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updated: 6/6/2014 12:04 AM

Downers Grove South cashes in against Waubonsie Valley

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  • #18 Jack Eddy,left, and #24 Ryan Strick of Waubonsie dive for the ball during the Waubonsie Valley vs. Downers Grove South at Class 4A Oswego baseball sectional semifinal Thursday.

       #18 Jack Eddy,left, and #24 Ryan Strick of Waubonsie dive for the ball during the Waubonsie Valley vs. Downers Grove South at Class 4A Oswego baseball sectional semifinal Thursday.
    Paul Michna | Staff Photographer

 
 

Good baseball teams make you pay for mistakes.

Downers Grove South turned Thursday's game into its personal ATM.

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The Mustangs took advantage of 5 errors as they pulled away to a 9-2 victory over Waubonsie Valley in the Class 4A Oswego sectional semifinals.

Third-seeded Downers South (27-8) will seek the program's second sectional title and first since 2005 when it faces No. 1 Plainfield North (28-8), a 3-2 winner over Neuqua Valley, at 10 a.m. Saturday in the championship game.

"It's a great accomplishment," said Mustangs winning pitcher Danny Spinuzza. "We know every game's big right now."

Downers South set the tone with 2 unearned runs in the top of the first inning on Chris Pedrak's 2-run single. The Mustangs took a 3-0 lead in the fifth on Danny Oriente's run-scoring triple, but No. 2 Waubonsie Valley (26-9) got the run back on Tyler Hasper's sacrifice fly in the bottom of the inning.

Then came the decisive sixth inning when the Mustangs scored 4 runs without hitting the ball out of the infield against Hasper and reliever Brandon Petersen. The Warriors committed 2 costly errors as Downers South surged to a 7-1 lead with 1 bunt hit.

"What we overcame this year, and what they gave, I can't ask for anything more," said Waubonsie Valley coach Dan Fezzuoglio. "I'm so proud of them. It was an honor to coach them. Wish we would have played more of a solid game, it just didn't go that way."

Luke Marzano narrowed the gap to 7-2 with a sacrifice fly off Ryan Taylor, who relieved Spinuzza in the sixth. Downers South pounced on the Warriors' fifth error of the game and scored twice in the seventh.

Seven of Downers South's 9 runs were unearned. Spinuzza allowed 1 earned run in 5-plus innings to pick up the win, stranding four runners in scoring position.

"They helped us a little bit, no question about it," said Mustangs coach Darren Orel. "Getting those 2 (first-inning) runs allowed us to kind of relax and continue to be aggressive. I think that was a key for us, and then Spinuzza was excellent."

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