BATAVIA – Hunter Venditti didn't blink.
Geneva trailed in the fourth innings, but its first-year varsity junior made sure it didn't stay that way. Venditti set down the last 10 Batavia batters he faced to lead the Vikings to a 3-2 comeback win over Batavia.
Win or lose, Geneva runs sprints in the outfield. The Vikings maintain ther process, or reset their mind before the postgame chat.
Wednesday was no exception.
"This is definitely good to come back," Venditti said after his complete game, three-strikeout performance. "You just got to keep going I guess."
Venditti allowed two runs on seven hits with a walk.
And he ultimately outdueled Batavia senior pitcher Jared Martin. Martin, for his part, allowed six hits, three runs and walked two, striking out five.
Batavia's Justin Pelley smacked a seventh-inning grand slam to key a Batavia (18-9) five-run explosion during the Bulldogs' 7-1 victory on Tuesday, so the comeback win was a welcome sight for Geneva.
Geneva (16-11-1) struck first on Nick Black's run-scoring double, but Martin responded with an RBI single of his own in the bottom of the second.
Martin again helped his cause in the fourth with an RBI double, and had smooth sailing on the mound until two outs in the sixth. With Geneva's Cullen Geary at the plate, a cutter from Martin appeared to blow by on the inside corner. In fact, Martin began walking off the mound apparently convinced with the strikeout.
Instead, Geary walked, which proved to be pivotal in a few moments. Dominic Guido singled and then Joshua Rose ripped an RBI double to tie it 2-2. With runners at first and second, Tyler Venditti pinch-hit for Garrett Bragg and poked a go-ahead RBI single to give the Vikings the 3-2 lead.
"My brother (Tyler) actually clutched up for me, and got me ahead. [It] helped me motivate myself to continue what he started," Hunter Venditti said.
The younger Venditti took care of the rest on the mound, while his defense behind him plugged in whatever gaps it could. Batavia's Blake Carlson ripped a grounder to third, but a diving stop and throw to first by Black denied a solid hitting chance.
Earlier in the third, Graham Radabaugh had an impressive running catch in right field to deny, coincidentally, Carlson again.
"Just the way it goes today," Batavia coach Alex Beckmann said of Geneva's defense on hard contact hits. "We hit balls hard, hit them where they were. Just the way it goes."
"[Venditti] has been growing into this role," Geneva coach Brad Wendell said. "He got his first real good start against Elgin...he said he was ready [to go the distance], kept his pitch count low by filling [the stat sheet] up. That's what happens when you do that. He had real nice command of his fastball and mixing in the curve here and there."
For Batavia's part, Martin looked sharp.
"Excited to see what he can do a little bit next week," Beckmann said. "Come playoff time, hopefully, we can make a little run and get some innings in the playoffs."