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Naz builds momentum in summer season

NAPERVILLE – Most baseball programs don't put as much emphasis on winning in the summer as Nazareth.

That shows with how much success Nazareth has had in the summer state playoffs in recent years. The Roadrunners made another run this year, getting all the way to the state final eight.

Brandon Bossard started in a 4-3 win against Glenbrook North on Monday at North Central College in a summer state quarterfinal. Chris Campagna had the game-winning single in the top of the eighth and Matt Wilson got out of some trouble to shut the door in the bottom half of the final inning.

Nazareth also won on Tuesday, beating St. Laurence 4-2 at Benedictine University in Lisle. The win advanced the Roadrunners to the single-elimination semifinals on Wednesday at Benedictine.

"We're just trying to carry momentum into the next season and trying to go as far as we can and get some good experience for these guys for next year," Wilson said.

Wilson is also a regular outfielder for the team and was a regular on varsity in the spring. Bossard, who went six innings and gave up two runs against the Spartans, expects to move from third base to shortstop while also pitching. In the spring Tim DalPorto, set to play for Kent State, played shortstop but the spot is now open for Bossard.

The junior will be among the most experienced players on what figures to be another talented Nazareth squad next season. During the summer he has been playing mostly travel ball, but has been playing with the Roadrunners when possible.

"A lot of travel for me," Bossard said. "My travel team goes to a bunch of different tournaments, but I come to a lot of summer ball games. I just want to do my share for the team and try to get us far as we can."

Nazareth entered Monday's game without a handful of players due to a football camp going on at Illinois Wesleyan University at the same time. The Roadrunners picked up the first win despite the absence of some key starters among that group.

"The fact that our subs came in and did all this is a good sign," Bossard said. "We take a lot of pride in our summer ball."

In addition to a schedule that included area teams, Nazareth played in the Suburban Chicago Connie Mack Baseball League, a wood bat league comprised of teams from the north suburbs along with the Roadrunners. New Trier coach Mike Napoleon had a hand in creating the league, which also includes summer state opponent Glenbrook North. Nazareth took third out of eight teams in that league.

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