HAMPSHIRE – With the wind blowing in, the Sycamore baseball team knew it couldn’t rely on one big inning to beat Genoa-Kingston.
And, the Spartans played accordingly.
Sycamore scored in four of the six innings it hit and cruised to a 7-0 win over the Cogs on Wednesday afternoon in the semifinals of the Class 3A Hampshire Regional. Michael Swanberg and Nate Haacker led the Spartans with three hits apiece.
“Hopefully, we can do that every game,” Haacker said. “We have been working hard these last couple of days in practice and that really helped. Our approach was to hit to right field.”
Mark Skelley, Swanberg, Haacker and Cooper Vinz – the top four batters in the Spartans lineup – combined for nine of the 10 Sycamore hits. Spartans coach Jason Cavanaugh told his team to take the chances they were given.
“Offensively, we took advantage of a couple of opportunities,” Cavanaugh said. “And we also got some big two-out hits. Our top-of-the-lineup guys really did a good job, and overall, I think it was a complete win for us.”
The Spartans scored two runs in the first inning, when Swanberg and Haacker scored on an Austin Jacox fielder’s choice. The reason they came into score was because of a throwing error by G-K shortstop Andrew Caldwell.
“Unlike last game, we made errors and we made back-to-back errors. Offensively, we hit the ball well,” G-K coach Anson Ellis said. “We had seven strikeouts, but we hit some nice line drives. Their team was errorless in the field until that last inning when it was basically out of reach.”
Down 3-0 in the top of the fifth inning, G-K had its best chance to score. With two outs, Mikey Semmens singled. Next, Jake Langford hit a ball to Swanberg at shortstop, but Swanberg overthrew Cooper Vinz at first base and Semmens tried to score. Semmens was thrown out at home and the inning ended.
Sycamore tacked on three insurance runs in the sixth inning before Colan Treml closed out his complete-game shutout. Treml earned the win after only allowing three hits and two walks. He struck out seven Cogs.
“I thought we played a complete game. Starting with the pitching, Colan did a great job of keeping batters off-balance," Cavanaugh said. "Throwing strike one, throwing strike two, and as a result, he is not walking guys.”