SYCAMORE – That’s a sweep.
After beating DeKalb on Tuesday and Wednesday, the Sycamore baseball team was one win away from doing something that Spartans coach Jason Cavanaugh said hasn’t happened in a long time.
With the score tied at 1 heading into the bottom of the sixth inning of Friday’s series finale at Sycamore Park, Sycamore erupted for eight runs on eight hits to take a commanding lead and cruise to a 9-1 victory. Cam Godinsky earned the win by allowing one run over six innings, while scattering eight hits.
“I think that we played extremely well. They did a good job to keep us off track for those first six innings, but just exploded that last inning,” Godinsky said. “It feels great. Coming into this game, we were kind of nervous. It is the difference between 2-1 and 3-0 in the series, but we pulled it out.”
Through the first five innings, a sacrifice fly by Sycamore’s Austin Jacox and an RBI single by DeKalb’s Dylan Farrell were the only runs in the game. The Barbs (5-4, 0-3 Northern Illinois Big 12 East) had their chance to produce runs in the fifth inning with runners on first and third with one out.
Godinsky got back-to-back strikeouts of Farrell and Zac Stepanski, and the junior hurler got out of the inning.
“I was not trying to give them anything too good to hit because I knew if I had left it a little bit down the middle, they would hit it,” Godinsky said. “But, I just kept them off-balance.”
Cavanaugh said Godinsky did well getting out of jams.
“I thought he did a great job throwing his breaking ball for a strike. And he made big pitches when he needed to all game long,” Cavanaugh said.
Then, the Spartans (9-1, 3-0 NI Big 12 East) took over. With two runners on and one out, Brett Weaver laced a two-run double and Sycamore took the lead. Back-to-back RBIs by Mark Skelley and Jacox padded the lead. With two outs, Alex Swedberg knocked in Jacox and the score was 6-1.
“Once we were able to find a couple of holes, it makes it easier on everyone else. We were just fortunate to break it open in the last inning,” Cavanaugh said
Insurance RBI hits by Alec Kozak and Nate Haacker rounded out the scoring. DeKalb’s Patrick Aves was pulled midway through the inning. The senior pitcher was solid the first five innings before the Sycamore rally.
“I was very happy with the way Patrick Aves pitched, especially through the first five innings,” DeKalb coach Jake Howells said. “He was able to keep the ball down, he was able to throw three pitches for strikes, and Patrick did a good job keeping us in the game.”
Aves allowed six runs on nine hits through 5 2/3 innings. Jared Johnson reached base three times and scored the lone Barbs run. Aves finished with two hits.
Coach Howells said his squad just missed opportunities.
“Missed opportunities from the game are what we talked about. When you don’t score runs and you have the opportunities to score, you have to expect your pitcher to be absolutely perfect,” Howells said. “Against a great hitting team like Sycamore, sooner or later, it was going to catch up to us.”
Kozak and Weaver each finished with two hits to lead Sycamore. Eight out of the nine Spartans hitters recorded hits and seven Sycamore players scored runs.