As much as baseball coaches love to talk about taking care of the basics, sometimes victory requires the extraordinary.
That's exactly what Benet's Joe Boyle provided on Tuesday.
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The senior third baseman did something you don't see every day. He launched a fifth-inning inside-the-park grand slam that tied the game and flipped momentum back in the Redwings' favor.
Boyle finished with 3 hits and 7 RBI while lifting visiting Benet to a 15-7 victory over Downers Grove North.
"We came out swinging," Boyle said. "We got to take (batting practice) yesterday and that was a huge plus seeing where the ball goes outside. We just came out here and started hitting."
Benet (1-2) surged to a 3-0 lead heading to the bottom of the third when Downers North (1-1) exploded for 6 runs to seize command. Five straight hits opened the inning that was highlighted by 2-run singles from Myles Farley and Jacob Maurer.
The Trojans extended their lead to 7-3 in the fourth inning but added nothing the rest of the way. Benet reliever Conor Hayes had a shaky start to the bottom of the fifth when the first two Downers North batters reached base, but he struck out the next three batters to escape the threat.
Hayes struck out nine in three innings. The only thing that kept him from striking out nine straight batters was a sixth-inning error.
"We've got to be able to put bat on ball and put a little more pressure on them," said Downers North coach Chad Isaacson. "We had one inning where we were able to move the ball, and we have to do a better job in other situations to add on. We only added one from there on out, and we've got to find ways to put pressure on the defense."
Boyle tied the game with the grand slam and then Benet snagged an 8-7 lead on an error. The Redwings blew open the game with a 7-run seventh sparked by Boyle's 2-run triple and a 2-run double by Chris Makowski.
Joe Provenzano and Brendan Shanahan went 2-for-4 for Downers North. Jason Blohm, Makowski and Anthony Rendina each drove in 2 runs for Benet as Alex Hurrle picked up the win in relief of starter Jon Kruppe.
"This is our third game, and every game we've gotten a little bit better," said Benet coach Scott Lawler. "It's just a learning experience for us right now."
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