Batavia clips Eagles as Scheuerlein tosses no-no
In baseball, getting strong play from your pitcher is as important as a quarterback in football, and that was evident as Batavia topped Wayne 8-2 in the Class A quarterfinals at Dwyer Stadium.
The sixth-seeded Blue Devils got strong pitching from starter Jake Scheuerlein and reliever Greg Mruczek, while capitalizing on pitching errors from the 14th-seed Eagles.
Scheuerlein pitched four no-hit innings without allowing a run before Mruczek came in to close out the contest.
“Both pitchers threw the ball really well,” said Batavia Head Coach Rick Saunders. “I’m riding both Scheuerlein and Mruczek all the way through sectionals as long as the run goes.”
On the other side, Wayne pitcher Nate Currier struggled with his command all afternoon, as the Blue Devils got their first five runs without recording a hit.
Batavia struck first as Rich Francis scored from third on a sacrifice fly from James Fazio to take a 1-0 lead in the second inning. Then the floodgates opened in the third.
The third frame saw the Blue Devils score four runs on an error and three passed balls before Ryan Mullen singled (the team’s first hit of the game) in the final run of the inning to take a commanding 6-0 lead.
“Guys had quality at-bats to get on base,” Saunders said. “If they don’t catch the ball behind the plate, that’s a nice way to get a lead. It makes a little more relaxing as a coach. At this point in the tournament, you’ll take them any way you can get them.”
Fazio would score Batavia’s final two runs on a 2-run double in the fifth to go up 8-0.
Batavia would lose their no-hit bid on the first at-bat of the sixth, before finally scoring on an RBI single by Joe Dell’Olio.
Despite giving up two runs on two hits in three innings of work, Mruczek pitched a strong game as he struck out five batters, showing that the Blue Devils have a strong one-two punch on the mound.
“I like it because it puts a lot of pressure on a high school guy to go seven innings,” Saunders said. “Especially this year with the weather being so bad, it’s hard to stretch guys out. This way I can keep them both fresh the whole way, you roll the dice and take a shot.”
The Blue Devils were led by Fazio, who finished 1-for-2 with three RBIs, while Francis and Zeke Lynn added two runs each.
Batavia (13-5) will next face second-seeded Brighton on Tuesday.
Currier pitched five innings, allowing eight runs on four hits, while striking out four batters for Wayne (7-13).