Having lost 6 of its last 8 games and facing rival Bartlett, which had won 9 straight, South Elgin was looking for a confidence builder.
The Storm got just that with 2-1 and 7-5 wins for a doubleheader sweep over the host Hawks in Upstate Eight Conference Valley Division baseball action on Saturday. South Elgin won the series 2-1 after Bartlett earned a 4-2 victory on Thursday.
“I think the most runs we’ve been beaten by this season is 2,” Storm coach Jim Kating said. “We’ve played good enough to get wins over the past two or three weeks, but we haven’t gotten the clutch hits. We needed this.”
South Elgin (9-7, 8-5) got the clutch hits in the series rubber game, and trailing 3-2 the Storm used a 4-run top of the sixth to rally for the Game 2 win.
Nicholas Binder drew a one-out walk against Bartlett (11-4, 10-4) reliever Tim McKeague (0-1), and Ryan Karrick followed with a single that set up 3 straight run-scoring hits. Ryan Nutof (2-for-3) hit an RBI double to tie, Ryan Stancl (2-for-4) followed with a squeeze bunt which he beat out for an RBI single and Tyler Thorsen added a 2-run single for a 6-3 Storm lead.
Binder finished the game 3-for-3 with a double, 2 runs and an RBI.
“It’s always nice to beat them,” Binder said of the Hawks. “I think this is definitely something we can build momentum from, and as the season goes on I think we’ll continue to get better.”
Bartlett did rally in the bottom of the sixth with a pair of runs. Matt Vitulli hit a leadoff double and scored on a one-out single by Sam Franco (2-for-3, 3 RBI) and Mike Wick added an RBI groundout, but the Hawks did strand runners at first and third to end the inning.
“Overall, I think we didn’t come that prepared to play,” Hawks’ coach Chris Pemberton said. “We had chances to score but couldn’t get the big hit. Against our rival, you’ve got to be ready for them.”
Joe Crivolio (1-2) earned the win on the mound and went 4-for-7 at the plate between both games, and Jake Hicks earned a save.
Game 1 featured a pitchers duel as both starters went the distance, and both issued just 1 walk.
Tyler Brown (1-2) allowed 1 run on 6 hits, and he struck out 10.
“I just threw my pitches, hit my spots and played ball,” Brown said.
Ben Havel allowed 2 runs on 5 hits, and he struck out 7. He was perfect through 4 innings, but a leadoff double in the fifth by Crivolio led to the game’s first run on a Binder sacrifice fly.
Justin Blanchett hit a leadoff homer to left in the bottom of the fifth to tie, but David Palmer’s RBI single in the sixth gave the Storm the winning run. Blanchett was 4-for-6 on the day.
“I could have executed a few pitches a little better,” Havel said. “Their pitcher did a nice job, and I think they just outplayed us.”Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.