No. 1 Neuqua Remains Undefeated, Shuts Out Wheaton North

By Drew Locascio
Illinois Scouting Director

WHEATON, IL - No. 1 Neuqua Valley traveled to Wheaton North and came away with a 6-0 win. With the win, Neuqua has taken the first two games of the three game Dupage Valley Conference series.

Uncommitted 2019 right-handed pitcher Anthony Sterchele took the ball for the Wildcats of Neuqua Valley (22-0) and was on his game from the first pitch. The 6-foot-5, 200-pound, right-hander attacked hitters behind a firm fastball and sharp breaking slider that he had good feel for throughout. Early on Sterchele, sat 88-90 mph before settling in anywhere from 86-88 mph. His slider ranged anywhere between 74-77 mph and he routinely went to it to keep the Wheaton North (16-8) lineup off balance. Sterchele faced one jam, in his sixth and final inning but struck out the Wheaton North cleanup hitter to end the threat. Sterchele’s final line was six innings, one hit, no runs, one walk and nine strikeouts.

Jake Karaba, another uncommitted 2019 right-handed pitcher for Neuqua came in and finished off the seventh inning. Karaba showed off a loose, quick arm and fastball that topped at 85 mph. Like, Sterchele, Karaba went to a hard-biting slider as his out pitch. Karaba threw 15 pitches and gave up one hit in his one-inning save.

Neuqua jumped out to the early lead, scoring two runs in the first inning and three more in the second. Ryan Wheeler led off the game with a base knock up the middle and advanced to third base on a double by two-hole hitter, Nick Taylor. Wheeler and Taylor both scored on consecutive RBI groundouts by Evan Ranneklev (Illinois Wesleyan commit) and Jack Rigoni (SIU-Edwardsville commit). Wheeler and Taylor both reached and scored in the three-run second inning as well. Jake Wenz (Wisconsin-Whitewater) went 2-for-3 in the win.

Jay Gail was the bright spot in the Wheaton North lineup, collecting the only two hits on the day for the Falcons. Gail finished 2-for-3 with a double.

Both teams will face off again on Monday, May 7th at Neuqua Valley.

For more in-depth notes from the game - and all other games that we cover - visit the Illinois Scout Blog later.