It might be too early to say that St. Charles East's baseball team has turned its season around after a 9-7 start.
However, the Saints (13-7, 9-5) appear headed on the right track.
All 9 starters reached base either with a base hit, walk, hit batsman or via an error and 7 of them drove in runs during the Saints' 10-0, 5-inning Upstate Eight Conference River Division whitewash of Geneva (15-6, 8-5) Friday afternoon in
"We had some great approaches at the plate," said senior center fielder Brannon Barry, who went 2-for-4 with a double and 3 RBI. "I don't think anybody had a non-quality at-bat today. It was a great game."
The game didn't begin the way the Saints would have hoped for as an infield error on a grounder hit by leadoff man Jason Croci and Garrett Davis' bunt single left junior left-hander Austin Regelbrugge in an early jam.
"You can't get stressed out about it," said Regelbrugge (3-2). "You've got to keep pitching. You've got to keep throwing strikes. I trust my defense that they're going to make plays. They're not going to make two mistakes in a row."
Regelbrugge retired the next 2 batters before senior catcher Adam Rojas threw behind the runner at first to produce an eventual rundown for the third out.
"It's a point that we try to make with our pitchers," said Saints coach Len Asquini. "What are you in control of? Throwing strikes and hitting your spots. Austin did a wonderful job of leading the pitching staff that way today."
St. Charles East jumped on Geneva for a pair of runs in its half of the first.
After Reid Olson (3-for-3, 3 runs scored) was hit by a pitch, Alex Abate reached on a bunt single and both runners advanced a base on a wild pitch before Barry drove in the game's first run on a grounder. Regelbrugge followed with an RBI single to make it 2-0.
The Saints put the game out of reach with a 7-run third that included a bases-loaded walk, Mike Settle's perfectly executed squeeze bunt, Olson's RBI single, Barry's run-producing double, Ben Smith's sacrifice fly and 3 Geneva
"We took advantage of some of their miscues which is great to see," said Asquini. "We've been on the other side where we haven't taken advantage of that. Maybe that's a step we're taking here."
"You name it, it went wrong that inning," said Vikings coach Matt Hahn. "We made a lot of mistakes."
Junior left-hander Mitchell Merges (2-1) suffered the loss for the Vikings, who managed just 3 hits off of Regelbrugge.
"We're capable of so much more," said Hahn. "You worry when you don't play to your potential. Part of that is being young but you have to come out and be ready to play every day especially against the best teams in the conference -- which they
are. We didn't come out ready to play."
Since their 7-5 loss to Elgin last Saturday, the Saints have won 4 straight games by a combined margin of 41-1.
"It has taken a little bit of time," said Asquini, whose team visits Geneva Saturday morning for a doubleheader. "Hopefully it continues. We're going to be challenged."
"You'll see us with a different focus tomorrow," said Hahn.