Baseball: Waubonsie Valley slugs its way to DVC tourney title
Radio stations advertise that "the hits keep on coming" on their station. The same was true for the Waubonsie Valley baseball team Thursday at Neuqua Valley.
The Warriors (17-12) racked up 17 hits en route to beating the Wildcats 18-8 in six innings to win the DuPage Valley Conference Tournament championship.
It's Waubonsie's first title in the short history of the competition.
"This is a great group of kids. They've been working hard and have started to play real good baseball. We just need to try and continue to play consistently," said Warriors coach Bryan Acevedo.
Waubonsie has had a good season, but during the last 10 days the team has gone into overdrive while on a five-game winning streak including three tournament victories.
"At the start of the season, we were a little lost. There were walks, errors and we were not hitting as well," said catcher Logan Gregorio, who Jacob Gustaitis finished with three RBI each. "Now we're working hard on offense. Guys are throwing strikes and making plays and we've become a more powerful offensive team."
The Warriors had Neuqua (17-8-1) on the ropes in the first inning as Waubonsie batted around scoring eight runs on four hits.
Gregorio started things off with a two-run shot followed by Blake Pietryk's solo trip around the bases. Other big hits were Gustaitis' two-run single, winning pitcher Jay Keeley's RBI infield hit and Jacob Keating's run-scoring sacrifice fly.
The Warriors added five more runs over the next three innings to take a 13-0 lead. Michael Piche hit a two-run homer in the third and Tyler Patton's single plated a run also that inning with RBI doubles by Gregorio and Gustaitis the key plays in the fourth.
Neuqua has plenty of hitting power and it finally showed up in its half of the fourth as the team batted around, scoring six runs on four hits after earning just one hit the first three innings.
A two-run single by Josh Wenz and a three-run homer by Colin Lewandowski was most of the offense that frame.
"The last two weeks we have been barreling the balls out. But they (Waubonsie) came out and ambushed us early," said Wildcats coach James Thornton.
Lewandowski would add a solo in the sixth.
The key hits for Waubonsie late in the game came from Luke Farley's two-run double in the fifth and Pietryk's RBI triple in the sixth.
"This feels amazing. Everyone is hitting. It's not just one person, it's the whole team," Gustaitis said.
After a weekend of nonconference competition, both teams open regional play Thursday. Waubonsie hosts its own regional and opens with Oswego. Meanwhile, Neuqua is at Plainfield East and faces Metea Valley.