Baseball: Bartlett's bats stay hot in win over Larkin
A day after unloading for 20 runs in an Upstate Eight Conference triumph over Fenton, Bartlett's baseball team continued its surge during Tuesday's 15-8 victory over Larkin in Elgin.
The Hawks (7-9, 6-5) jumped on top early, scoring 8 runs over the first 2 innings, highlighted by their 4-run, 6-hit outburst in the opening frame.
After Pat Nelson's 1-out double, Josh Schuberth delivered an RBI double to give the Hawks a 1-0 lead, before Daniel Krulak followed with his own run-scoring double to up the margin to 2-0.
Junior left-handed hitting first baseman Mario Prieto stepped to the plate and sent the first offering from Royals starting pitcher Joe Grommes over the right-center fence for a 2-run home run -- his second of the season -- and a 4-0 advantage.
"It was a pitch down the middle," said Prieto. "It was first pitch attack. I always attack -- I hate taking pitches. It felt good coming off the bat."
Prieto, who went 3 for 4 with a walk and 5 RBI, added a 2-run double as part of the Hawks' 4-run second.
"The one thing we're trying to preach is to attack early," said Bartlett coach Christopher Baum. "A lot of our guys are attacking early in the count.
"As pitchers, they're taught to get ahead in the count, so hitters have to take advantage of those pitchers trying to get ahead. We're attacking right now, and it's showing on the scoreboard."
Bartlett's lead grew to 12-3 following a 4-run fourth that included a triple by designated hitter Krulak (3 for 5, 2 RBI), Prieto's RBI single, an RBI double off the bat of Colin Swalley (2 for 3), and Zach Mitchell's sacrifice fly.
The Hawks finished with 15 hits, 8 of them of the extra-base variety. Cole Spresser added a pair of RBI singles in the sixth and seventh innings.
"We kind of carried it over from yesterday," said Baum. "We hit the ball well yesterday, so it was nice to see it carry over to today. Hopefully, this is the start of some offense."
Senior right-hander Kyle Swalley recorded the victory on the mound, giving up 5 runs and 5 hits through 4 2/3 innings while walking 4 and striking out 10.
"I'm not going to make excuses, but both of our catchers (Frank Loiacono and Jackson Cano) are coming off of illnesses," said Baum. "They're both getting their legs under themselves."
Prieto also is back from an illness after missing the first two games of the 3-game series with Glenbard East last week.
"I feel good -- I'm back," said Prieto.
Javier Cervantes led the Royals (3-11, 2-9) with a 3 for 5 day at the plate, while Anthony Mora went 3 for 4 with 2 RBI, and Elijah Holst was 2 for 4 with a pair of RBI.
Moises Acosta (2 for 4) also enjoyed a multihit game for the Royals, who finished with 12 hits but also committed 6 costly errors.
"We're seeing it well and we're putting runs up," said Larkin coach Niko Morado. "The runs we're scoring -- the majority of them are earned. That's a big positive.
"We've got to figure it out on the defensive end a little bit and find a way not to give teams more than three outs an inning. That's the big thing."
The Royals also received 5 solid innings of relief pitching from sophomore Peyton Wemken.
"He came in in a tough spot and gave us a chance to chip away and try to climb back in it," said Morado.