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Baseball Sectional Semifinal Plainfield North vs. Neuqua Valley 06.01.22

Romeoville High School hosting the baseball sectional semifinals between the nine seed Plainfield North and the five seed Neuqua Valley. The Wildcats shut out Plainfield East 2-0 to win the regional championship while Plainfield North stunned top seeded Yorkville in the regional final. This highlight is sponsored by BMO Harris Bank.

2nd Inning

After a scoreless first inning, Neuqua Valley starting pitcher Mark Mennecke with a nasty breaking ball. The lefty hurler with one of his nine strikeouts to end the inning.

Speaking of strikeouts, Plainfield North starter Brandon Bak is on a tear after allowing just one run in a regional semi final win over Naperville North last week, the senior has five strikeouts through the first two innings in this one.

3rd Inning

In the top of the third, John St. Clair reaches via walk and is sacrificed to second. Ryan Nelson then hits a fly to left center field. St. Clair does not read it well and breaks for third, but center fielder Justin Nonnenman has more than enough speed to make the catch and throw back to second for the double play to end the inning.

4th Inning

Still zeros across the board in the bottom of the fourth. Senior second baseman Trevor Morris leads off the frame with a single the other way. Just the second hit of the day for Neuqua Valley. Josh Wenz would then walk to put two on with nobody out.

But Brandon Bak digs deep and strikes out the next three batters to get out of the jam and keep the game scoreless. 10 strikeouts through four innings for the UIC commit.

7th Inning

After Mennecke goes five and two thirds scoreless innings. The Wildcats turn to Danny Smid in relief. In the top of the 7th with a runner on first, Smid gets John St. Clair to ground to Colin Lewandowski at short who starts an inning ending 6-4-3 double play with Trevor Morris and Tyler Auer.

8th Inning

The game goes to extra innings which just gives Brandon Bak a chance to record more strikeouts. 19 strikeouts in eight innings with only two hits allowed. About as dominant a performance as you will see.

9th Inning

Top of the 9th, Aiden Zelinski leads off the inning for the Tigers with a double to the wall in right over the head of Palmer Domschke. Go ahead run now in scoring position.

Dylan Evans then bunts one back to Smid on the mound, the throw to third is in time. But the umpire rules that Zelinski slides in under the tag of Andrew Gould who can not believe it. A huge call as runners are now on the corners with no outs.

After an intentional walk to Aiden Simmons, Joe Guiliano steps up and hits a grounder to short, but the infield has to play in so the ball gets into the outfield to score Zelinski and Evans. Plainfield North adds two more later in the inning on back to back sac flies to make it 4-0.

Neuqua Valley not wanting to just roll over. Bak out the game now and Trevor Morris celebrates with a double down the right field line with one out.

Next batter is Josh Wenz, the junior hits a single back up the middle to bring in Morris. It’s a 4-1 game. Tyler Auer then walks with two outs to bring up the tying run in Alex Camaj.

But Tigers relief pitcher Colin Pomatto is able to end the game with another strikeout. Plainfield North ends the impressive Neuqua post season run and will advance to the sectional championship to face the winner of Downers Grove South and Oswego.

For more prep sports highlights and post season coverage, visit the Naperville Sports Weekly page!

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