April 25, 2012 | 08:11 AMWALWORTH — The Big Foot baseball team went into Saturday's home doubleheader against 10-3 Beloit Turner and nearly came out with a sweep.
After Big Foot took the first game, 5-4, the Trojans scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh in the second game to escape with a 9-8 victory.
The Chiefs fell to 8-6 and 4-3 in the Rock Valley South with the loss. However, they are still red-hot, having won seven of their last 10 games after a 1-3 start.
Turner improved to 11-4 and 5-2 in the RVC South.
In the 9-8 loss, Beloit out-hit Big Foot in a slug fest, 19-16. The Trojans opened a 4-0 lead after the first inning, but Big Foot rallied with four runs in the third to tie it at 4-4. Ryan Recknagel, Luke Kahl and Brett Morris all singled and scored in the inning. Tyler Santeler hit an RBI single as well.
In the top of the fourth, the Chiefs scored three runs to take a 7-4 lead. Kahl had a two-run double in the frame which scored Carter Hehr and David Crump.
Down 8-7 in the bottom of the seventh, Turner tied the game at 8-8 and loaded the bases. With one out, Big Foot's infield played for the double play. However, a Turner infield single drove in the winning run.
Big Foot coach Steve Bochat said two errors cost his team three or four runs.
"Their big first inning was the changing point," he said. "Turner hit the ball well. We were hitting the ball well, but they just kept crawling back."
Hausner and Kahl each led the offensive charge with three hits.
Hehr, Morris and Recknagel each added two hits.
In the first game of the doubleheader, Big Foot scored four runs in the second and held on for the 5-4 victory.
In the second, Billy Landers scored from second base on a passed ball. The Turner catcher was hesitant in getting back to the plate, so Landers rounded third and scored. Hehr had a two-RBI triple later in the inning.
Morris singled and scored in the sixth, giving Big Foot a 5-2 lead. Turner mustered two runs in the seventh, but it wasn't enough.
Big Foot won despite only two hits for the game.
Kahl was dominant on the mound, tossing a complete game with five strikeouts and one earned run.
"Kahl pitched a great game," Bochat said. "Nobody's been able to hit him. Guys are confident when he's on the mound. We played good defense. We were bunting guys over and getting them in scoring position at the plate."
Big Foot returns home to face East Troy Thursday.
A win could mean Friday's doubleheader at Clinton could be for first place.
"We're not good enough to look by someone," Bochat said. "We have the pitching and we are playing good defense. I expect a positive week. Going 3-1 is our goal."
Big Foot 1, Palmyra-Eagle 0
The Chiefs began the week with a pitcher's duel against first-place Palmyra-Eagle April 17 in Walworth.
Bochat said his team won with small ball.
In the bottom of the seventh, the Chiefs broke a 0-0 tie with the game's only run. Hausner led off the frame with a walk, and a Collin Frederick sacrifice bunt advanced Hausner to second. Then, the Palmyra shortstop committed an error which allowed a hustling Hausner to score from second for the walk-off win.
Recknagel was brilliant on the mound, tossing a two-hitter and striking out seven in a complete game victory.
"Ryan was hitting spots and getting ahead on batters," Bochat said.
At the plate, Big Foot totaled four hits, one each from Crump, Kahl, Hausner and Molitor.