WHITING | According to Bishop Noll senior Chad Mateja, he just wants to do his job and help his team win.
The senior designated hitter accomplished both Saturday. Mateja went 2-for-4 with a home run and four RBIs in the Warriors' 9-4 win over Boone Grove in the second semifinal of the Class 2A Whiting Regional.
The Warriors (26-3) advanced to play Adams Central (25-3) at 5 p.m. Monday. The scheduled championship was postponed due to rain.
Adams Central defeated Bremen 11-1 in six innings in the first game.
After shortstop Matt Sandoval and Danny Pobereyko each reached base, Mateja launched a Dean Hill offering over the tall scoreboard in left field to give Noll an early 3-0 lead.
Boone Grove (20-8) had a chance to answer in its half, but failed to score after loading the bases with its first three hitters.
After Jake Wright reached on a dropped third strike and Chuck Kidd walked, Hill singled, but was picked off of first. Pobereyko subsequently struck out the next two hitters to end the threat.
"It's important to score early to take the pressure off and getting out of the bottom of the first inning was a huge momentum boost for us after we gave them opportunities," Bishop Noll coach Paul Wirtz said.
Mateja was at it again in the third, smacking a single to knock in Pobereyko, who had doubled.
"I was trying to get a fastball and just trying to do my job," said Mateja.
The Wolves got on the board in the third as Hill singled in Austin Rhoda. After an exchange of runs in the fourth and fifth, Noll tacked on one more in the sixth.
Boone Grove responded again in the sixth with a two-run single from Kyle Erickson, cutting the lead to 6-4, making the base running blunder in the first all the more significant.
The Wolves also made seven errors and were struck out 12 times by Pobereyko (8-1).
"We just didn't finish our response and they did," Boone Grove coach Rollie Thill said. "Bishop Noll did what they had to do. We can play with anyone if we play 'D.'"
Noll put three more up in the seventh, started with a single by Sandoval, who went 4-for-4 with two runs.
Noll's three through six hitters (Sandoval, Pobereyko, Mateja and Julian Guererro) went a combined 10-for-15 and reached base 13 times.
"We had some key things happen at key times," Wirtz said.