Ben Smith finally got the clutch hit the St. Charles East baseball team needed Thursday.
The Saints were 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position before Smith lined a 2-run single over the shortstop in the top of the seventh inning to lead STC East to a 2-1 victory over South Elgin.
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"I was pumped," Smith said. "It was a great team win. We needed to do that because we've been spoiling a couple good starts for our guys."
St. Charles East (4-2, 1-1) had been shut out in its previous two games, a 1-0 loss to Sandburg and a 2-0 loss to West Chicago. The Saints got another good start from their starting pitcher, but this time Michael Boehmer earned the win.
Boehmer, a senior right-hander, went 6 innings and allowed only 2 hits. He did not give up a hit in his final 4 innings. Boehmer walked four and struck out four.
"He was outstanding on the mound," Saints coach Len Asquini said. "He kept us in the ballgame even though our offensive woes are there. We had chances and couldn't get it done."
The Saints had two runners on and one out in the second, but Storm starter Ryan Nutof struck out the next two batters. In the third, STC East had runners on second and third after Brannon Barry's double. Again, Nutof struck out the next two batters to get out of the inning. The Saints also had runners in scoring position in the fifth and sixth without getting the key hit.
Adam Rojas led off the top of the seventh with a single off Austin Sayre. Barry had a bloop single to left. After a sacrifice fly moved the runners to second and third, Smith's 2-run single broke a scoreless tie.
The Storm (2-2, 1-1) cut the deficit to 2-1 on a Tyler Brown run-scoring single to right, but that was all South Elgin could get against Michael Vyzral, who picked up the save.
"We hit the ball hard at people a few times," Storm coach Jim Kating said. "Those are the times you've got to learn how to manufacture runs and come up with the little things."
Nutof, who had several major league scouts watching him, struck out 12 in 5 innings. The senior right-hander allowed 4 hits and walked two.