As he stepped into the batter's box with the go-ahead run at second and 1 out in the bottom of the sixth inning of a 1-1 deadlock, Jeremy Schoessling was thinking one thing.
"Every at-bat, you look first-pitch fastball," said Schoessling, who delivered what turned out to be the game-winning RBI single through the middle of the diamond during Batavia's 3-1 Upstate Eight Conference River Division victory over St. Charles East (9-6, 5-4) Thursday afternoon in Batavia.
With the win, the Bulldogs (10-3, 6-2) avoided a sweep during the 3-game series that began with back-to-back 3-1 losses at the hands of the Saints on Tuesday and Wednesday.
"We needed this one," said Bulldogs coach Matt Holm.
Schoessling, who belted a ground-rule double and scored on Micah Coffey's RBI single in the bottom of the first as the Bulldogs grabbed a 1-0 lead, benefited from Steven Busby's leadoff infield single and Laren Eustace's perfectly-placed sacrifice bunt in the sixth.
"We won the energy battle today," said Schoessling. "The last two games, we've been kind of down but today we had energy the whole game."
A few weeks ago, Schoessling likely would not have been in the position he was on Thursday.
"Jeremy was at the bottom of the order at the beginning of the year," said Holm. "We moved him up to try to get a little more contact in the upper part of the order. It has been successful.
"You start your season out and you think you've got things down but you always know by the end of the year you're changing things up."
St. Charles East managed just 3 hits off of Batavia starting pitcher Colby Green, who survived control problems (6 walks, 1 hit batsman) to pick up the victory.
Green, who tossed a no-hitter against South Elgin in his previous start last Friday, fanned 5 before giving way to Eustace with a man on first and nobody out in the seventh.
"Colby threw a very nice game," said Holm.
Eustace induced a double play grounder to Coffey, who was making a rare start at third base for defensive purposes.
"The guys that we've had at third have been there for hitting situations," said Holm. "Micah obviously is very good wherever we play him. The way we've been playing so stressed, I just wanted to take the stress off third base.
"I wanted to take that pressure off and have our team leader take it away in that situation. Micah is calm and cool -- he has been in every situation you can think of."
Limited to 1 hit through the first 5 innings -- Reid Olson's single to start the game -- the Saints tied it in the sixth.
Austin Regelbrugge smacked a 1-out single to right and courtesy runner Jake Milosch reached third on Alex Abate's 2-out infield single. A few pitches later, Milosch raced across on a wild pitch.
Perhaps the best defensive play of the contest came when Bulldogs right fielder Busby made a sliding catch of Regelbrugge's deep fly with a runner on first and nobody out in the fourth.
"That was a super play there," said Saints coach Len Asquini. "Depending on what happens if the ball hits the ground, we're probably second and third in that situation."
"We keep track of web gems and he's our web gem leader," said Holm. "Busby saved us. The wind had to have knocked that down because it was a shot."
Regelbrugge suffered the tough-luck loss for the Saints, who allowed just 5 runs during the 3-game set.
"Boy, did we pitch this series," said Asquini. "Austin finished it off. In 6 innings, 69 pitches. He threw very well for us."