WHEATON – Baylor Holmes wasn’t too pleased with his early at-bats in Saturday’s series finale against Wheaton North.
But the Wheaton Warrenville South senior came through when it mattered most.
Holmes drove in Eric Giltz with an RBI single into right field in the top of the eighth inning after an intentional walk to Justin Kelly, providing the game-winning run in the Tigers’ 4-3 victory.
WWS ended up taking two games in the three-game series against the Falcons.
“Earlier, my approach was kind of off,” Holmes said. “But my teammates and coaches were encouraging me to keep my head in the game. I just saw a pitch and hit it and I knew Eric would come around and score.
“It was a fastball inside and I turned over on it a little bit, but it found a gap. It was a big day. We’ve been swept by them the last two years.”
Taking a series from Wheaton North was a big confidence boost.
“That was a big series for us,” Wheaton Warrenville South coach Tim Brylka said. “The crosstown rivalry hasn’t really been a rivalry lately because they have dominated it. It’s usually been the last series of conference, but to get them early was good for us. We were able to jump right into conference.”
The Falcons had captured the middle game of the series by a 13-3 margin April 17. Wheaton North produced 15 hits, led by a 3-for-4 performance by Mike Muto. Charles Robin, Greg Scandora, Zach Leander and Zach Colangelo all had two hits with Leander totaling four RBIs. Robin also got the win on the mound, striking out seven while giving up one earned run in six innings.
Ben Flores and Eric Giltz had two hits apiece for the Tigers.
South opened the series with a 6-4 win on April 16.
Justin Kelly had a double, triple and three RBIs while Conner Ostrander and Baylor Holmes each had two hits and an RBI. Brett Struebing was the winning pitcher, striking out five batters in seven innings. For Wheaton North, Muto was 2-for-3 with an RBI and Greg Sells cranked out a home run.
“Wheaton Warrenville South is a very good team,” Wheaton North coach Dan Schoessling said after the series finale. “They are very good on the mound and their middle of the order is very talented. We’ve just got to do things a little better. We’ve had a few too many errors to be able to beat a really good team like that.
“We haven’t been consistent swinging the bat yet, but we’ve faced a lot of good pitching. Eventually that will pay off.”
On Monday, Wheaton Warrenville South defeated West Aurora 7-1 while Wheaton North dropped a 10-2 decision to Naperville North. Kelly went 4-for-4 with a pair of double and two RBIs for the Tigers, Ostrander had a triple and two RBIs and Struebing struck out 11 while allowing no earned runs in seven innings of work.