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Lake Geneva Chiropractic

Chiefs swing into six-game streak



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April 29, 2014 | 02:57 PM
WALWORTH — For the past two weeks the wheel of fortune has spun in Big Foot’s favor.

The Chiefs have won six straight behind thundering bats and tight pitching.

Big Foot beat Palmyra-Eagle 7-1 on April 23, Elkhorn 9-7 in a sixth-inning comeback on April 24, and Brodhead twice on April 26 in a double-header rout during which the Chiefs scored 28 runs and allowed zero.

The season is halfway over and four Big Foot batters are hitting over .400, Chiefs head coach Steve Bochat said. Six of the team’s nine starters are batting over .300, and the team’s combined batting average is over .300, he said.

“I’m excited,” Bochat said. “If we can keep our pitching staff healthy, and our bats and this weather cooperate, it will be an exciting year.”

Big Foot is 9-3 and Sports a plus-57 run differential. The Chiefs have scored 110 runs, averaging 9.2 per game, and allowed 53 (4.4 per game).

Aside from getting rattled by back-to-back blowouts against Fort Atkinson and Badger on April 5, during which they lost 16-3 and 10-2, respectively, the Chiefs’ pitching has been exceptional. Big Foot boasts a team ERA under 2, Bochat said, largely due to the efforts of Austin Hoey and Brett Morris, who have been responsible for all three of Big Foot’s shutouts this season (Morris has thrown two shutouts, Hoey one).

“Everything clicked,” Bochat said of the team’s past week of play. “Defense has been there. We maybe had one error in the double header. And our hitting, I mean, Alex Landers hit two home runs: a grand slam and a 3-run homer.”

In baseball, like in physics, a team in motion tends to stay in motion, and in one direction — it is a sport of streaks and slumps, and momentum is a powerful thing.

Against Elkhorn on April 24 the Chiefs mounted a stunning comeback in the bottom of the sixth inning. Big Foot blew a 3-2 in the top of the sixth when a series of walks and errors led to five runs from the Elks. But in the bottom of the inning, the Chiefs packed the bases off hits and walks. The Chiefs scored six runs, capped off with a stolen home plate and a suicide squeeze.

“These guys can hit the ball and sometimes it doesn’t happen every inning, but when they’re down, they don’t give up,” Bochat said. “They keep fighting and ... a lot of teams know that about us. Even if we’re down 3 runs in the seventh, we’re not done until the last out’s made, and that showed against Elkhorn. So I was pretty excited.”

During the Brodhead double header on Saturday, Bochat started his top two pitchers in the rotation: Hoey and then Morris. Hoey pitched five shut-out innings and recorded 13 strikeouts. Morris also pitched a shut-out five, allowing only three hits and striking out nine batters.

“I wouldn’t trade Austin Hoey and Brett Morris’s arms for anybody,” Bochat said. “I mean the one-two combination. They kept the ball down low the whole day. It was just a great, great Saturday double header. And it was two wins we needed to keep pace with (Beloit) Turner; we’re both tied with one loss each in the (Rock Valley) South.”

Bochat said the ultimate goal this season is to win conference, so games against conference opponents, like Brodhead, are extra competitive, and with the Chiefs playing as hot as they are right now, he’s eager to keep pressing — something the weather may not allow this week.

“It carries over, it’s momentum and that’s what baseball is — when you get going you want to keep going,” Bochat said on Monday night. “So this weather is really making me upset. We’re supposed to play (Tuesday) and it doesn’t look good right now.”

Tuesday night’s game against Parkview at Big Foot High School had not been cancelled by Regional News Deadline. Big Foot will play Parkview again in Orfordville 4:45 p.m. Thursday and host East Troy at 4:45 p.m. on Monday.

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