On a damp, raw, windy day like Friday, baseball players do everything with a much greater sense of urgency.
Naperville Central wasn’t about to mess around at the plate.
Smacking 16 hits in five innings, the Redhawks rolled to an 11-0 DuPage Valley Conference victory over visiting Glenbard East in a makeup game from earlier in the week.
Cold or not, Naperville Central (7-2, 2-0) stayed as aggressive as possible with the bats. Eleven hits came in the first two innings as the Redhawks burst to a 9-0 lead.
“One through nine we were all just hitting very well,” said senior pitcher Jimmy Nashert, who went 3-for-4 with 2 RBI. “It was awesome for the team. Everybody’s hitting the ball hard. It seemed like after (leadoff hitter Jason Wegner) started us off well, we all started hitting.”
The 3-run first inning was plenty for Nashert (1-1) on the mound. He pitched a 3-hitter with 5 strikeouts and no walks to make it two straight wins against Glenbard East (4-9, 0-2), which travels to Naperville at 2 p.m. Saturday for the third and final game of the series.
The Rams stranded three of their four total runners in scoring position, including runners on second and third in the second inning. Chalk up some of the stranding to stellar defense headed by first baseman Jeff Schank, who made a pair of brilliant plays.
“Those first two innings we left a lot of balls over the plate,” said Rams coach Joel Pelland. “I thought we hit the ball pretty hard, we just didn’t have anything to show for it. Defensively and offensively we played well. We just didn’t get it done on the mound. We’ve got to put it all together.”
Diving catches by Rams outfielders Joe Kotch and Scott Borosak kept the Redhawks from scoring even more runs, but the damage already was done.
A 6-run second inning followed the 3-run first. A fifth-inning RBI double by Wegner, who later scored on a groundout, accounted for the final 2 runs.
Wegner, Nick Lopez, Schank, Nick Thomas, Brendan Daley and Jack Alberts all had 2 hits for Naperville Central. Mike Hansen had 2 of the Rams’ 3 hits.
“The top of the order has been solid for us all season,” said Redhawks coach Mike Stock. “And the bottom of the order the last week has been coming through. It’s nice to see. And Jimmy really did a nice job on a tough day to pitch.”
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