Baseball: Barczi blasts 2 homers in Naperville Central's rout
With the way Jack Skidmore was throwing Thursday, Naperville Central didn't need a whole lot of offense.
The Redhawks' hitters had other ideas.
Knocking out four homers, two by Vanderbilt-commit Colin Barczi, second-seed Naperville Central stormed to an 11-2 victory over West Aurora in a Waubonsie Valley Class 4A regional semifinal.
Improving to 22-6 on the spring, the DuPage Valley Conference co-champions advanced to Saturday's regional final against either the host Warriors or Oswego.
Skidmore fanned nine in his five innings of working, allowing no runs and two hits.
"My curveball was working well," said the senior right-hander, who improved to 7-1 on the year. "I felt like I was throwing pretty hard and my change-up for the first time all season was working for me. Everything kind of came together.
"I also want to thank my first baseman, Gabe Dickerson, he made some really good plays. And Colin and Michael (Umbright) hitting home runs (in the first inning), that was huge. I was pretty nervous coming in, that team has some really good hitters. When our offense and defense picks us up like that, it makes it hard to lose."
Barczi's solo blast to center field kicked off the scoring two batters into the bottom of the first and Umbright followed with a two-run shot.
The junior catcher later added a single in the second that plated two and a three-run homer in the sixth.
"With Jack on the bump giving up no runs," Barczi said, "a lot of pressure was taken off our shoulders. It was just go into the box and have fun. Everybody was hitting in the lineup today.
"It's a great feeling (having a deep lineup), you always know you have guys behind you. If someone isn't having a great game, others are always there to pick you up."
Andrew Gallegos also connected for a two-run homer to left in the fifth. Nick Strieter contributed a pair of hits and runs scored as well.
"The tough thing is the first few outs," said Naperville Central coach Mike Stock, whose team has won 12 of their last 14 games. "Jack came out throwing strikes and then we got up to the plate and Colin hits one out and then Michael hits one out. It was a great start."
The Blackhawks ended the season with a 7-20-1 record.