Baseball: Moore's blast sparks Wheaton North to win over Geneva
Wheaton North's Jackson Moore was pretty sure he was going to get a fastball in the fifth inning of Wednesday's baseball game with Geneva, so the Falcons' junior was ready for some heat.
Moore deposited the first pitch he saw from Vikings reliever Blake Stempowski over the wall in left-center field for a 2-run homer that keyed a 4-run outburst as the Falcons tallied all 8 of their runs in the final three frames of an 8-3 defeat of Geneva in the second game of this week's three-game series.
"I was sitting fastball," said Moore, who went 2-for-3 Wednesday as the Falcons beat Geneva for the second time in two days.
"I knew he had just come into the game, wanted to get ahead in the count, so I was sitting fastball and I turned on it."
Moore's third long ball of the spring helped the hosts build a 7-2 lead after five innings after having trailed 2-0 after three innings. Geneva starter Daniel Alworth blanked Wheaton North for three innings while allowing just 1 single, but an error and some wildness saw the Falcons score 3 runs in the fourth for a 3-2 lead before taking command with the 4-run fifth.
"We had a sloppy inning and it's the little things that will hurt you," Vikings coach Brad Wendell said after his team dropped to 13-9 overall and 11-6 in DuKane Conference play.
"Give them credit, they outplayed us today. We just didn't get hits when we needed them."
Wheaton North, meanwhile, scored twice on wild pitches in the fourth but also had its share of big hits, not just Moore's home run. Ty O'Connell had a 2-out RBI single in the fourth, Tyler O'Connor opened the fifth with a double and Trevor Blum and Aaron Holland each had run-scoring hits in the big fifth. O'Connell scored an insurance run in the sixth after tripling.
"Our offense has been getting timely hits the last few days and we've been playing better lately for sure," said Wheaton North coach Dan Schoessling, whose team swept a doubleheader from Wheaton Warrenville South on Saturday before beating Geneva twice so far this week.
Falcons pitcher Tyler Whelton gave up a 2-run home run to Stempowski in the third, but left after six strong innings with an 8-3 lead.
"I just trusted my infield and my outfield to make plays. I pounded the strike zone, and our batters really came on toward the end," said Whelton, who is 2-2 this spring for the 11-10 Falcons.
Vikings designated hitter Carson Sprague had a solo blast in the sixth for Geneva, which will look to salvage a game from the series when the teams meet again Thursday in Geneva.