Batavia cruises past Kaneland, extends winning streak

SHARE Batavia cruises past Kaneland, extends winning streak

It wasn’t just another nonconference game Monday for Batavia and Kaneland at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark in Geneva.

The 10-1 win by Batavia, which extended its winning streak to 15 games, was just a part of the special evening. The two teams celebrated their respective senior nights. In addition to that, for the fourth straight year, the proceeds went to help out local families in need.

Kaneland senior Kevin Kassinger’s father Phil, Kaneland softball coach Brian Willis and 12-year-old Drew Hahn, the son of Geneva baseball coach Matt Hahn, were all honored in front of a large crowd.

“It was a great atmosphere,” Batavia second baseman Jeremy Schoessling said. “With all the fans here, playing for a cause, if you can’t get pumped up for this, you’re nuts.”

Schoessling and the Bulldogs (24-3-1) were plenty of pumped up at the plate all night. Batavia rapped 13 hits and only left five runners on base. Schoessling led the way with three hits, falling a home run shy of the cycle while driving in three and scoring twice.

The big innings were a six-run fourth that saw 10 Bulldogs bat. Matt Puttin singled in a run and scored on Laren Eustace’s triple. Schoessling doubled him in. Micah Coffey then walked and Jacob Piechota belted a two-run double. He scored on a Colby Green single.

“I thought we would hit well, but I didn’t expect that,” Batavia coach Matt Holm said. “Everything seemed to work. Guys getting into scoring position and picking them up was the difference.”

Five senior Batavia pitchers held Kaneland (14-14) down. Ryan Olson, Tucker Knox, Nick Bleidorn, Austin VanKempen and Alec Berry allowed only a run on two hits, striking out nine and walking three.

“We demand a lot out of our guys,” Holm said. “To be able to celebrate and let them have fun is a real important thing. It’s a special night.”

Kaneland struggled offensively, but coach Brian Aversa hopes his team kept things in the proper perspective.

“I hope the boys realize that this is much more than baseball tonight,” Aversa said. “We’re going to get better and we’re going to learn from this game. It’s not the end of the road for us. Luckily enough for us this isn’t a regional. We’ll learn from it and get better.”

Batavia will have a chance Tuesday to win the Upstate Eight River title outright. The Bulldogs have to finish a game with Streamwood before playing the Sabres again immediately afterward. Batavia is up 5-3 at the start of the seventh with Coffey due up. Holm plans on using Eustace in relief.

A win in the first game will clinch at least a tie for the conference title. Evan Acosta will pitch the regularly scheduled game with a chance to win the title outright.

“We know about it,” Schoessling said. “We just want to play our game. We know if we just play our game, we can do it.”

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