The baseball regionals are coming into focus as Neuqua Valley hosts DVC rival Metea Valley in the Plainfield East regional semi finals. The Wildcats send Dan Cercello to the bump in this one against Mustang senior Cam Howser. This highlight is sponsored by BMO Harris Bank.
Top of the first inning, following a Mark Golminas single and stolen base, sophomore Jeremy Wrona lines a single the other way into left field. Golminas comes in to score as Metea Valley strikes first with a two out hit from Wrona.
Top of the second inning now, Cercello not overpowering in this one, but not giving up much hard contact either. Following a Drew Hopkins walk, the Wildcats middle infielders Colin Lewandowski and Trevor Morris turn a double play as Tyler Auer makes the pick at first.
Cam Howser doing work on the mound for Metea, here he gets one of his five strikeouts. Still 1-0 Mustangs after two innings.
Top of the third, Mark Golminas looking for another hit, but Palmer Domschke makes a nice sliding grab in right to steal a hit and keep the Cats within a run.
After Domschke leads off the bottom of the third with a walk, Josh Wenz slaps a single up the middle. Two on and nobody out for Neuqua.
Howser would get the next two batters out before walking Tyler Auer to load the bases. That brings up Alex Camaj who drops a hit into short right field. The throw to the plate is offline. Domschke and Wenz come in to score. A huge two out hit puts Neuqua up by a 2-1 score.
Two outs in the top of the 4th. Daniel Bastidas walks and steals second base for Metea. Connor Akstulewicz then lines one into center field. Justin Nonnenmann comes up throwing as Bastidas heads to the plate. Mark Wagner makes the catch and applies the tag in time to end the inning. A massive play from the Neuqua defense to hold onto the one run lead.
Neuqua brings in Mark Mennecke out of the bullpen to preserve the lead for the final three frames. But after a one out walk to Aidan Wagner, Mark Golminas lofts a double down the left field line. Wagner stops at third and Golminas has the first extra base hit of the game for either team.
However Mennecke strikes out Jake LaVine and with two outs, gets Jeremy Wrona on a chopper back to the mound to end the 5th.
Metea senior pitcher Vladimir Hudson keeps the Neuqua offense at bay to give the Mustangs a chance to tie heading to the 7th. However, Mennecke shuts the door with a breaking ball strikeout to end the game as Neuqua Valley baseball moves on to the regional championship after a 2-1 win over Metea Valley.
A highly competitive game as the Wildcats improve to 4-0 against Metea this season and will face Plainfield East in the regional final.
For more prep sports highlights, visit the Naperville Sports Weekly page!