Baseball: Waubonsie Valley completes sweep of Metea Valley

After his team had put the finishing touches on a 3-2 baseball victory over Metea Valley Thursday, Waubonsie Valley left fielder Ryan Gustaitis had a “to whom it may concern” message for any interested parties.

“We’ve got a really good team this year, a special team,” Gustaitis said. “You’ve got to watch out for the Warriors.”

Judging from the way Waubonsie Valley has been playing lately, he might be right on the mark.

The Warriors’ home win completed a three-game series sweep over the Mustangs. Waubonsie Valley won the first game Monday 7-6 and Tuesday’s second matchup 7-3.

The Warriors improved to 7-3 on the year and 3-0 in the DuPage Valley Conference.

Warriors junior pitcher Owen Roberts went the distance for the win, an inspiring performance considering it was his first start of the season.

  Metea Valley starter Anthony Cassano delivers a pitch during a baseball game played at Waubonsie Valley on Thursday, April 18, 2024 in Aurora. Joe Lewnard/

“I’ve been coming out of the pen,” Roberts said, “closing out games, but they decided to put me in as a starter.

“I kind of like that more because it allows me to do what I can do.”

Metea Valley struck first in the contest, scoring twice in the top of the second.

First Connor Lavery drove in a run with an infield single, then Cole Pittman followed that with a run-scoring double.

  Waubonsie Valley pitcher Owen Roberts delivers to a Metea Valley batter during a baseball game played on Thursday, April 18, 2024 in Aurora. Joe Lewnard/

“I was a little angry with the contact they were getting,” Roberts said, “but I found a way to get through it.”

Waubonsie Valley tied the game in the bottom of the third.

Gustaitis and Roberts both singled to open the inning, and teammate Ben Ford drove them both in with a drive down the left-field line.

Then in the bottom of the fourth, Gustaitis knocked in what proved to be the game-winning run.

  Metea Valley second baseman Cole Pittman tags out Waubonsie Valley’s Ben Ford on a steal attempt of second base during a baseball game played on Thursday, April 18, 2024 in Aurora. Joe Lewnard/

Ryan Morton opened the inning with a walk, then a perfect sacrifice bunt from Nick Martin moved him to scoring position.

And with two outs, Gustaitis singled to left, with Morton racing home to give the Warriors the lead.

“I was just trying to get the ball in play,” Gustaitis said. “I thought we would score more than that (the rest of the way), but you’ve got to play one inning at a time.”

  Waubonsie Valley shortstop Nate Cerilli catches a pop fly during a baseball game against Metea Valley played on Thursday, April 18, 2024 in Aurora. Joe Lewnard/

The score remained 3-2 going into the top of the seventh when Mustangs shortstop Kyle Bucher, leading off, popped up a bunt attempt.

The ball drifted into foul territory and looked like it would fall harmlessly to the ground, but Waubonsie Valley third baseman Hiroshy Wong had other ideas.

Somehow, Wong tracked the ball down and made an outstanding diving catch for the first out of the inning.

“I was trying to be as aggressive as I could,” Wong said. “I wanted to help my team win.

“Everybody was putting in the work, everybody was doing their thing. I was just trying to support them.”

Then Roberts, who retired 16 of the final 17 batters he faced, bore down and got the final two outs to earn the victory.

Despite the loss, Metea Valley (5-8, 1-5) coach Steve Colombe was impressed with his team’s effort, especially on the mound.

Starter Anthony Cassano and reliever Liam Wagner combined to pitch well and keep their team in the game.

“We’ve been trying to get Anthony some experience, as he’s always been a bullpen guy. The last couple of outings he’s put together, he’s getting better and better.

“And Liam is just a competitor. He comes out in a position like he did today (the Mustangs down by a run) and gives us a shot to score a run or two to steal a win.”

Ford and Gustaitis led Waubonsie Valley with two hits apiece.

“I felt like we didn’t play our best game today with the bats,” Roberts added, “and we had a couple of mental mistakes.

“But I’m proud of the way our guys battled to post a ‘W.’”

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