Despite his team carrying a 3-game lead into the final 2 weeks of the regular season, Batavia baseball coach Matt Holm is not about to concede that the Upstate Eight Conference River Division title is the Bulldogs just yet.
However, they're getting closer to sealing the deal.
The Bulldogs (20-3-1, 15-2-1) put on an awesome display of starting pitching, timely hitting and rock-solid defense during their doubleheader sweep of host Geneva (16-10, 12-9) Saturday.
Colby Green raised his record to 5-0 with 6 innings of 1-run ball as the Bulldogs won the opener, 7-2. The senior right-hander, who tossed no-hit ball for the first 4 innings, walked 1 and struck out 7 before giving way to reliever Austin VanKempen.
"Most of my pitches were working," said Green. "I really didn't have to throw much off-speed. I found my splitter early and kind of stuck with that as my off-speed."
Four of the Vikings' 5 hits were of the infield variety, including Alex Lobrillo's bunt single that broke up Green's no-hit bid to start the fifth.
"It didn't really bother me," said Green, who threw a no-hitter against South Elgin earlier this season. "Not every game is going to be a no-hitter. There's going to be hits. The defense made great plays today anyway. I always have the defense behind me."
"We've got him listed as a No. 3 (pitcher) but he could be anybody's No. 1 -- heck, he could be our No. 1 for that matter," said Holm.
Green also received plenty of offensive support as the Bulldogs struck for 5 runs in the third off Vikings starter Max Novak.
Back-to-back singles from Jeremy Schoessling (3-for-4) and Micah Coffey (2-for-4, RBI) and a walk to Jacob Piechota loaded the bases for sophomore Kyle Niemiec, who delivered a 2-run double for a 2-0 lead.
Dino Simoncelli followed with a 2-run double to right-center and an RBI single by Andrew Siegler upped the lead to 5-0.
Designated hitter Mitch Boyer smacked his first home run of the season to lead off the sixth and Coffey capped the scoring with an RBI double.
In the nightcap, Piechota (6-1) fired 5 innings of 1-run, 3-hit ball during the Bulldogs' 8-1 victory.
"Jake threw earlier in the week (against Elgin) and we told him to throw 5 and let have him the time off and maybe throw 3 or 4 (today) but he was efficient," said Holm. "Once we got the 8 runs, we didn't need to (put him back out there). He's probably not going to throw again until next Saturday."
Indiana-bound Laren Eustace (2-for-3, 2 walks) led off the game with a solo home run as part of the Bulldogs' 3-run first that included an RBI double from Simoncelli (3-for-4, 2 doubles) and a run-producing single by Siegler (2-for-4).
Batavia padded its lead in the third on RBI singles from Coffey and Niemiec before capitalizing on a pair of Geneva errors during a 3-run sixth. Junior Nick Rogalski fanned 3 in 2 innings of relief for the Bulldogs.
Holm was pleased to see his team generate 15 runs on 22 hits.
"Our goal is always to score a run an inning," said Holm. "We figure that if we score 7 runs we can beat anybody. We've been hitting the cover off the baseball this week."
Batavia closes its series against Geneva Tuesday before opening a 3-game set with St. Charles North Thursday.
"The focus of this team right now is really good," said Holm. "They're on a little bit of a mission but we're not counting anything yet. I think St. Charles East could sweep both of those series (against Streamwood and Larkin)."
Nathan Montgomery belted a solo home run for the Vikings in Game 1 while Jack Wassel drove in the lone run in the nightcap with a sacrifice fly.
"There's a reason they're 20-3," Geneva coach Matt Hahn said of the Bulldogs. "They play great defense, they swing the bat well and they've got some dominating pitching. We did not play our best ball today. You put those two combinations together and the scores show it."