To win the Upstate Eight Valley baseball title, you have to get through Neuqua Valley.
That's exactly what Lake Park did on Saturday.
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.