CAROL STREAM — Monday's third and final matchup between Wheaton Warrenville South and Glenbard North held more importance than just deciding which team would win the three-game series.
It also knocked one team out of second-place in the DuPage Valley Conference.
Fortunately for the Panthers, they came out on the right end of a 5-4 decision and stayed one game behind league leader Naperville Central heading into their series against Wheaton North which wraps up tonight in Carol Stream.
"That was a big win for us," said Glenbard North coach Rich Smelko, "and a big series win to take two out of three from them."
Glenbard North scored all of its runs in one inning but that held up due to some great relief work from Brett Consitt.
Trailing 1-0 going into the bottom of the third inning, the Panthers strung together seven hits in a row, plating five runs. Jeff LaPage and Vince Slobodecki each had RBI-singles while Adam Villanueva knocked in two with a hit.
"We had first and second in the first two innings and couldn't get anybody in," the coach said. "It's a credit to our guys, they stuck with it and we pushed some runs across in that inning. We came up with some big hits."
Wheaton Warrenville South came back with three runs in the fourth before Consitt shut the door. The senior, who also pitched five innings in relief in a May 1 win over West Aurora, worked four scoreless frames this time around.
"It's great to have someone who can come in and give you long relief," Smelko said, "and then bounce back the next day. He comes in and throws strikes."
After their series with Wheaton North, the Panthers will wrap up DVC play with three games against Naperville North beginning on Monday.
"We've been preaching it all year since day one," Smelko added, "we know we've got good pitching. We just have to play consistent defense and get timely hitting."