Geneva pounds St. Charles North
A day after cheering on his teammates from the bench, Anthony Bragg heard the cheers from his teammates Friday afternoon.
The Geneva senior enjoyed a memorable day at the plate, going 4-for-4 with a pair of home runs — including a first grand slam — and a career-high 8 RBI to help lift the Vikings (8-9, 5-7) to a 19-1, 5-inning rout of visiting St. Charles North (9-9, 5-5).
His grand slam was part of a 6-run second inning that made it 9-0, and his 3-run home run in the fourth capped the day's scoring.
Not bad for a guy who wasn't penciled into the starting lineup during Thursday's 5-4 loss to St. Charles East.
"You just do what you can to help the team," said Bragg. "I encouraged guys from the bench (yesterday). Today, my teammates did a good job of getting on base and I was just trying to get those guys in. I was happy to get them all in at the same time."
"It's a life lesson, too," Vikings coach Matt Hahn said of Bragg's offensive exploits. "We talk about it all the time. When opportunities come around, you've got to take advantage of them.
"We've had guys hit three home runs in a game before. (Matt) Williams did it once and (Chris) Hipchen did it once. Anthony was one away from tying the school record for RBI in a game (9). (Chris) Sepanski did it years ago."
Safe to say, Williams, Hipchen and Sepanski didn't inflict their damage from the seventh spot in the batting order like Bragg did on Friday.
"Anthony's a good hitter," said Hahn. "He's had some struggles as the season has gotten started here but it's something he's very capable of doing."
Dan Berendt, who also didn't start against St. Charles East, was 2-for-4 with 4 RBI and 4 runs scored, including a 3-run home run during a 7-run third inning that also featured Steffen Graham's 2-run double and RBI singles from Luke Polishak (2-for-4) and Bobby Hess (3-for-4).
Geneva finished with 15 base hits, more than enough offensive support for sophomore pitcher Garrett Davis (2-0), who allowed just 3 hits with 3 strikeouts in his first varsity start.
"I had a lot of confidence in my teammates," said Davis, who lost his shutout bid with Cory Wright's RBI infield single in the fourth. "You have to keep the ball down."
"You can't change the way you pitch because the wind's blowing out," said Hahn. "He mixed in all of his pitches really well."
Davis set the tone for the day when he fanned the North Stars' leadoff man with a 3-2 breaking ball in the top of the first.
"I have a lot of credit in that pitch," said Davis. "It's one of my-go pitches."
Geneva capitalized on 4 North Stars fielding miscues to grab a 3-0 first-inning lead, and added 16 runs and 14 hits over the final 3 frames.
"It was real nice to see because we've been struggling offensively most of the year," said Hahn. "You don't expect to score that many runs against a St. Charles North team."
Frankie Farry (0-1) suffered the loss for the North Stars, who committed 5 errors and had a runner picked off second base.
"The good news is it's one loss," said North Stars coach Todd Genke, whose team suffered a 10-0 loss to Streamwood on Thursday. "If somebody would have said you'd take two of three from Geneva, I would have said, 'great.' Unfortunately the one we didn't get was pretty messy."
St. Charles North hosts Streamwood in a doubleheader today.
"We've had a lot of success here in the past and we're still hungry," said Genke. "Two losses won't change that. But some of our guys need to understand that this is varsity, this is big-time, this stuff goes into the papers and it matters."
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