Gutting out a one-run win the day before against Naperville Central, Benet certainly was hoping to keep its momentum going as the IHSBCA summer state baseball tournament moved into its second day on Tuesday.
Busting out offensively to the tune of 12 hits, nine of which brought home at least one run, seventh-seeded Benet cruised to a 14-0, five-inning win over 15th-seeded Aurora Central Catholic in Lisle.
Scoring two runs apiece in each of the first three innings to jump out to a quick 6-0 lead, Benet used an eight-run fourth to break the game wide open.
Seven different players for Benet got hits during the inning, with Jason Blohm, Josh Crosby, Jon Kruppe, Pat Peterson, Evan Plonis and Alex Jacobs all knocking in runs as part of the eight-run outburst.
Blohm led the way by going 2-for-3 with two RBI for Benet, which saw 11 players record at least one hit.
“Just putting the ball in play. I think that was one of the biggest things,” said Chris Whelan, the Redwings’ Bradley-bound second baseman, who had an RBI single in the first. “I mean, we struggled a little bit. First inning, we had guys on second and third with less than two outs.
“(If we get) a couple balls in play and then those runs score. But I told the guys, ‘We got to execute that.’ Sure enough, we did later. I just think that’s a big deal — getting after them, putting guys on base and just executing when we didn’t execute.”
On the mound, Matt Emerick was the beneficiary of the massive run support from Benet’s offense.
Scattering just two hits, the right-handed Emerick fanned eight on the afternoon and struck out at least two guys in each of the first three innings, highlighted by striking out the side in the second.
“Mainly my curveball. I just really had it working (Tuesday),” Emerick said. “I just tried to throw strikes the best I could and just let them put the ball in play.”
With the win, the Redwings advance to Wednesday’s second semifinal at the IHSBCA Glenbard South Regional to face off with third-seeded Glenbard East.
Getting just two hits all game long off Emerick and watching starter Hunter Fiorito struggle, the Chargers couldn’t build off the momentum gleaned from beating both Hinsdale Central and Metea Valley on Monday.
“They dominated us from the beginning to the end. They were the better team (Tuesday),” Chargers’ coach Sean Bieterman said of Benet. … “I think playing two (games Monday) coming into (Tuesday), I could tell we were a little bit sluggish, a little bit tired and credit goes to (Benet). They were a good baseball team. They took care of business.”