BURLINGTON –The Wheaton Academy baseball team pushed top-seeded Hampshire through the opening innings of Wednesday’s Class 3A Burlington Central Regional semifinal before shoddy defense caught up with it.
The Warriors committed six errors, including two in Hampshire’s four-run fourth. That rally erased Wheaton Academy’s 1-0 lead.
“One of those losses where you just feel like you gave it to them. Like you were the better team,” Warriors coach Brad Byrne said. “We had one bad inning when we had the lead and gave them four runs in an inning.”
Sam Perna drove in the lone run for Wheaton Academy (7-20) on a single in the third.
Austin Ebeling allowed four runs – one earned – in four innings.
“This is a good team that just chose to have a bad inning,” Byrne said. “I think Hampshire was scared. I think they knew they were going to play a very good team.”
Wheaton Academy defeated Genoa-Kingston, 6-0, in Monday’s opening round.
Class 2A Byron Sectional: Byron 10, Aurora Central Catholic 3: ACC saw its first winning season since 2006 come to an end, as the host Tigers used a five-run third inning to advance. The Chargers’ Matt Miller started on three day’s rest. ACC finished 27-8 in its first season under Sean Bieterman.
2A Riverside-Brookfield Sectional: St. Francis 2, Hinsdale South 1: At Riverside, defending 2A state champion St. Francis improved to 17-1 and advanced to Saturday’s regional final against Fenwick. The Friars knocked off Glenbard South, 3-1, in the night’s opening semifinal.
St. Francis trailed, 1-0, after the Hornets scored on a set piece.
Kaity Bucaro notched the tying goal before Corky Hart converted a Taylor Van Thournout through-ball to score the eventual game-winner.
St. Francis withstood its share of pressure from HInsdale South in the second half, but the back line helped hold things together in front of Spartans goalkeeper Jenna DiTusa
"The ball was down in our half more [after halftime]," Spartans coach Jim Winslow said, "but I don't know if they got a decent shot out of it."
Warriors’ Gagliano earns SCC Gold nod: At West Chicago, Wheaton Academy junior shortstop Marissa Gagliano was named Suburban Christian Conference Gold Softball Player of the Year.
Gagliano helped the Warriors to the SCC Gold crown by batting .642 in 19 regular-season games and stealing 30 bases in 31 attempts.
Catcher Jess Bosse and left fielder Bridget Koehler – both sophomores from St. Charles – were among the Warriors’ other all-conference selections. Sarah McClain and Michelle Ridderhoff also were selected.