PAXTON -- The Paxton Swedes entered Sunday's doubleheader with a 2 1/2 game deficit to Game Seven Legacy for the No. 4 spot in the Eastern Illinois Baseball League standings.
They left Memorial Field with that same gap after splitting the twinbill against the Legacy via a 10-1 loss in game one and a 5-1 victory in game two.
"It would have been nice to sweep (Game Seven), but at least we didn’t let them get too far away from us," Swedes player/manager Mark Prina said. “When you’re only playing once a week, it’s tough to be consistent because you’re not playing every day.
"This is a game where you really need to play as much as possible to be consistently good at it. If you only see pitching once a week, it’s tough for any hitter, but we put together some good swings in that second game, and the results showed. That was just a good effort by everybody that game.”
Over a span of 81 pitches -- according to Prina's count -- in seven innings, Cam Robinson pitched a three-hit complete game in the second contest, striking out eight batters and walking none.
“It all starts on the mound with Cam," Prina said. "He was dealing and giving us a chance. He kept us in the game early and gave us a chance, and our bats finally woke up.”
The Swedes committed only one error in game two, compared to four in game one.
“When you pitch it well and you catch it and throw it and get timely hitting, you usually win," Prina said. “I was proud of them for coming back out. We didn’t have a very good game that first game. We needed a win badly. It’s just nice to get on the winning side of things again.
"Hopefully, we can continue this in the next couple of weeks and into the tournament. It’s all going to come down to pitching and defense and putting some innings together where we can score multiple runs.”
Curtis Norman walked and Tanner Regez singled to put runners on first and second base with nobody out for the Swedes in the first inning before Norman crossed home plate via an RBI single by Connor Allen.
The Legacy (7-8) tied the game in the top of the third inning as Gabe Soria hit a leadoff single to right field before CJ Falls hit a two-out RBI single to center field to send him home.
The Swedes (4-10) then reclaimed the lead in the fifth inning as Norman drew a walk and Regez singled to right field with two outs before Hunter Phelps singled to left field to send Norman home for another go-ahead run.
Paxton extended their lead with three more runs in the sixth inning.
After Mason Ecker drew a hit-by-pitch and Will Horve drew a walk, Mark Miller doubled to left field to send both baserunners home. In the next at-bat, Norman singled to send Miller across home plate.
“We had a couple of clutch hits there in the sixth inning that put the game out of reach. It’s a lot easier for your pitcher when it’s 5-1, so you can just throw the ball over the plate," Prina said. “We played about as good as we have all year. That was a good sign.”
Clutch hits were hard to come by in game one for the Swedes as they left the bases loaded in the seventh inning.
Trailing 6-1, Paxton loaded the bases via walks drawn by Jake Hensgen and Robinson, a fielder's choice ball hit by Horve and another walk drawn by Miller. Norman hit into a double play to end the inning.
“We didn’t capitalize on that, and we let it get away at the end," Prina said. "That’s one thing we haven’t been doing. We haven’t been driving people in when they’re in scoring position.”
Allen and Joey Galey each hit a double as the Swedes finished game one producing three hits.
Horve took the loss on the mound in game one, allowing six runs -- five earned -- on eight hits and three walks with six strikeouts through six innings.
“Will didn’t throw badly," Prina said. "He got in a little rough patch in the sixth inning, and we limited his pitches this week because he threw so many last week. We had him on a short leash. Now he’s going to have a week off and be ready to go coming into the last weekend and the tournament. We should have a fresh arm with him ready to go.”
Jake Hensgen struck out seven batters in three innings of relief while allowing four earned runs on two hits and seven walks.
“He hadn’t pitched in a while," Prina said. "I think the rust kind of showed in that last inning, and it got away from him.”
The Swedes will travel to El Paso to face the Warriors at 1 p.m. next Sunday.
“We need to win two next week," Prina said. "Maybe we can sneak up into that No. 4 spot. It’d be nice. We found a way to win one game. I guess that’s a start.”
Game Seven Legacy 10, Paxton Swedes 1
GSL 101 004 004 -- 10 10 0
PAX 001 000 000 -- 1 3 4
W -- Williamson. L -- Will Horve, 6 IP, 6 K,
Game Seven -- CJ Falls 2-5, 3B, 2B, 3 R. Mendoza 1-4, 2B, 2 BB. Hopp 1-3, R. Wileavor 1-3. Van Duyne 2-5, 2B, R. Peterson 1-3, 2B. Soria 2 R, 2 BB. Burroughs 2-5, 2 R.
Paxton -- Curtis Norman R. Tanner Regez 1-3. Connor Allen 1-4, 2B. Joey Galey 1-4, 2B.
Paxton Swedes 5, Game Seven Legacy 1
GSL 001 000 0 -- 1 3 1
PAX 100 013 x -- 5 6 1
W -- Cam Robinson, 7 IP, R, 3 H, 8 K, 0 BB.
Game Seven (7-8) -- CJ Falls 1-3, 2B, RBI. Gabe Soria 1-3. William Van Duyne 1-3.
Paxton (4-10) -- Curtis Norman 1-2, RBI, 2 BB. Tanner Regez 2-3. Hunter Phelps 1-4. Connor Allen 1-3, RBI. Mark Miller 1-3, 2B, 2 RBIs.