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GENEVA — The La Salle-Peru baseball team just made contact.
Then it let Yorkville do the rest.
After the Cavaliers surrendered the lead in top of the sixth inning of Saturday’s Northern Illinois Big 12 Conference crossover game, L-P let the Foxes put the Cavs back in front.
Down by a run, L-P used three hits and four Yorkville errors to score four runs — only one earned — in the bottom of the sixth to propel itself to a 6-3 victory over the NIB 12 East champions.
“Good things happen when you put the ball in play,” first-year L-P coach Matt Glupczynski said. “We’ve been preaching — especially with two strikes — to keep your front side on the baseball, keep your nose down and put the ball in play. The last six, seven games — ever since we faced (Ottawa’s) Jonah Morris — I think the most we’ve struck out in a game is four times, so the kids are doing a great job. We’re taking better hacks when we’re ahead in the count. Everything is starting to click.”
Just like it did in the sixth inning Saturday at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark, the home of the Midwest League’s Kane County Cougars.
After the Cavs took four innings to record their first hit, Yorkville scored three runs in the sixth to take a 3-2 advantage.
Down, L-P was far from out.
Senior shortstop and No. 3 hitter Adam Happ doubled to right field to start the Cavs’ bottom of the sixth inning.
Two batters later, senior Kyle Jenkins reached on an error by the third baseman to put runners at first and second.
An RBI single to right by junior left fielder Andres Martinez scored Happ and tied the game at 3-3.
With runners at second and third, junior first baseman Kyle Rothrock hit a fly ball to center. Courtesy runner Elliot Lewis tagged before he bluffed his break home. However, the throw to the plate sailed halfway up the first-base line to allow Lewis to score the go-ahead run.
Martinez added insurance when he scored on an infield error, and an RBI single by senior center fielder Bret Storm scored courtesy runner Tyler Brovelli to make it 6-3.
“They were making errors and we were able to take advantage,” Martinez said of the inning. “Nobody is really trying to go for any big hits. We’re just trying to get the ‘W’. Whatever we have to do to get the job done is what we do.”
Following the four-run rally, Jenkins went 1-2-3 in the seventh to seal the win. In his complete-game effort, the L-P senior allowed three runs — one earned — on five hits to earn the win.
“Kyle has been doing a great job for us all year,” Glupczynski said. “He’s our No. 1. He pounded the zone again today. He very rarely misses spots, and then he shows you that bulldog mentality in the last inning by closing the door against the middle of their lineup.”
Jenkins worked into and out of trouble early before his offense caught up. Yorkville loaded the bases with one out in the first but didn’t score, and then left two on in the second.
Jenkins stranded six runners in the first three innings.
“It was huge to get out of those innings, and my defense really helped me out,” Jenkins said. “After (avoiding trouble), it just set the tone for the rest of the game.”
Martinez led L-P as he went 2-for-3 with three RBIs, including a two-run, two-out single in the fourth.
Happ also had two hits and two runs, while Yorkville managed just five hits and five errors.
Jared Bell be reached at 220-6938, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @NT_SportsJared.
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