Baseball: Aurora Christian rallies to defeat PlanoPlano first baseman Cristian Ramirez hangs on to the ball for a putout as he is clipped by Aurora Christian runner Nick Romero. | Jon Cunningham~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 25, 2012 9:33PM
When you’re on a streak like Aurora Christian’s baseball team is right now, any deficit feels like merely a small roadblock on the road to another win.
That’s the kind of groove the Eagles find themselves in these days.
Christian rallied from an early two-run deficit at Plano Wednesday for an 11-8 nonconference win. The Eagles have now won nine games in a row to improve to 16-5 on the season.
“It’s always good to squeak one out whatever way possible, even if it’s not the way you’d like,” Christian coach Andy Zorger said. “We’re rolling right now. Our hitters did enough. Whatever it takes.”
Plano (11-15) jumped out to a 4-2 lead after an inning. The first four Reapers of the game reached base against Aurora Christian starter Zach Calamos. Cody Dryden and Cristian Ramirez cracked RBI singles and Cole Johnson and Luke Campbell drew bases-loaded walks to plate the runs.
It was a great start for the Reapers, who have now lost six games in a row. In the week prior to Wednesday’s game, Plano had been outscored 34-2.
“I told our guys, especially only scoring two runs in the last week, I said you’ve got to be aggressive,” Plano coach Bryan Phillips said. “You’ve got to look for a fastball and you have to be aggressive. You have to jump on it. I thought that we did an all right job of that today.”
Calamos struggled most of his three-plus innings, walking eight, but those were the only four runs he allowed, which gave the Eagles’ hot bats a chance to get them back into the game. Jake Hanson’s two-run double off Johnson (0-3) tied the game at 4-4 in the third inning.
Then the Eagles exploded for six runs in the sixth inning to take the lead for good, sending 11 men to the plate. Bobby Kuntzendorf and Kenny McCracken each had two-run singles in the rally.
“It feels great,” Josh Haugen said of the streak. He went 4-for-4 with three runs scored and three RBIs in the win. “Everything is clicking, our bats are going, our defense and pitching has been great all year. We can all hit well. When we get going, we can get on a nice little streak and do a lot of damage.”
Plano rallied with four runs in the bottom of the sixth, keyed by a two-run single from Ramirez, but Christian added an insurance run in the seventh and Jake Hanson came on and slammed the door shut in a perfect bottom of the seventh for the save.
The Eagles get back into Suburban Christian play Thursday against Chicago Christian on a roll and anticipating the return of star senior Mitch Holtz from a knee injury in the next week or two.
“Our pitching has been great, defense has been great, and now we’re starting to swing it,” Zorger said. I feel like we’re ready to do some damage come May. I’m happy.”