To win the Upstate Eight Valley baseball title, you have to get through Neuqua Valley.
That's exactly what Lake Park did on Saturday.
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Behind standout pitching performances from Christian Taugner and Mark Pall, the Lancers (11-2, 7-1) swept a key doubleheader against the Wildcats (9-5, 6-2) in Naperville. After Lake Park won the opener 8-2 and the second game 13-2, the three-game series concludes Tuesday in Roselle.
Lake Park broke out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning of Game 1, extending the advantage to 6-0 by the third inning. Anthony Gallina and Taugner, who drove in 2 runs, each went 2-for-4.
Taugner (3-1) allowed 4 hits and struck out seven in the complete-game effort. Pall (3-0) followed up with a 4-hitter with 6 strikeouts in Game 2.
Like the opener, Lake Park burst to a 3-0 first-inning lead. The Lancers broke it open by scoring 8 runs in the top of the seventh.
Gallina had another big game, going 4-for-4 with 2 doubles and 5 RBI. Tom Spear, Eric Vatch, Dom Romito and Gunnar Barlund each had 2 hits.
Neuqua Valley's Josh Piotrowski went 2-for-3 with 2 RBI in the opener. Matt Wollnik drove in 2 runs for the Wildcats in Game 2.
Waubonsie Valley 1-1, South Elgin 0-0:
Tyler Hasper (4-0) pitched a no-hitter with 14 strikeouts and 3 walks in sparking the Warriors (9-5, 7-2) to the Upstate Eight Conference sweep of the Storm. Troy Fumagalli struck out 10 in a 2-hitter to win the other game. Drew Ellam accounted for both runs on the day.
Wheaton North 6, Glenbard East 5:
After tying the DuPage Valley Conference game in the top of the seventh, the Falcons (12-2, 5-1) won it with a run in the eighth. Lake Bachar's RBI single tied it and Johnny Peltz singled home Ryan Kent with the go-ahead run. Bachar, with 3 innings in relief of Doug Hayes, picked up the win. Joe Kotch went 2-for-3 with a pair of RBI for Glenbard East.
Glenbard West 4-8, Lyons Twp. 3-9:
The Hilltoppers (6-8, 4-7) won the opener in earning a split in the West Suburban Silver. Luke Domask, Grant Greeno and Will Simoneit had 2 hits in the victory. Greeno went the distance to win on the mound. A 4-run bottom of the seventh nearly rallied Glenbard West to victory in Game 2. Mitch Monocchio had 2 hits and 3 RBI.
Glenbard North 5, West Aurora 0:
Matt Frawley allowed 2 hits and struck out four over 6 innings while leading the Panthers (9-4, 6-0) to victory in the DuPage Valley Conference. Brandon Kressner drove in 2 runs and Adam Villanueva had 2 hits.
Naperville Central 4, WW South 3:
Brendan Daley's RBI single in the bottom of the eighth inning pulled out the DuPage Valley Conference victory for the Redhawks (9-3, 4-1). A sacrifice fly in the bottom of the seventh by Nicky Lopez sent the game to extra innings. Daley and Blake Butler had 2 hits apiece for the Redhawks. Zach Aranoff was the winning pitcher in relief. Mike Saccucci drove in 2 runs for WW South (9-6, 4-2).
Glenbard South 5-14, Timothy Christian 4-1:
The Raiders (10-3) swept the Trojans to improve to 8-1 in the Metro Suburban Conference. Mike Atkinson went 2-for-2 with 2 RBI and was the winning pitcher in the first game. In the second game Carl Sanders, Tony Tenuta, Zach Smith and Justin Joseph had 2 RBI apiece. Game 2 winning pitcher Nate Yangas scattered 5 hits.
Downers South 12-9, Addison Trail 0-3:
The Mustangs (14-3) improved to 10-1 in the West Suburban Gold by sweeping the Blazers (5-9, 4-4). Brian Glowicki (2-1) fired a 5-inning 2-hitter with 7 strikeouts and no walks in the opener. Joe Becht homered. Game 2 winning pitcher Danny Mayer (3-0) went 3-for-4 with a double. Becht also had 3 hits. Joe Kurucar, Brad Schonder and Giancarlo Loiotile drove in runs for Addison Trail in Game 2.
Downers North 14-19, Proviso West 2-1:
A 9-run fourth inning in the opener and a 10-run first inning in the second game powered the Trojans (10-2, 7-1) to a West Suburban Silver sweep. Jeff Goergen, who had 4 RBI, and Emil Bafirovski homered in the first game. Troy Southard and Mike O'Malley were the winning pitchers.