Baseball: Kaden Aguirre, Plano pour it on in ‘crazy’ win over Marengo

Reapers score 10 runs in first, 11 in fourth in 21-7, five-inning KRC win

Plano’s Jose Barraza (3) reacts after scoring a run against Marengo during a baseball game at Plano High School on Monday, April 8, 2024.

PLANO – Kaden Aguirre kept going back to the same word in describing Monday’s baseball game in Plano.

“That was crazy, man,” Aguirre said.

Words alone don’t do justice to the wackiness that transpired.

Plano sent 15 batters to the plate in a 10-run first inning, then nearly saw an eight-run lead disappear. But then the Reapers piled on by sending 17 batters to the plate in an 11-run fourth for a 21-7 football-like final in the Kishwaukee River Conference.

Aguirre, who went all five innings on the mound to earn the win, did his best work in the batter’s box. He reached base five times, driving in four runs, highlighted by a three-run double in that 10-run first.

Twice he came to the plate twice in an inning.

That word.

“Crazy,” he said. “I think we had the bases loaded like seven or eight times in two innings. I’ve never seen a team score 10 runs in an inning, and we did it twice. That was crazy. But it was a fun game.”

It was not so much for Marengo in a Murphy’s law type of day.

Indians’ pitchers issued six walks, and hit five batters. Marengo committed seven errors, four coming in the first inning as outfielders struggled to corral fly balls in the breeze. Four Plano batters reached on dropped third strikes. Plano’s 19th run came on an obstruction call, after the Reapers’ runner was thrown out easily at the plate.

“Everything that could have gone wrong, did go wrong. We put ourselves in a bad spot, but that’s baseball,” Marengo coach Nick Naranjo said. “For us we have to have a short memory. We have them again on Wednesday, chance to even the series.”

Plano's Kaden Aguirre (99) reacts after hitting a three run double against Marengo during a baseball game at Plano High School on Monday, April 8, 2024.

David Lopez’s RBI single and a balked-in run got Marengo (8-6, 3-1 KRC) out to a 2-0 lead. It was but an appetizer of the offensive smorgasbord to come.

The Indians momentarily made it a game after Plano’s 10-run first, Michael Kirchhoff’s three-run homer pulling Marengo within 10-7 in the top of the third.

“Our guys battled the best we could,” Naranjo said.

Jake Decker was 2 for 3 with five RBIs, three runs scored and reached base four times, Nick Serio had three RBIs with a two-run single in the first inning and Josh Stellwagen was 2 for 4 with three RBIs and three runs scored for Plano (8-5, 3-0), which had the first eight batters reach in the first and the first seven in the fourth.

“Definitely a crazy game. I don’t know how I would be able to describe it to anyone that wasn’t here,” Plano coach Nate Hill said. “Hats off to our guys. They had a good approach offensively and it was obviously a good day to hit and we wanted to put the pressure on them. They are the defending champs of the KRC. We wanted to come out and show what we are made of.”

Marengo's Michael Kirchhoff (5) leaps on to home plate after hitting a three-run homer against Plano during a baseball game at Plano High School on Monday, April 8, 2024.

Aguirre’s three hits, which started with a three-run gapper to right-center, raised the Plano ace pitcher’s season average to .463. He hit .237 as a junior and .238 as a sophomore.

“Last year I think I had around 40 strikeouts, and I really worked on my two-strike approach and mechanics, staying on top of the ball,” Aguirre said. “Just my two-strike approach this year has been really good. I probably have half my hits on it. That’s really helped me and just being aggressive attacking the fastball, trying my swing.”

Aguirre leads a group of third-year varsity seniors who went 6-27 last season in Plano’s final year in the Interstate 8 Conference.

The Reapers have won their first three games in the KRC, and Aguirre thinks they can win the league.

“I’m just happy that they have a chance to compete,” Hill said. “They’ve taken their lumps over the past few years. We know what it’s like to be on the other side. We want to continue to do things right and compete to the best of our ability.”