After battling a shoulder injury, Glenbard North pitcher Matt Albin was anxious to see how he would feel in his first game Monday against Batavia.
It didn’t take Albin long to know that he would be just fine.
“I didn’t feel it when I was on the mound,” Albin said. “I knew in the first inning that I was going to have some pretty good stuff.”
Albin sparkled in five innings as the Panthers handed Batavia its first loss of the season 4-0. Albin allowed only a leadoff double to Laren Eustace in the first inning, walking one and striking out six.
“It was nice to have him back on the mound,” Glenbard North coach Rich Smelko said. “He’s a guy that we rely on, heavily. We expect to win when he’s on the mound.”
Albin was dominant with his two-seam fastball, and he took advantage of the fact that the home plate umpire was giving him the area just off the outside corner.
“We didn’t make adjustments at the plate,” Batavia coach Matt Holm said. “If you go in against a good pitcher and don’t make adjustments, it’s tough. We were chasing some breaking balls, but he wasn’t really hitting them. We had to make that adjustment. He had some heat on it, but if you make the adjustment, those can go.”
Mitch Boyer (0-1) kept Batavia in it. He allowed only one run in five innings. That came in the third, when Gary Santos singled, stole second and scored on Nolan Jasinski’s groundout.
Luke Greenberg finally provided Glenbard North (5-2) with a cushion in the sixth off of Batavia reliever Colby Green. It appeared Green was going to get out of the inning, but a two-out error put two runners on base for Greenberg, who responded by crushing a three-run homer to deep left.
“I don’t think we’re going to be known as a team that hits the ball over the fence, but they made a mistake and we capitalized on it,” Smelko said. “It was a huge three-run homer for us to get some breathing room.”
The game was played at Glenbard North with the Bulldogs acting as the home team due to continued work on Batavia’s field. Holm fears that Tuesday’s game against Bartlett could see Batavia on the road again due to that work.