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State-title pursuit trumps Mustangs’ conference title race

DOWNERS GROVE — Downers Grove South’s baseball team is in the thick of the conference race, but it’s not discussing it.

The Mustangs took two games from West Suburban Gold-rival Addison Trail on Saturday, in the process improving to 14-3 overall and 10-1 in WSG play. They remain ahead of Hinsdale South with two more WSG series left — April 27-29 against Proviso East and May 4-6 against Willowbrook.

But winning a conference title isn’t really part of the discussion for South.

“It’s never really been a big concern,” South coach Darren Orel said. “Every game is of equal importance and that’s what I try to get across. We never set up our pitching like that. Whoever’s turn it is in the rotation is who pitches.”

Orel did say that winning conference is probably in the back of the minds of his players, but the team’s goal is to win a state title which is why South’s 2001 football state title is part of the conversation.

“I remind them the year we won state in football we didn’t win conference,” Orel said. “It’s great to win conference, but regionals and sectionals are what we’re shooting for.”

South pounded out 23 hits Saturday against the Blazers and the pitching yielded just six hits as the Mustangs won 12-0 in Game 1 and 9-3 in Game 2. That’s the kind of combination that will help the Mustangs win the conference title as well as postseason titles.

“The pitching has been consistent — we’ve only had one truly bad game on the mound — and the we’ve been swinging the bats well,” Orel said. “We’ve been consistent on the mound and now we’re swinging the bats better, so hopefully we can continue that.”

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