One thought sat in Neuqua Valley left-hander Justin Hicks’ mind.
Keep it down.
With Waubonsie Valley threatening in the third inning to grab some momentum after loading the bases with no outs, Hicks didn’t panic.
“In that situation, I just have to get a ground ball,” Hicks said, “and with the defense behind us – James (Gargano) and (Ryan) Wheeler turned that perfectly. To get out of that with one run, that’s completely fine.”
Another sound outing from Hicks and yet another offensive onslaught led to just another day at the office for Neuqua Valley.
In large part to its relentless offense, Neuqua Valley rolled to a 12-2, five-inning DuPage Valley Conference victory over Waubonsie Valley.
A seventh game of at least 10 runs for the Wildcats (13-0-1, 7-0) was in the offing almost immediately.
Thanks to scoring six runs over the course of the first two innings, Neuqua Valley jumped on Warriors’ right-hander Alex Schram.
As he’s been recently, Noah Herdman was at it again for the Wildcats.
The Wildcats’ junior third baseman racked up three hits and four RBIs, including a two-run homer in the first, to lead the way.
“Obviously we saw that the wind was blowing out, so we know the ball was going to be flying around all day,” Herdman said. “We got hitters going all the way from one to nine. We just have hitters putting the ball in play, doing their job. That’s what we did. We just did our job – we scored runs.”
Herdman’s three-hit day followed a three-hit game against Naperville Central on Friday and his walk-off, two-run homer against Naperville Central last Saturday.
Jack Rigoni and Tyler Cristofaro joined Herdman in the three-hit club as Neuqua Valley supported Hicks early and often.
The first five batters in its lineup combined for 11 hits and 10 RBIs as Schram went four innings for the Warriors (8-5, 4-4).
Connor Yukna, Chris Ralph and Schram each had two hits apiece for the Warriors, who struggled to get the clutch hit they needed.
Hicks struck out four and scattered seven hits in compiling his second complete game of the season.
“This is a real good team,” Waubonsie Valley coach Bryan Acevedo said of Neuqua Valley. “Schram threw real well for us. They just have a very good offensive approach. He kept them at bay for four innings there and gave our offense a shot to keep us in the baseball game.
“We just didn’t hit and tip your hat to Hicks. He threw the ball well, but we had opportunities and just didn’t really get anything going.”