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updated: 5/20/2014 10:17 PM

Batavia clinches Upstate Eight River championship

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By Kevin McGavin
Daily Herald Correspondent

For the second time in a week Streamwood and Batavia were unable to complete a seven-inning baseball game.

Tuesday afternoon in Batavia, the Bulldogs' Laren Eustace induced a game-ending double play to earn his second save on the season.

The tailor-made 4-6-3 twin killing completed the teams' Upstate Eight Conference River game from last Tuesday in Streamwood that was suspended with Batavia holding a 5-3 lead after six innings.

"I wanted to keep the ball down low," Eustace said. "I didn't want them to get any extra-base hits. That would have given them the momentum. (The double play) kind of carried over into the second game."

Streamwood coach Ryan LaSota had a similar viewpoint.

"I was hoping we could get another couple of baserunners and a base hit," LaSota said.

The suspended score did not change with the Bulldogs earning their 16th straight win.

In the regularly scheduled game, Batavia junior southpaw Evan Acosta was masterful, striking out at least two Streamwood hitters in every complete inning he pitched.

The Bulldogs scratched out enough offense to take a 3-0 lead into the bottom of the half of the sixth inning, but the two umpires once again suspended the contest -- until Friday afternoon -- when lightning was detected.

Batavia (25-3, 19-2), however, earned a share of the league title with the completion of the suspended game; the title became outright when St. Charles East lost to Larkin earlier on Tuesday.

Batavia has not lost since dropping consecutive games to St. Charles East almost a month ago.

After Acosta mowed down Streamwood (7-23, 5-20) to start the regular game, Jeremy Schoessling singled with one out and motored all the way to third on a wayward pickoff attempt.

Micah Coffey made Streamwood pay with a double to left-center moments later.

Acosta then put on a clinic with two fundamentally different pitches.

"My fastball was working well today," said Acosta. "My changeup has come a long way since the beginning of the season. It has allowed me to throw my fastball a lot more instead of relying on my curveball."

Eric Hamlin led off the Sabres' fourth inning with a double down the left-field line for their first hit off Acosta.

The senior was ably sacrificed to third by Matt Grens, but Acosta bore down to record back-to-back strikeouts.

Acosta finished with 11 strikeouts over five and third innings; Nick Rogalski had back-to-back assists in relief to retire Streamwood in its sixth inning.

Streamwood starter Kevin Sojda is on the hook for the loss, despite surrendering only 5 hits over five and two-thirds.

But Dino Simoncelli upped the Bulldogs' lead to 3-0 with a bad-hop single against a drawn-in infield to score Coffey and pinch-runner Sean Townsend.

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