Naperville North looking sharp
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Naperville North baseball coach Carl Hunckler has no idea what his team's record will look like at the end of this season.
But he can't wait to find out.
Clearly fond of the effort, Hunckler watched his players perform at an awfully high level by April standards in Wednesday's 13-3 six-inning victory over Waubonsie Valley in Naperville.
"We've got a good group of kids," Hunckler said. "They've got energy, they're fun to be around. So far, so good for us."
The Huskies (3-1), winning their third straight game, set the tone early with a 4-run first inning and a 5-run second. Waubonsie Valley (2-3) stabilized in the middle innings, but it was too late.
Naperville North ended the game in the bottom of the sixth when John Sagen started the inning with a single and took two bases on a wild pitch. Mark Khoury followed with a sharp single past a drawn-in infield to put the final at 13-3.
"We got off to that quick start and kept piling it on," said Huskies center fielder Nick Oros. "We put pressure on them and got out quick. We've won three straight and we're just looking to keep it going."
Steals, bunts, walks, hits and errors led to the margin quickly growing against the Warriors. Pat Mollo and Oros drove in runs in the first inning, and Sagen, Khoury and Oros followed suit in the second.
Waubonsie Valley staved off an even earlier ending by scoring lone runs in the top of the third, fourth and fifth innings. Drew Ellam singled home a run, as did Dalton Cooper. Ben Vietri's sacrifice fly narrowed the gap to 9-3.
"They put pressure on us early and mentally we just were not there," said Warriors coach Dan Fezzuoglio. "We need to be ready to go first pitch. You can't pick it up in the third inning, you can't pick it up in the fourth inning. You've got to be ready to go right away, and that's what this came down to."
Naperville North reclaimed the 9-run advantage in the fifth inning on RBI doubles by Danny Riley and Ryan Krainz, who went 3-for-4, and a run-scoring single by Nick Solak.
Colin Ash pitched 5 innings to earn the win. Brandon Herbstritt closed out the final two innings.
"We had a great approach to the game," Hunckler said. "Any time you score early, that certainly gives you a great deal of confidence. And I think that confidence carried through the rest of the game."
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