alex Beckmann, and it’s something he said that he really likes about these players.
“That’s something that I noticed with this group is that they never give up so we’re really never out of a game,” he said. “Especially with the pitching we got out of Jared Martin, and we played really good defense.”
Batavia (6-2) didn’t play very often collectively during the summer season. Other schools play a busy summer schedule, while others, like Batavia, utilize their time together more for practicing while the players get their games in via the travel team circuit.
“Since we cut down on the number of games we played, we were able to get a lot of good practice in and use our time that way,” Beckmann said. “I’m very pleased with the progress we made in the past five or six weeks.”
The Bulldogs finished a disappointing 11-16 in the spring but did win a regional semifinal game. They also will lose six starters from the spring team so there will be a lot of new faces in the starting lineup in 2018.
“We do have a little bit coming back, and obviously losing Glenn [Albanese] is a big thing,” Beckmann said. “But we’ll be pretty deep pitching-wise again and we’ve got some good young talent. So these new guys are going to have to step in and I’m excited to see what we’ve got in the spring.”