Downers Grove North sneaks by Neuqua Valley in the baseball sectional semifinal

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It’s a David vs Goliath matchup, with 12-seeded Neuqua Valley facing the one-seed Downers Grove North in the 4A baseball sectional semifinal at Plainfield North. The Wildcats come in after securing their 16th regional title with a 2-1 win over West Aurora, while the Trojans are searching for their first sectional final berth since 2013. This highlight is sponsored by BMO.

Neuqua gets off to a strong start

Trojans have a man on in the top of the first but Wildcat pitcher Sebastian Guzman strikes out the side, getting Brady Schallmoser to end the frame.

In the third inning, Brendan Morris gets a bunt and with lightning speed, he dashes to first base for a single for Neuqua Valley.

The bases are loaded, and with an overthrow on the pick-off, Jorden Castillo makes it home safely, and the Wildcats take a 1-0 lead.

In the fourth inning, the Trojans finally crack the bats with Jimmy Janicki sending this ball way out to left center. He doesn’t quite go yard but Janicki gets extra bases with a double.

His teammate Jack Romsey delivers with a grounder that leaves the infield and here comes Janicki to tie the game at one.

J.D. Cumbee steps up to the plate with a base hit and here comes another run for the team in purple jerseys. That gives the Trojans a 2-1 lead.

Does Neuqua have a response? It’s Brendan Morris again with another hit that gets down in right field.

Matt Knapczyk wants to help the cause, but the Downers North pitcher throws the heat with a strikeout to retire the side. Nine punchouts in the game for Ben Llewelyn.

Jude Warwick goes yard

Still 2-1 Trojans in the fifth until Jude Warwick nukes one out to right field and sayonara. A solo moon shot by Warwick increases the lead to 3-1.

Downers Grove North to the sectional final

Last chance for Neuqua in the top of the seventh with the tying run at the plate, but Knapczyk flies out to Warwick in left, who makes the catch, and that’s the ballgame. Downers Grove North baseball wins 3-1 and is moving their first sectional final since 2013 where the Trojans face Waubonsie Valley in the championship game.

For more prep sports highlights, visit the Naperville Sports Weekly page!