Wheaton North clinched the DuPage Valley Conference championship outright on Wednesday with an 11-7 victory over Wheaton Warrenville South. That sucks most of the oxygen out of Thursday's series finale at North Central College between Naperville North and Naperville Central. The Huskies were rooting for a Wheaton North loss and a chance to gain a share of the DVC title. Now both teams can focus exclusively on getting ready for the postseason.
Wheaton North: May 2009 Archives
Naperville Central coach Bill Seiple was cryptic when asked who will pitch in Thursday's series finale at North Central College. After Tuesday's 5-4 loss at Naperville North, Seiple didn't know the final score of the Wheaton North-Wheaton Warrenville South game.
"How we deal with this depends on what happened to Wheaton North," Seiple said. "If we still have a shot, (we'll) do it one way. If we don't, we may do it another way."
With the defeat, and Wheaton North's 11-1 victory, Central (20-12 14-6) lost any hope of stealing a share of the DuPage Valley Conference championship. We'll be looking at some of Central's options going forward in Thursday's print edition.
Eye black smeared across his face, Alex Helms slammed his helmet to the ground. This time it was Naperville North flooding out of the dugout to celebrate a walk-off victory at home plate.
Again Naperville Central came back from a three-run deficit and pushed a key DuPage Valley Conference game beyond the seventh inning. But with the bases loaded in the eighth, North junior Paul Bloodgood delivered the clutch hit on Tuesday, bouncing a two-run single to left that secured a 5-4 win.
The day before North unraveled late, leading 3-0 heading into the seventh inning before ultimately losing 4-3 in the ninth.
"We have to keep a positive mindset. And that last inning when we came up, everyone's like, 'Ok, we need to get one run,'" Bloodgood said. "Coach was saying, 'Why get one? Get two, end it right here.'"
Once Helms beat the throw and slid in safely for the game-winning run, the Huskies (22-7, 15-5) could jump around, because they still might be able to play for a share of the DVC title.
With the loss, and Wheaton North's 11-1 victory over Wheaton Warrenville South, Central (20-12 14-6) was eliminated from the race with one conference game left to play.
Whether or not Thursday's series finale at North Central College has meaning depends on what happens Wednesday in Wheaton. WW South travels to Wheaton North (23-4, 16-4), which will be looking to clinch.