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updated: 5/31/2014 6:50 PM

Mundelein takes command against Warren

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By Dick Quagliano
Daily Herald Correspondent

Mundelein made sure that this time it wouldn't be as close.

After beating Warren twice this season by a run in each game, Mundelein put things together to roll past the Blue Devils 7-1 to capture the Palatine regional Saturday.

Mundelein (33-2) will meet Glenbrook South on Thursday at the Glenbrook South sectional.

"The first two times we played, they were dogfights," Mundelein coach Todd Parola said. "I wasn't sure how we would react today. But I think it worked out. The kids realized that they'd were within one pitch and one out of losing. So they came out and played hard today."

Mike Metz kept the Blue Devils at bay by allowing just 4 hits while striking out five.

"I have been getting ready for this game since last year," Metz said. "We didn't want to lose in the regionals again. I didn't want to let that happen.

"I got my first pitch over, which was a curve, and I knew I would be good from there."

Mundelein was able to manufacture a run in the first inning thanks to 2 errors by Warren.

Logan Reckert was hit by a pitch and advanced to second on a failed pickoff attempt. He scored when Luke Adams reached on an infield error.

The Mustangs then showed some power to move ahead 3-0. Derek Parola hit the second pitch of the inning over the left field fence. He was followed on the next pitch by Reckert, who deposited the ball over the fence just inside the left field foul pole.

"I was surprised ," said Derek Parola, who hit his first homer just a week ago. "I didn't think it had a chance but it just kept going."

"It felt real good," Reckert said. "It was a fastball middle-in and I just drove it."

Warren (23-13-1) was able to close to 3-1 in the fourth, thanks to a pair of miscues by Mundelein.

Stephen Binstock reached on a single and advanced to second on a error. He then scored on an infield error. But when Matt Burch doubled to deep center field, Mundelein was able to cut down the runner at the plate with a perfect by Parola.

"That was the play of the game," a proud Todd Parola said. "Warren had chance to close at that point in the game, and we were able to execute."

Mundelein broke the game open in the fifth with another set of back-to-back plays -- doubles by Luke Peterson and Ryan Hollander. Peterson's double came after Luke Adams walked, and Hollander drove in both of them with his double.

"There is no better feeling," said Hollander, who homered on Thursday. "We are a close group. We haven't hit many homers this season and we hit three in the regional."

The Mustangs added another run that inning when Michael Vrska scored on J.T. Michalski's suicide squeeze. Mundelein got an insurance run in the sixth as Reckert, who had singled, scored on Hollander's sacrifice fly.

Warren coach Clint Smothers said he was proud of the way his team played all year.

"They are a good team," Smothers said. "What do they have, two losses? We competing most of the time with them. It was just a different story today. But I am proud of our kids and our seniors. They gave us everything they had all year."

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