A decisive and swift victory in Tuesday's semifinal game extended the Verona baseball team's historic season another game, as the Wildcats punched their ticket to the Class 1 District 5 championship.
In its short history as a program, the team has come up with a few surprising wins in district play, but Tuesday's 15-0 beatdown of Chadwick came as no surprise, as the Wildcats have rolled over teams on a consistent basis this season. With the win, top-seeded Verona was one step away from making history.
After a flawless top of the first with Dillin Shrum on the mound, the Wildcats got right to work in the bottom of the frame. Caleb Hillhouse drew a leadoff walk and scored two batters later on a single by Kelson Guenther.
That run itself would have been enough to win on the day, as Shrum held Chadwick hitless over three innings, but the Wildcats would add four more in the inning with the help of a two-run double by Kolton Pinkly and an RBI single by Austin Valdez.
Verona scored 10 more times in the second inning, highlighted by a pair of two-run doubles by Guenther and Pinkly.
With three outs to get in the top of the third, Shrum struck out the side to secure the victory.
Guenther and Pinkly each finished the day with two runs and four RBI, with three and two hits to their names, respectively. Hillhouse and Valdez each scored twice and recorded a hit. Shrum finished the three-inning game with eight strikeouts, no hits allowed and one walk.
The victory pitted Verona against Exeter in Wednesday's championship game. The Wildcats were the winners in both regular season meetings, defeating the Tigers 16-1 and 12-2. Look for results of the game in next week's sports section.