Naperville Central's baseball team couldn't have asked for a cleaner game on Friday.
And the Redhawks couldn't have asked for a better time to unleash it on Glenbard North.
Making up instant ground in the chase for the DuPage Valley Conference title, Naperville Central performed in all phases of a 10-0 victory over the Panthers in Carol Stream.
Now that the Redhawks (12-4, 7-2) have handed Glenbard North (11-5, 8-1) its first DVC loss, they'll try to pull even with the Panthers in the second game of the series Saturday in Carol Stream. The three-game series wraps up Monday in Naperville.
"It was a good day overall," said complete-game winning pitcher Jimmy Nashert, who fired a 2-hitter with 5 strikeouts and a walk. "Especially defensively, you saw Blake (Butler) and Jason (Wegner) make diving plays. That's a big help to whoever's pitching. And hitting, we just put the ball in play, they made some mistakes and we capitalized."
Glenbard North's defensive miscues behind ace Matt Frawley proved costly as all 10 runs scored with two outs. Four of the first 7 runs were unearned thanks to five Panthers errors in the first four innings.
Leading 2-0, Naperville Central broke it open with 5 runs in the top of the fourth. Brian Schiemann's RBI double and Butler's 2-run single came before a pair of critical errors that allowed 2 extra runs to score.
Six straight players reached base after the Panthers retired the inning's first two batters.
"I don't care who we're playing, if we play like that we're going to lose," said Glenbard North coach Rich Smelko. "We've got no chance against Naperville Central playing like that. We just need to clear our heads and get ready for the next game."
Nashert allowed only three baserunners in front of an errorless defense. One was eliminated on a fielder's choice to end the fifth inning.
Glenbard North's best scoring chance came in the fourth when Brandon Kressner led off with a double and Nolan Jasinski walked. Nashert, however, emerged unscathed after fielding a groundout and notching a pair of strikeouts.
Jeff Schank singled home a run in the sixth and Wegner capped Naperville Central's scoring with a 2-run homer in the seventh inning.
"We made them earn everything, and Jimmy was sharp," said Redhawks coach Mike Stock. "It's Glenbard North, a big series. We were excited to get out here."
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