It didn't take long for St. Charles East to get a second chance at coming through with a clutch hit with a game on the line.
And it didn't take long for the Saints to capitalize.
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Brannon Barry capped a perfectly executed seventh inning with a two-out flare to left field, scoring Joe Hoscheit with what proved to be the winning run in a 5-4 victory at Geneva.
Just 24 hours earlier, St. Charles East (11-6, 9-3) couldn't come through in the seventh inning of a 5-4 loss to Batavia.
"Kind of a reverse of yesterday," Saints coach Len Asquini said. "We had some guys come through for us in the end. Yesterday similar situation and guys didn't get it done. My premonition came true when I said in the paper tomorrow they will. It's good for our guys to finally get that done. Super at-bats that last inning. All our guys had quality at-bats."
The Saints entered the seventh inning trailing 4-3 after Geneva erased a 3-0 deficit with four unanswered runs including a Bobby Hess home run in the fifth that broke a 3-3 tie.
No. 3 and 4 hitters Nick Erickson and Hoscheit, two of the hitters who Batavia retired late on Wednesday, started the rally against Geneva ace Jordan Touro (2-2). Touro was on in relief after six strong innings and 111 pitches from Brock Chenier.
Erickson nearly struck out before fouling off a pitch at the last moment, then reached on an infield single. Hoscheit tried twice but couldn't get a bunt down, then hit away and singled to right field.
"Joe didn't get it down but then he singles," Asquini said. "It was great seeing us come back after not getting it done yesterday to come back and do it today."
A balk when Touro dropped the ball advanced the runners to second and third, which turned out to be a key play when Vikings shortstop Nick Derr fielded a hard grounder from Brian Sobieski but was only able to get the out at first instead of a potential double play.
Asquini sent Nick Huskisson up to pinch-hit, and he responded with another good at-bat by hitting a sacrifice fly to center on a 2-2 pitch to tie the game 4-4.
Barry finished the comeback with another 2-strike hit into short left field with what he called a defensive swing he has been working on in practice.
"Yesterday in practice we worked on battling off balls, hit a pitch you like," Barry said. "That was a swing I tried to make contact, didn't want to go down looking. Too close of a pitch to let go by. It was a full cut but it was a more of a defensive cut."
Saints assistant coach Mark Foulkes had challenged the Saints before they came to bat in the seventh, words Barry took to heart.
"It's a huge lift," Barry said. "Coach said how long are you going to be complacent? Everybody stepped up. I was the guy at the end but everyone in that inning had great approaches. It's a huge morale-booster. We have a big couple weeks so it's huge for us. It's a great feeling when you do something that helps push your team to victory."
Troy Dykhuis scattered 9 hits while allowing just 1 walk and 2 earned runs. He finished his complete game in the seventh with an assist to catcher Adam Rojas who picked Derr off first base after Derr's leadoff single.
"He (Derr) leaked a little too far off there," Asquini said. "He (Rojas) made a great throw and Benny (first baseman Smith) was there. That was a huge out."
Dykhuis threw 66 of his 94 pitches for strikes, fanning four to improve to 3-1.
"We are not sure where our guys are with the number of pitches they can throw," Asquini said. "I thought Troy was real sharp right there at the end. I thought he threw super, kept his ball down, his curveball was real sharp."
Despite the loss Geneva (8-9, 4-7) had plenty to like. The Vikings rallied after falling into a 3-0 hole keyed by Sobieski's 2-run single in the first. The Saints also scratched out a run in the second on Barry's bunt single and good situational hitting by Anthony Sciarrino (groundout to advance Barry) and Rojas (sacrifice fly).
The Vikings started their comeback in the third, helped by a throwing error. Chenier, who went 3-for-3, scored on a wild pitch, and Hess plated Brandon Evert with a groundout.
Pinch-hitter Matt Guenther started a two-out rally in the fourth with the first of three straight singles by Chenier and Evert to tie the game 3-3.
Sobieski and Barry both had 2 hits to lead the Saints' 7-hit attack; Barry also made a diving catch after a long run on a foul ball down the right-field line narrowly missing a collision with first baseman Smith.
"The whole way I knew I could get there," Barry said. "I called him (Smith) off a little too late but he had a great reaction time. I was deep in the outfield and coach always says hustle, hustle, hustle, get to the ball. Luckily Ben peeled off or we would have had a bad situation."
Geneva coach Matt Hahn and his team will try to rebound Friday against St. Charles North before two more games with the Saints Saturday.
"They got 3 hits, scored 2 runs and they never really hit the ball hard," Hahn said of the seventh inning.
"That's baseball. Other days you go out and hit line shots and they are all outs. You can't ask for a better situation going into the seventh inning than up one with your ace on the mound. That's a good team. They put the ball in play. They scrapped, they did what they needed to do."