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updated: 4/23/2014 10:42 PM

St. Charles North cleans up mistakes, beats Geneva

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For the record, it wasn't the eight errors his team made Tuesday that made St. Charles North coach Todd Genke ill.

Genke went home sick from school Wednesday, and assistant coach Brett Wikierak filled in as the North Stars resumed their three-game series at Geneva.

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Genke would have liked what he saw much more as the North Stars cut down on most of those miscues while keeping their winning ways going, beating the Vikings 8-2 to improve their overall record to 13-2 and Upstate Eight Conference River Division leading mark to 7-1.

"Todd wouldn't miss this for anything but he was really struggling," said Wikierak, who coached the senior class as the sophomore coach two years ago. "This group of kids is just an outstanding group of kids. It's impressive how hard they work and how well they prepare."

St. Charles North also defeated Geneva 18-8 on Tuesday in a game with a combined 14 errors.

"We definitely battled back," winning pitcher Cory Wright said. "We had 8 errors last night and came out and played a real clean game and it was good to see these guys bounce back."

The North Stars jumped on Geneva (9-4, 5-3) early. Wright led off the game with a single, moved to second on a Riley Coomes bunt and took third on a balk by Geneva starter James Prisco. Jack Dennis singled to left field to score Wright.

St. Charles North scored two more in the second and one in the third for a 4-0 lead. Nick Drawant blasted the first of his two doubles to drive in one run, and another scored on a double steal when the throw to try to get Jordan Bergren at second sailed into center, allowing John Legare to score from third.

The Vikings chipped away against Wright with single runs in the third and fourth. They trailed 4-2 going to the bottom of the fifth when leadoff hitter Jason Croci singled.

The Kansas State bound Wright faced Florida State recruit Nick Derr one batter later and got him on a called third strike.

"We play in the summer, we've been best friends since we were 9 years old," Wright said. "It was fun. I get up for that. Last year he was 2-for-3 against me so I had to get him back.

"He knows I throw a lot of off-speed, I had to mix it up because I knew he was looking off-speed. I kept him off-balance luckily."

After walking Ben Chally to put the tying runs on base, Wright got his third strikeout of the inning to keep the 4-2 lead and end his afternoon on the mound after 5 innings.

Sam Hubbe allowed just 1 baserunner over the final two innings to close out the win and he got Derr swinging to end the game.

"Sam is throwing the ball really well," Wikierak said. "He's really coming along."

The North Stars scored three times in the sixth to extend their lead to 7-2, the big blow coming on Drawant's 2-run double to left.

"He's worked hard in the weight room and made a couple adjustments," Wikierak said. "He listens well and he hit the ball well."

"The thing we preach with them consistently is we want to be peaking going into May," Geneva coach Matt Hahn said. "I thought our improvement from yesterday was clear. I don't think it was an 8-2 game. We ran the bases well against a guy with a phenomenal move to first base. I thought we put the ball in play pretty well. I thought the game was a lot closer than the score showed. We got plenty of guys on base. We lacked the big hit when we needed it."

Geneva will try to salvage the final game of the series Thursday at St. Charles North.

"If you were going to tell me we'd be 9-4 after 13 games losing two of our top pitchers for the year, I would gladly take it," Hahn said. "I like where we are at and for the most part how we've been playing. I think we'll be just fine."

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