Neuqua Valley shuts out St. Charles North
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This wasn't your typical baseball game between Neuqua Valley and St. Charles North.
That was perfectly fine with the Wildcats.
Neuqua Valley made surprisingly quick work of its Upstate Eight Conference rival Friday in Naperville, stunning the North Stars with a 10-0 five-inning victory.
Wildcats senior pitcher Cody Coll, on the heels of David Gerber's gem on Thursday, made it two straight UEC shutouts for the Wildcats (6-2, 3-0).
Coll's effort was made much easier by a Neuqua Valley offense that struck for 4 runs in both the first and second innings. The North Stars (4-4, 1-2) didn't help themselves by committing 3 second-inning errors that led to all the runs being unearned.
"I had a rough first inning letting some runners on, and when you come in the dugout you just want your guys to score runs," said Coll, who struck out six, walked two and allowed 3 hits. "That's what we did and it really took a lot of pressure off me. I knew I could just get comfortable again and throw some strikes."
St. Charles North put runners on base in every inning but the fifth when Coll ended the game on 12 pitches. A strike-him-out, throw-him-out double play ended the third.
The North Stars had perhaps their best scoring opportunity in the top of the fourth when Ryan Thomas and Cory Wright singled with one out. Coll responded with a pair of strikeouts to thwart the threat.
With no answers at the plate for St. Charles North, Neuqua Valley's lead became insurmountable.
"I don't think we came to play, and that's really what I'm most disappointed in," said North Stars coach Todd Genke. "We had a chance to come over today and play with Neuqua Valley and show them that we think we're a pretty good team, and we didn't come off the bus ready to play."
Leadoff walks to Josh Piotrowski and Mike Riesner started the snowball rolling in the bottom of the first. Run-scoring singles from Drew Sterioti and Alex Wolanski led to a bases-loaded walk to Matt Butler.
Neuqua Valley took advantage of defensive miscues throughout the second inning. John Michael McMahon's two-out, 2-run single put the advantage at 10-0 in the bottom of the fourth.
"We haven't hit very well early in the season, but this was better," said Neuqua Valley coach Robin Renner. "And I think we'll keep getting better."
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