Retiring Schaumburg baseball coach Paul Groot returned to his alma mater Saturday afternoon and left the program with 20-20 vision after an 8-0 nonconference victory at Wheeling.
Max Paolicchi (6-3), Matt Brancato and Kevin Sola combined on a 2-hitter to give the Saxons (20-13) their 20th season with 20 or more victories during Groot's 28-year tenure. Their only loss in their last eight games was 2-1 on Monday at Mid-Suburban League champion Hersey.
"This group really bounced back to get there after the way we started out," said Groot, who was honored Friday by throwing out the ceremonial first pitch before the MSL championship game at Fremd. "We've been playing pretty good baseball the last couple of weeks."
Paolicchi allowed 2 hits in 3 innings and Brancato threw 3 hitless innings and Jordan Grubb homered and doubled for the Saxons, who open Class 4A regional play Thursday at York. Wheeling (1-31) is at Buffalo Grove for a regional quarterfinal Monday.
Barrington has won 20 games 30 times since 1970.
Prospect 6, Burlington Central 0: Jack Landwehr (7-3) tuned up for the regional opener by allowing 1 hit in 4 innings and Jordan Fedro threw 3 hitless innings for the save for Prospect (15-18) in the nonconference victory. Landwehr had 6 strikeouts and Fedro had 5 strikeouts. Zach Tuczak went 2-for-3 with 3 RBI and Dan Kavanaugh went 2-for-3 with an RBI.
St. Viator 3, Moline 0: Gunnar Kay threw a 3-hitter for host St. Viator (19-16) in the nonconference victory. Kay had 5 strikeouts and threw 66 of his 92 pitches for strikes.
Chris Myjak had 2 hits, Joe Rossi, Brian Wilhite and Roy Pettingill doubled and Cosimo Cannella tripled for the Lions.
McHenry sweeps Hersey: Hersey (25-10) suffered a pair of tough nonconference road losses -- 7-6 and 1-0 -- less than 24 hours after winning the MSL title.
Pat Nix allowed 2 runs in 4 innings and Mike Danielak (2 RBI), Nick Nolan and Sean Reszotko went 2-for-3 as Hersey couldn't hold a 6-2 lead going into the bottom of the seventh in the opener. In Game 2, Brad Moore threw a 3-hitter with 5 strikeouts and 2 walks but McHenry scored the only run in the third.
South Elgin 6, Elk Grove 4 (8 inn.): Johnny Assimakopoulos (2-for-3) hit a tying 3-run homer with two outs in a 4-run bottom of the sixth and Mike Maize went 3-for-3 for Elk Grove (18-16) in the nonconference loss.
Leyden 6, Elmwood Park 4: Angel Sanchez (8-4) didn't allow a hit with 8 strikeouts and went 2-for-2 with an RBI as Leyden (17-15) survived a seventh-inning Elmwood Park rally. Brandon Chillemi homered and drove in 2 runs for the Eagles and Ivan Nevarez got the save.