South Elgin delivered its second consecutive knock out punch in the state playoffs Saturday.
The Storm struck for 10 runs in the fourth inning and thundered past host Hoffman Estates 12-0 for a Class 4A regional championship. The victory came on the heels of South Elgin's 10-0 win over Wheaton North on Thursday.
South Elgin (22-10), which won its second regional in the last three years, will meet St. Charles North on Thursday at the Schaumburg sectional.
"We have been working very hard and diligently on our approaches," said South Elgin coach Jim Kating, whose team racked up 13 hits for the game.
"It has been paying off for the last half of the season. In the last week, week and a half and in the last two games, I can't complain."
Tyler Brown was effective for South Elgin, scattering 3 hits while striking out 2. It was the second consecutive shutout for the Storm, who got a 1-hitter from Ryan Nutof against Wheaton North.
"I really didn't have my velocity today," Brown said. "But I was really locating the ball real well and my curveball was good. I had a few butterflies before the game, but I settled down pretty well."
With Brown keeping 16th-seeded Hoffman Estates (15-17-1) in check, the Storm offense exploded. Five different players had multiple hits in the game while Danny Asa had 3 hits including a double and a triple.
"I was looking to hit the ball well," said Asa, who scored twice. "This is the first time I had three hits in a game and it came at a great time."
Also coming up with a first for the Storm was their No. 9 hitter Kyle Hays. The junior had 2 hits, including a double and drove in 4 runs.
"It was awesome," Hays said. "It was a good time to come up with some big hits. We all are just seeing the ball real well."
Nutof and Antonio Danesi each had 2 hits and drove in a pair of runs while Dane Toppel had 2 hits, including a triple, and Jared Kramer added 2 hits and an RBI.
South Elgin used all that offense to tally twice in third and came back with a 10-spot in the fourth to break it open.
"We were fortunate to be able to put that 10-spot up," Kating said. "I know they way they battle they can put the ball in play. Tyler came through big time for us. He came through in some clutch situations and these are the things I expect him to do."
Hoffman Estates, which stunned No. 2 seed St. Charles East on Wednesday, had a couple opportunities early to break through against Brown.
The Hawks had runners on first and second in the first and came away scoreless. Then in the fourth trailing 2-0, Hoffman had a runner on third with one out, but Brown struck out the next two batters.
"We had some chances early to at least put up a couple of runs," Hoffman Estates coach Todd Meador said. "And maybe that would have changed things a little bit. But in that fourth inning they scored ten runs and we didn't have an answer."