by Mike Slodki
KANELANDâ€”Looks like Kanelandâ€™s plan on the drawing board worked to perfection in order to stop a losing streak to Geneva.
Use a Tyler Callaghan two-run homer in the top of the seventh in order to come back from a 6-1 deficit, and put out a rally in the last of the inning, thanks to a gutsy mound performance by Steve Colombe.
All in a dayâ€™s work in an 8-6 win at Geneva on Tuesday to improve to 7-6 (1-2 Western Sun Conference). The Knights also swept host Marengo in a Saturday doubleheader, 5-4 and 12-3. The three-game win streak started after dropping a 12-11 result vs. Geneva on Thursday in Maple Park.
In the seventh inning of a 6-6 tie on Tuesday, Jake Tickle hit a one-out single. After the second out, catcher Callaghan blasted a pitch to left-center field to give KHS an 8-6 lead.
Things got dicey in the bottom of the seventh as the first two runners for Geneva reached base and slugger Michael Monaghan came up to bat. But Colombe (1-2) forced a flyout to right field and then coaxed a 6-4-3 double play to end the game.
Callaghan knew he had to come through in order to give Kaneland the upper hand going into the bottom of the inning.
â€œThey like to go out there and attack with curveballs,â€ Callaghan said. â€œWeâ€™ve faced these pitchers before and I just got a good pitch to hit.â€
Colombe struck out three and gave up five earned runs on nine hits for his first win of the season.
Jake Fielder went 3-for-4 with an RBI while Callaghan went 3-for-4 with three runs scored.
Down 5-0 in the third, KHS got its first run when Bobby Thorsonâ€™s groundout to first scored Ty Hamer who had lead off with a single.
Hamer hit a two-run shot in the fourth to make 6-3. Down 6-4 in the sixth, Callaghan reached on an error, and Colombeâ€™s grounder moved him to third after a misplayed ball. Hamer walked and Fielder drove home Callaghan on a single. Joe Camaliere followed with a sac fly RBI to tie the score and set the stage for late-inning heroics.
Against the host Indians, Drew French (1-0) earned the win in game 1 with 1.2 innings of relief and three Kâ€™s. Hamer picked up the save getting the final strikeout.
Down 4-1 after four innings of the first game, Kaneland scored one in the fifth and sixth while putting up two in the seventh.
Fielder went 2-for-4 with a run, while Kyle Davidson went 2-for-3 with 2 RBI.
In game two, Tickle improved to 3-0 and allowed only one run on three hits.
Dave Dudzinski went 4-for-4 with three RBI.
Down 1-0 in the second, Kaneland began a streak of five straight innings in the scoring column, including six in the third and two in the fourth.
In last weekâ€™s loss to the Vikings, Davidson went 2-for-4 with a double, RBI and run scored while Thorson went 2-for-3 with a double.
The Knights went out to a 4-0 lead after two before Geneva scored five in the third. The Knights led 6-5 in the fourth leading to the Vikings scoring three in the bottom frame to go ahead 8-6. With a three-spot in the fifth, the Knights led 9-8 before the two squads exchanged two-run innings in the sixth. The Vikings tagged Dudzinski for two runs in the bottom of the seventh for the win.
Awaiting KHS is a road trip to Glenbard South on Thursday, April 15.
Photo: Shortstop Kyle Davidson does his part for a fifth-inning double play in Mondayâ€™s 8-6 win at Geneva. Photo by Mike Slodki