It was difficult to determine which was hotter; the bats for the Barrington Legion team or the weather.
The bats made a strong case as Barrington pounded of 16 hits to melt host Lake Zurich 18-2 in 5 innings in the title game of the Lake County American Legion tournament.
Barrington (27-13) will advance to 2nd division playoffs, which will begin next Wednesday in Wheaton.
Half of Barrington's hits went for extra bases as Barrington won the Lake County tournament for the third time in the last five years and avenged last year's loss to Lake Zurich.
"We had a great approach at the plate today," Barrington coach Pat Wire said. "We had an opportunity the past two days to practice, which had not done in a while because we have been playing games. It just translated today. It was great to watch."
Barrington left no doubt after erupting for 8 runs in the bottom of the first, sending 12 men to the plate.
Four consecutive singles by Mitch Pfeiffer, Scott Nelson (2 hits), Dylan Kissack (2 hits) and Trent Muscat (2 hits) produced 3 quick runs for Barrington. Jake Peterson then followed with an RBI single and Jake Coon belted his first of two doubles, scoring two more.
"I was in a slump a little bit coming in here," said Coon, who was 3-for-4 with 3 RBI. "It was great to break out of it. I was much more focused, especially after we practiced the past two days."
Coon drove in a run with his next at bat in the second, scoring Macray Poidomani, who had doubled earlier.
In the next inning, Poidomani showed why he loves to play at Lake Zurich's field. Poidomani hit a towering shot to right field, scoring Muscat. It was Poidomani's fifth home run in the last two years at Lake Zurich.
"This is my favorite field to play at," said Poidomani, who was 2-for 3 with 3 RBI. "If I lived in Lake Zurich I would be playing a lot more baseball and hitting a lot more home runs."
Barrington continued its onslaught in the fourth inning, scoring 5 more runs. Coon, Justin Gitelis, Jack Lenz and Peterson each doubled in that inning.
While Barrington was belting the ball all over the field, Nelson was keeping Lake Zurich in check. Despite allowing doubles to James DeGeorge, Joey Holtz, Tanner Kiser and Danny Neisis, Nelson allowed just 2 runs, one of which was unearned.
"I can't ask for a better situation to pitch in," said Nelson of his team's 8-run first inning. "On a day like this when it is so hot, you need a whole team to come together. They made it easy for me out there."
Wire has been pleased by the play of the representatives from Post 158 all season.
"Because we play every day, it helps us expand our roster," Wire said. "We are learning about who is going to emerge next year. And the boys have been doing great."
Lake Zurich (16-16), which lost the opening game of the double-elimination tournament last Saturday to Mundelein, won its games the next four days to advance to play Barrington. For their efforts, the boys from Post 964 will also advance to the Second Division playoffs because of the number of Lake County Legion teams.
"We had a tough tournament," Lake Zurich coach Dan Grant said. "Barrington was able to stay atop the winner's bracket. We just ran out gas here at the end."Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.