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DeKALB — Both Dundee-Crown and DeKalb entered Saturday’s nonconference doubleheader coming off four lopsided conference losses during the week.
But the Chargers shook off the week in Game 1, capitalizing off DeKalb miscues for a 10-1 win in Game 1. In Game 2, the Barbs bounced back for a 7-5 win.
After the Game 1 loss, DeKalb coach Jeffrey Latimer said he was not pleased with how his team played.
“I’m very, very upset. I’m frustrated. We’re all frustrated beyond belief right now,” Latimer said. “We get guys on base, we can’t bring them in. We can’t get the big hit. At one point we had seven strikeouts in a row off guys we should be hitting. We’re getting under, we’re trying to lift baseballs and that’s not the approach we’re trying to take.”
The Chargers (6-23) broke through in the second with three runs off freshman starter Jackson Kees, all unearned. Matt Schuring had a two-out, three-run double in the frame after DeKalb (5-20) committed three errors prior. It was the first hit of the inning for Dundee-Crown.
The Chargers added three more in the third, one of which was unearned. Cam King had an RBI triple after reaching on an error and scoring in the first.
“I threw three freshmen in that first game, and we let them have a big second and third inning off errors,” Latimer said. “You can’t win that way. We want to avoid that big inning and we can’t right now.”
Playing Fox Valley foes Huntley, Prairie Ridge and Jacobs, the Chargers were 0-4 and run-ruled three times during the week. DeKalb was also 0-4 during the week against DuPage Valley opponents Naperville Central and Neuqua Valley with three run-rule losses.
“We don’t have the luxury of taking our foot off the gas,” D-C coach Patrick Conlin said. “My expectation is to do things the right way, but we went through a lull (in the) fourth, fifth, sixth and into the seventh where we didn’t score and we didn’t really do too much. But I’m proud of the way they played. It was a little bit of a rough week with Huntley, Jacobs and Prairie Ridge, but I’m proud of the way they shook that off.”
DeKalb freshman Aidan Lange came on to pitch in the fourth. He ended up allowing one earned run on four hits while striking out three.
Latimer said the way the freshmen Kees and Lange pitched was a definite bright spot for the Barbs.
“[Lange] did a phenomenal job,” Latimer said. “He did a phenomenal job of keeping them off-balance. With all the gray hairs we’re getting right now, signs like that – seeing a freshman come up and deal like he did today – that makes us be positive for the future.”
Jake Guyon pitched four scoreless innings for the Chargers. He allowed three hits and struck out six. At one point between the third and fifth innings, he and reliever Jake Russell combined to strike out seven straight Barbs.
“He’s had good outings so that’s about what we expect,” Conlin said. “But he’s competing for us and throwing the ball well.”
DeKalb ended up stranding 11 runners in the game with just eight hits.
“The guys come out here on senior day and they’re trying to get pumped up but their actions just aren’t showing it,” Latimer said. “We thought we’d be in somewhat of a competitive game and we drop our shoulders as soon as we give up that big inning.”
Nate Nunez had an RBI single in the seventh for the Barbs. Seniors Jack Keck and Bryson Buhk each had two hits for DeKalb.
Schuring was 3 for 5 with five RBIs for the Chargers after a two-run, two-out single in the seventh to cap the scoring for Dundee-Crown. King also had three hits, scoring three times and driving in a run. Blake Hernandez had a pair of singles and scored in the win. Justin Parchomenko added two hits.
In Game 2, Schuring, King, Hernandez, Parchomenko and most of the other D-C starters sat out while DeKalb used mostly the same players as Game 1.
Despite giving up five runs in the game, Bryson Buhk, Isaac Black and Lange combined on a no-hitter. DeKalb pitchers allowed eight walks and the Barbs committed four errors. Only one of the five runs was earned.
Even with the Game 2 loss, Conlin said he was glad to see the strong Game 1 performance.
“It was nice to put a game together,” Conlin said. “That’s something we’ve kind of struggled with all year. Our pitching will be good and then maybe our bats will go silent, or we’ll be hitting a lot but make a couple errors in the field and walk a couple guys. I thought we did a nice job putting things together.”