Neuqua Valley baseball shuts out Romeoville in regional semifinals behind AJ McEneany’s one-hitter

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AJ McEneany allows one hit in complete game shutout to lead Neuqua Valley baseball in victory over Romeoville in regional semifinal. This highlight is sponsored by BMO.

The baseball regional round is here and the Neuqua Valley Wildcats are playing host as the seven seed against the 11 seeded Romeoville Spartans. Neuqua looks to protect its home field in search of another regional plaque.

The Wildcats strike first

AJ McEneany has been rounding into form for the Wildcats as he takes the mound in this one. He looks sharp early with a strikeout to end the first inning.

One away in the bottom of the first, Peter Pipikios lays down a bunt that is fielded by pitcher AJ Burnett. Pipikios beats the throw to get a runner on the basepaths.

Next up is Mark Mennecke, the lefty first baseman lines a base hit into the outfield as Pipikios hustles into third base. He would later score on an rbi groundout from Tommy Kuban.

Romeoville mixes in web gems with miscues

In the bottom of the second inning, still 1-0 Neuqua, Jonny Lee makes a great play at third base to rob Andrew Gould of extra bases.

To the bottom of the third, two out and runners at the corners. Burnett makes a pickoff throw to first but it gets away and Tommy Kuban sprints home and scores as the Wildcats take a 2-0 lead on the Spartan miscue.

Neuqua looks to add to the lead but Carlos Otero ranges into foul territory from shortstop and makes a fantastic sliding catch just in front of the away bullpen.

Romeoville looking to get some offense going and Burnett, the pitcher helps his own cause with the first Spartan hit of the game.

However, AJ McEneany shuts things down quickly, racking up nine strikeouts on the day to end the threat.

McEneany and the Wildcats slam the door

Into the fourth inning, Peter Pipikios at the dish with runners on the corners. He knocks a single through the infield into right as Andrew Gould comes in to score. Matthew Knapczyk heads to third and later scores on a wild pitch as Neuqua Valley takes a 4-0 lead.

Leading off the bottom of the fifth inning Mike Langan rips a double into left field. The wind was blowing straight in all game long, which may be the only reason the ball stayed in the park.

Langan now on third with two outs in the frame when Paul Feret chops a high bouncer to third and hustles down the line. Jonny Lee double pumps on the throw and Feret beats it out as Langan comes in to score to make it 5-0.

Romeoville looking to break through in the top of the sixth inning, but Feret flashes the leather in left with a nice sliding grab near the foul line to end the inning.

The five runs are more than enough for McEneany, who throws a complete game one-hitter, allowing only two baserunners in the contest. Neuqua Valley with an impressive start to the post season with a 5-0 win over Romeoville. The Wildcats will host Oswego in the regional final.

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