In order to advance to Friday’s Class 3A Plano Regional semifinal, Aurora Central first had to get past its neighbor school, IMSA.
The Chargers came out firing in Monday’s quarterfinal, scoring 17 runs in the first two innings en route to a 17-0, five-inning win.
The win sets up Friday’s showdown with Kaneland, a team the Chargers beat 6-0 in nonconference play. The game was moved to 4:30 p.m. Friday at Plano due to Thursday’s graduation ceremony at ACC.
“Just get some work in and get ready for Friday,” ACC pitcher Andrew Bruss said. “No matter who you play, you want to go out and play your best and play hard. It was a game where I played half the game and then got to support the rest of the team. It’s fun to see those guys get in there, especially guys that don’t play very much.”
Bruss did his part in his tuneup outing, striking out four in two innings of work. Pat Canning took care of the other three innings. Combined, they struck out 11 and allowed only one hit.
Offensively, the Chargers (19-15) posted five runs in the first on IMSA (0-15). Jared Smith’s two-run single was the big blow. Then the Chargers exploded for 12 runs in the second, sending 17 to the plate. Sean Anger had a two-run triple and Matt Rahn had a two-run double in that rally.
“We just wanted to come out and pitch and play defense, execute a few things,” ACC coach Sean Bieterman said. “You don’t want it to get out of hand, either. We did what we needed to do — advance to the next round.”
The Chargers played well last Friday behind Rahn and Mike Fidler in a 6-0 win over Kaneland. The Knights were on hand for Monday’s game.
“They do some things well,” Bieterman said of Kaneland. “They’re well-coached. We’re going to have to play very well to beat them.
“We’re playing much better the last two weeks. We’ve shown some good things. If we pitch well and play defense we’re pretty steady.”
In all likelihood, Bruss will start Friday for ACC, and he’s ready for the assignment.
“It will be a good game,” Bruss said. “It will be a challenging game. I love being in that position. I always want to be on the mound, doing the job for my team.”