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UPDATED: Lady Maroons Blank Springfield, Advance to Regional Final

Mac Armstrong went the distance for the Clinton Lady Maroons and shut out Springfield High School 4-0 in a Regional semifinal matchup at the Rochester High School in the Class 3A softball postseason. 

 

Armstrong set down the first 11 batters she faced before a two-out single gave the Lady Senators their first hit of the day. 

 

Springfield would muster just five more base runners the rest of the game and Armstrong did not allow a runner to reach third base. She struck out three, walked one and allowed three total hits.

 

The Lady Maroons were led offensively by Zoe Polen who logged the game's only extra-base hit with an RBI double in the fifth inning. Winds were consistently blowing to right field and center field throughout the game but no one could muscle anything more than bloop base hits or ground balls through the infield. Polen finished 2-for-2 with a walk, run scored and RBI.

 

Camdyn Alsup finished 2-for-3 with a run scored. Savannah Clifton finished 2-for-4 with a run driven in. Amanda Tool also drove in a run for the Lady Maroons.

 

Clinton will take on Rochester at Rochester High School Friday afternoon for a Regional title. The Rockets shut out Clinton in a Regional semifinal game last year at Mahomet-Seymour and knocked the Lady Maroons out of the postseason in 2017 with an 11-3 in a Regional title game at Clinton High School. The Lady Maroons lost in a Regional final in 2016 to Effingham, 1-0. 

 

Friday's matchup is the third Regional championship game appearance in four seasons for Clinton. 

 

Game time is 4:30 pm from Rochester. Hear the action on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM/106.5 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com. 

 

Class 3A Regional semifinal softball scores from Wednesday....

 

At Bartonville

 

East Peoria 3

Limestone 7

 

At Chillicothe

 

Metamora 1

Geneseo 9

 

Illinois Valley Central 6

Streator 3

 

At Galesburg

 

Peoria Notre Dame 5

Macomb 0

 

At Taylorville

 

Chatham Glenwood 13

Decatur MacArthur 0

 

Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin 10

Taylorville 7

 

Class 4A Regoinal semifinal softball scores from Wednesday....

 

At Pekin

 

Moline 8

Normal Community 1

 

Class 1A Sectional semifinal softball scores from Wednesday....

 

At Champaign St. Thomas More

 

Fisher 2

Villa Grove 3

 

At Meridian

 

Casey-Westfield 1

Meridian 2

 

Class 2A Sectional semifinal softball scores from Wednesday....

 

At Brimfield

 

Quincy Notre Dame 2

Tremont 10

 

At Newton

 

Breese Mater Dei 5

Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond 2

 

At Olympia

 

Olympia 4

St. Joseph-Ogden 2

 

Class 3A Regional semifinal action today....

 

At Limestone

 

Washington 4:30pm

Canton

 

At Chillicothe

 

Geneseo 4:30pm

Illinois Valley Central

 

At Galesburg

 

Galesburg 6:30pm

Dunlap

 

>>Class 1A boys baseball sectional semifinal action

 

At Illinois Wesleyan

 

Delavan 0

Ottawa Marquette 2

 

LeRoy 3

Woodhull AlWood 0

 

Class 2A boys baseball Sectional semifinal action from Wednesday

 

At Bloomington Central Catholic

 

Bloomington Central Catholic 8

St. Joseph-Ogden 16

 

Tuscola 8

Clifton Central 3

 

Class 3A boys baseball Regional semifinal action from Wednesday....

 

At Bloomington 

 

Normal U-High 11

Pontiac 1

 

At Illinois Valley Central

 

Illinois Valley Central 0

Peoria Notre Dame 7

 

At Dunlap

 

Dunlap 11 F-5

Canton 0

 

Limestone 9

Macomb 1

 

At Mahomet-Seymour

 

Champaign Central 15

Mt. Zion 1

 

Charleston 7

Mahomet-Seymour 1

 

At Morton

 

Morton 10

East Peoria 2

 

Lincoln 3

Washington 0

 

At Paris

 

Mattoon 6

Champaign Centennial 2

 

At Quincy Notre Dame

 

Quincy Notre Dame 10

Springfield Lanphier 0

 

Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin 5 @ University of Illinois Springfield

Springfield 0

 

At Taylorville

 

Rochester 4

Springfield Southeast 2

 

Class 4A boys baseball regional semifinal action from Wednesday....

 

At Moline 

 

Normal Community 4

Rock Island 2

 

At Normal West

 

Normal West 8

Minooka 3

 

Class 3A boys baseball regional semifinal action today.....

 

At Bloomington 

 

Metamora 4:00pm

Bloomington 

 

At Taylorville

 

Chatham Glenwood 4:30pm

Taylorville  

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Illinois Drops Big Ten Tourney Opener

Maryland hit two home runs in the eighth inning Wednesday to break a 1-1 tie and beat the No. 20 Illinois baseball team 6-2 in the Big Ten Tournament's first round at TD Ameritrade Park.

 

Maryland (29-27) powered past Illinois with two-run homers from Maxwell Costes and Justin Vought in the eighth. After the Terrapins added another run in the ninth, Illinois scored a put two runners on to bring the potential tying run to the on-deck circle, but two straight punch outs ended the threat. 

 

Andy Fisher started and turned in his fifth straight quality start for Illinois. Fisher worked 6 1/3 innings, allowing only one run on five hits and striking out four. Sean Leland (6-3) took the loss after allowing the two homers in one inning.

 

Hunter Parsons (10-3) was dominant for Maryland, going 7 1/3 innings and allowing one run on four hits. He threw 123 pitches to earn his 10th win of the year. 

 

Illinois (36-18) has a long road back in the tournament bracket, having to win four straight games in three days to get to Sunday's championship. Illinois would have to win Thursday at 9 a.m. CT, Friday at 3:30 p.m. CT, Saturday at 9 a.m. CT and again Saturday at 5 p.m. CT to get to the championship game Sunday at 1 p.m. CT.

 

Illinois drops to Thursday's losers' bracket game at 9 a.m. CT against Michigan.

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Illinois State Tops Southern Illinois in Missouri Valley Conference Tourney Opener

Illinois State defeated Southern Illinois in its first Missouri Valley Conference game, 4-1 from Normal. 

 

Brent Headrick and Colton Johnson faced just five batters over the minimum in the victory. Headrick fired seven, one-run innings allowing two walks and struck out four. 

 

Derek Parola finished 2-for-4 with a solo home run. Joe Butler and Nick Zouras drove in runs for ISU as well.

 

The Redbirds (33-22) will play the winner of Evansville and Indiana State tomorrow at 7 p.m.

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Cardinals Split Double Header With Royals; Sox Turn Triple Play, Hit Grand Slam in Win; Cubs Blast Phillies

>>Cardinals, Royals Split Double Header

 

Brad Keller threw seven-plus innings of two-hit baseball, Jorge Soler hit a three-run homer and the Kansas City Royals beat St. Louis 8-2 Wednesday in the first game of a doubleheader. The Cardinals have lost 10 of 12.

 

He worked around leadoff walks in the first, second and fourth innings and had retired 12 of 13 batters before Matt Carpenter walked and Paul Goldschmidt singled to start the eighth, ending Keller's day.

 

Jorge Soler's drive into the left field seats off Michael Wacha (3-2) capped a six-run third and made it 7-0.

 

Whit Merrifield had two hits, drove in a run and scored once. Adalberto Mondesi had two hits, drove in two and scored. Nicky Lopez reached three times and scored twice and Hunter Dozier hit a pair of sacrifice flies.

 

Marcel Ozuna and Matt Carpenter went deep as part of a four-homer barrage and the St. Louis Cardinals split a doubleheader with the Kansas City Royals by winning the second game 10-3 on Wednesday night.

 

Ozuna capped a 12-pitch at-bat by blasting a three-run homer off Homer Bailey over the right field wall to give the Cardinals a 3-0 lead in the first. Carpenter set the tone against Bailey, who threw 42 pitches in the inning, with a nine-pitch walk.

 

Dexter Fowler and Kolten Wong also homered as St. Louis had as many home runs in the second game as it did hits in the opener.

 

Adam Wainwright (4-4) battled through control issues with 55 of his 103 pitches going for strikes. In five innings, he allowed three runs, six hits, walked four and struck out two.

 

John Gant, Andrew Miller, Carlos Martinez and John Brebbia combined for four scoreless innings of relief.

 

Hunter Dozier's 10th home run of the year off of Wainwright in the fifth inning travelled 420 feet. Adalberto Mondesi had a pair of hits, scored and drove in a run.

 

Miles Mikolas (4-4, 4.88 ERA) will look to bounce back in the opener of a three-game set against the Atlanta Braves and RHP Mike Foltynewicz (0-3, 6.91 ERA). Miles gave up seven runs in a career-low 1 1/3 innings in his last start at Texas last Friday.

 

>>Cubs Double Up Phillies

 

Cole Hamels struggled in his first start against his original team, Albert Almora Jr. hit his first career grand-slam and the Cubs rallied from an early three-run deficit with three homers, beating the Philadelphia Phillies 8-4 Wednesday night.

With the game tied at 3 in the fifth, Almora launched Cole Irvin's changeup into the shrubs in the center-field batter's eye.

 

Anthony Rizzo hit his 12th homer, a mammoth shot in the third inning that struck the neon beer sign atop the right field scoreboard, tying it at 3-all. That allowed Hamels to escape with a no-decision and remain unbeaten this season, despite allowing three runs on nine hits and two walks through four innings.

 

Javier Baez added a solo shot in the seventh.

 

Tyler Chatwood (3-0) earned the win with four innings of one-run, three-hit relief. Steve Cishek worked around a single and got the final three outs.

 

Andrew McCutchen had three hits, including a solo homer off Chatwood in the eighth. Jean Segura extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a single and a double as the Phillies dropped their second straight to Chicago in a four-game series between division leaders.

 

Irvin (2-1) was roughed up for seven runs on seven hits after winning his first two starts following his recall from Triple-A.

 

Aaron Nola (4-0, 4.47) faces Cubs LHP Jon Lester (3-2, 2.09) in the series finale on Thursday afternoon. Lester is 8-0 with a 1.49 ERA in 10 career starts against the Philadelphia. Nola has allowed just one run in four of his last five starts and is 2-0 with a 2.30 ERA over the span.

 

>>White Sox Solve Astros

 

Charlie Tilson hit a grand slam for his first career homer and the White Sox turned the only triple play in the majors this season during a 9-4 victory.

It's the first time in franchise history the White Sox have smacked a grand slam and pulled off a triple play in the same game - and only the fourth time a major league team has done it since 1979. The last club to accomplish the feat was the Detroit Tigers on Sept. 8, 2017.

 

Eloy Jimenez homered twice for Chicago, and Tilson's slam highlighted a six-run sixth inning.

The Astros got a homer from Alex Bregman in a three-run fourth to go on top before Chicago's big inning.

 

White Sox starter Ivan Nova (3-4) allowed 10 hits but just three runs in seven-plus innings to bounce back after giving up nine runs in his previous start. He was helped by a defense that turned four double plays and ended the third inning with Chicago's first triple play since July 2016 against Atlanta.

 

With runners on first and second, speedy Jake Marisnick hit a grounder down the third base line to Moncada. He stepped on the bag for the first out and threw to Yolmer Sanchez at second. Sanchez relayed to first, where the ball just beat Marisnick.

 

Gerritt Cole yielded seven hits and six runs while striking out seven in five-plus innings.

 

Lucas Giolito (5-1, 3.35 ERA) pitches the series finale Thursday. Giolito allowed three hits and one run over five innings against the Blue Jays in his last start to extend his winning streak to a career-high four games.

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Clinton Softball Takes on Springfield At Rochester Regional

The Clinton Lady Maroons will take on Springfield in today's Class 3A Rochester regional semifinal action.

 

The Lady Maroons rolled past Springfield Lanphier 18-1 on Monday at Clinton High School. Springfield, the four seed in the sectional, did not have a first round game.

 

Game time today is 4:30 pm. Hear all the action on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM/106.5 FM WHOW, online at dewittdailynews.com, the WHOW mobile app and at Amazon Alexa.

 

Class 3A Regional semifinal scores from Wednesday....

 

At Mahomet-Seymour

 

Charleston 11

Mattoon 0

 

Mahomet-Seymour 8

Effingham 6

 

At Normal U-High

 

Morton 0

Pontiac 10

 

Bloomington 1

Normal U-High 2

 

At Rantoul

 

Mt. Zion 13 F-5

Rantoul 3

 

At Rochester

 

Rochester 10 F-5

Springfield Southeast 0

 

Class 3A Regional semifinal action today....

 

At Limestone

 

East Peoria 4:30pm - POSTPONED FROM TUESDAY

Limestone

 

At Chillicothe

 

Geneseo 4:30pm - POSTPONED FROM TUESDAY

Metamora

 

Streato 6:30pm - POSTPONED FROM TUESDAY

Illinois Valley Central

 

At Galesburg 

 

Peoria Notre Dame 4:30pm - POSTPONED FROM TUESDAY

Macomb

 

At Taylorville

 

Chatham Glenwood 4:30pm - POSTPONED FROM TUESDAY

Decatur MacArthur

 

Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin 6:30pm - POSTPONED FROM TUESDAY

Taylorville

 

Class 1A Sectional semifinal softball scores from Tuesday....

 

At Champaign St. Thomas More

 

Heyworth 2

Catlin Salt Fork 3

 

At Meridian

 

Casey-Westfield 1 susp. AFTER 5

Meridian 0

Game was suspended in the top of the 5th inning and will be resumed on Wednesday, 05/22 at 6:00 pm

 

Class 2A Sectional semifinal softball scores from Tuesday....

 

At Olympia

Tolono Unity 5

Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley 4

 

Class 2A Sectional semifinal action for today....

 

At Newton

 

Breese Mater Dei 4:30pm - POSTPONED FROM TUESDAY

Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond

 

At Olympia

 

Olympia 4:30pm

St. Joseph-Ogden

 

>>Boys Baseball Regional, Sectional Matchups

 

Class 1A Boys baseball Sectional semifinal action today....

 

At Illinois Wesleyan U.

 

Ottawa-Marquette 4:00pm

Delavan

 

 

LeRoy 6:00pm

Woodhull-AlWood

 

At Danville Schlarman

 

Catlin Salt Fork 4:30pm

Bethany Okaw Valley

 

Mt. Pulaski 6:30pm

Cissna Park

 

Class 2A Boys baseball Sectional semifinal action today....

 

At Bloomington Central Catholic

 

Bloomington Central Catholic 4:30pm

St. Joseph-Ogden

 

Tuscola 7:00pm

Clifton Central

 

Class 3A boys baseball Regional semifinal action today....

 

At Bloomington

 

Normal U-High 4:00pm

Pontiac

 

At Chillicothe

 

Peoria Notre Dame 7:00pm

Illinois Valley Central

 

At Dunlap

 

Dunlap 4:30pm

Canton

 

Limestone 6:30pm

Macomb

 

At Mahomet-Seymour

 

Champaign Central 4:00pm

Mt. Zion

 

Charleston 6:00pm

Mahomet-Seymour

 

At Morton

 

Morton 4:30pm

East Peoria

 

Lincoln 7:00pm

Washington

 

At Paris

 

Effingham 4:00pm

Paris

 

Mattoon 6:30pm

Champaign Centennial

 

At Quincy Notre Dame

 

Quincy Notre Dame 5:00pm

Springfield Lanphier

 

Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin 4:00pm @ University of Illinois Springfield

Springfield (H.S.)

 

At Taylorville

 

Rochester 4:30pm

Springfield Southeast

 

Class 4A Boys baseball regional semifinal action today....

 

At Moline

 

Normal Community 4:30pm

Rock Island

 

At Normal West

 

Normal West 4:30pm

Minooka

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Cubs Win, Sox Lose, Cards Washed Out

>>Cubs Hold Off Phillies

 

Javy Baez's pinch-hit single capped a two-run, ninth-inning rally and lifted the Cubs over Philadelphia 3-2 on Tuesday night to stop the Phillies' four-game winning streak.

 

Baez didn't start for a second straight game because of a jammed right heel, but the 2018 NL MVP runner-up came through immediately off the bench with the game on the line.

 

Bryant had three hits and used his speed to slide home with two runs.

 

Chicago trailed 2-1 starting the ninth, but Juan Nicasio (0-2) walked Bryant leading off, Anthony Rizzo doubled and, after Willson Contreras hit a shallow flyout, Jason Heyward was intentionally walked.

 

Bryant scored when Albert Almora Jr. hit a chopper toward first, and Nicasio's underhand toss to catcher J.T. Realmuto was late, a call upheld by a video review. Baez, lined Nicasio's first pitch to right over a drawn-in infield.

 

Kyle Ryan (1-1) got two outs for the win.

 

Phillies slugger Bryce Harper went 0 for 4 and failed to reach base at Wrigley Field for the first time in 19 games. Jean Segura doubled in the first to extend his hitting streak to 12 games.

 

Andrew McCutchen hit a two-run single in the seventh off Brandon Kintzler to put the Phillies ahead.

Cubs starter Jose Quintana allowed two hits in six shutout innings, leaving after 100 pitches.

 

Philadelphia's Zach Eflin settled down after a 32-pitch first inning that included three walks and allowed one run and six hits in six innings.

 

Cole Hamels (4-0, 3.13) makes his first start against the Philadelphia on Wednesday. The Phillies drafted Hamels and he won 114 games for the Phillies before he was traded to Texas in July 2015.

 

Phillies rookie LHP Cole Irvin (2-0, 2.77) won his first two starts after his recall from Triple-A.

 

>>Astros Stay Hot, Down White Sox

 

Justin Verlander took a no-hitter into the seventh inning and struck out a season-high 12 to lead the Astros to a 5-1 win over the White Sox.

Verlander (8-1) was in control from the first pitch, allowing one hit and walking one in eight innings for his fourth straight win and the seventh in eight starts. The only hit off him came when Jose Abreu sent the first pitch of his at-bat just over the wall and out of reach of a leaping Jake Marisnick in straightaway center field with one out in the seventh to cut the lead to 5-1.

 

Yuli Gurriel hit a solo homer off Dylan Covey (0-3) in the fourth inning to give the Astros home runs in 18 straight games, tying the second-longest streak in franchise history.

 

Verlander, who threw no-hitters in 2007 and 2011, retired his first five batters with three strikeouts before walking Yonder Alonso with two outs in the second. But he got right back on track, sitting down Tim Anderson to end the inning.

 

He needed just 11 pitches to strike out the side in the third inning.

 

Yoan Moncada struck out to start the seventh before Abreu's homer. Verlander received a hearty ovation after ending his night with a perfect eighth before Hector Rondon took over for the ninth and finished the one-hitter.

 

Covey allowed four hits, walked four and allowed four runs in four-plus innings.

 

Ivan Nova (2-4, 7.42) will start for Chicago on Wednesday night. Nova will try and bounce back after yielding eight hits and nine runs in three innings of a 10-2 loss to Toronto in his last start.

 

Gerrit Cole (4-4, 3.56) is scheduled to start for Houston when the series continues Wednesday. Cole, who leads the majors with 93 strikeouts, struck out seven in five scoreless innings of Houston's 3-1 win over Boston in his last start.

 

>>Cardinals, Royals Rained Out

 

The opener of the I-70 series between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Kansas City Royals was postponed because of a forecast for severe weather and rescheduled as part of a day-night doubleheader on Wednesday.

 

The National Weather Service said there was a ''threat for severe thunderstorms producing tornadoes, strong winds, large hail, and additional flash flooding'' on Tuesday night.

 

Michael Wacha (3-1), who had been scheduled to start for St. Louis on Tuesday, will pitch the game against Kansas City's Brad Keller (2-5).

 

Homer Bailey (4-4), the Royals' starter Tuesday, will pitch the night game against Adam Wainwright (3-4).

 

St. Louis has lost seven of 10 games. Kansas City won Sunday to stop a four-game losing streak.

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Blues Punch Ticket to Stanley Cup

David Perron had a goal and an assist, Jordan Binnington picked up his franchise-record 12th playoff win and the Blues eliminated the San Jose Sharks with a 5-1 win in Game 6 of the Western Conference final Tuesday night.

 

Tarasenko, Brayden Schenn and Tyler Bozak also scored for St. Louis, which will face the Boston Bruins for the championship. Ivan Barbashev got an empty-netter with 2:15 left, Ryan O'Reilly had three assists and Binnington stopped 25 shots.

 

St. Louis won three consecutive games to advance to the franchise's first Cup Final since 1970. That series also pitted the Blues against the Bruins.

 

San Jose played without injured forwards Joe Pavelski and Tomas Hertl and defenseman Erik Karlsson. Injury attrition played a role for the Sharks, who played seven games in each of the first two rounds.

 

Dylan Gambrell scored his first career goal for San Jose, which lost for the first time in five elimination games this postseason. Martin Jones made 14 stops.

 

St. Louis grabbed control with a fast start.

 

Perron tipped in Sammy Blais' shot just 92 seconds into the game. Tarasenko made it 2-0 with a well-placed wrist shot at 16:16.

 

Tarasenko got his eighth goal of the postseason just seven seconds after San Jose forward Barclay Goodrow was sent off for tripping.

 

St. Louis D Vince Dunn missed his third consecutive game with an upper-body injury. He took a puck to the mouth in the first period of Game 3. 

 

Game 1 is Monday night in Boston.

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Illinois Gets Four Selected to All Big Ten First Team

Four members of the No. 20 Illinois Baseball team were selected to the All-Big Ten First Team, the Big Ten Conference announced Tuesday. 

 

Garrett Acton, Andy Fisher, Michael Massey and Zac Taylor were all honored as first-team selections, tied for the fourth-most Illini on the first team since the All-Big Ten teams began in 1949.

 

Jack Yalowitz was a third-team pick, Cam McDonald made the All-Freshman Team and David Craan was selected as Illinois' Sportsmanship Award honoree.

 

Massey has had a consistent climb to All-Big Ten first team honors after being voted to the second team as a sophomore and third team as a freshman, hitting .323 with five homers and 26 RBIs, ranked sixth in the Big Ten in hits (65), eighth in batting average and leads Big Ten second basemen in nearly every statistical category.

 

Taylor has had a huge season despite missing 14 games with an injury. He has not appeared enough to rank on the Big Ten's batting average chart (would be fourth), yet he led the Big Ten with 20 steals and hit 10 homers. Taylor became the first player in Illinois history with 10+ home runs and 10+ stolen bases in back-to-back seasons.

 

Fisher has a 7-1 record and 2.65 ERA. The left hander ranks fourth in the Big Ten in batting average against (.205), fourth in innings (88.1), sixth in ERA (2.65) and eighth in strikeouts (85). He'll start Wednesday's Big Ten Tournament opener for Illinois.

 

Acton set the Illinois and Big Ten record for saves in a season with 19, a mark that also leads the nation.

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ISU Dominates Missouri Valley Conference Season Awards

Illinois State outfielder Joe Aeilts and Redbird pitcher Brent Headrick highlight the 2019 MVC all-conference baseball teams, being tabbed Joe Carter Player of the Year and Pitcher of the Year, respectively. Illinois State's Steve Holm has been named the league's Dan Callahan Coach of the Year, after leading the Redbirds to their third regular-season title in program history and the second seed in this week's MVC Baseball Championship. 

 

Indiana State pitcher Collin Liberatore was named Newcomer of the Year and Sycamore third baseman Jake Means earned Defensive Player of the Year honors. Missouri State rookie outfielder Dakota Kotowski was tabbed the league's Freshman of the Year.

 

Aielts and Headrick along with fellow juniors Joe Butler and John Rave were first team all conference. Aeilts slashed .349/.404/.570 with seven doubles, four home runs, 19 RBI, and 18 runs scored. Headrick tossed 48 innings allowing 12 runs (seven earned) on 30 hits. He walked just 13 batters and fanned 60 while opponents hit just .175 off of the left-handed pitcher. Rave slashed .289/.343/.598 during the conference season. The preseason All-MVC first-teamer led the team in conference play with 97 at-bats, 22 runs scored, eight home runs, 22 RBI, and 58 total bases. Joe Butler leads the Redbirds this conference season with a .422 batting average, a .489 on-base percentage, and a .614 slugging percentage. The junior third basemen also led the 'Birds in hits (35), and tied for the team lead with one triple while doubling eight times with two home runs, 12 RBI, and 19 runs scored. 

 

Sophomore Jack Butler was named to the All-Honorable Mention team. Rave was also named to the All-MVC Defensive Team for a third straight season.

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Illinois Baseball Checks in at No. 20 in DIBaseball.com Poll Headed to Big Ten Tournament

The No. 20 Illinois baseball team travels to Omaha, Nebraska, this week for the 2019 Big Ten Baseball Tournament at TD Ameritrade Park. The Illini are the No. 3 seed and will face No. 6-seeded Maryland in the tournament's opener Wednesday at 9 a.m. CT. 

 

Illinois (36-17, 15-9 Big Ten) is making its 23rd Big Ten Tournament appearance and will look for its fifth tournament title (1989, 1990, 2000, 2011). The conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament goes to the winner of the eight-team, double-elimination Big Ten Tournament. 

 

The Illini have an opportunity to add to its already strong NCAA Tournament resume. Illinois' RPI is at No. 22 with help from its 11-5 record against the top 50, the No. 5 winning percentage in the nation against the top 50. The Illini are squarely on the bubble to host an NCAA Regional in Champaign as one of the top 16 teams in the nation.

 

Illinois' Wednesday matchup with Maryland (28-27, 12-12 Big Ten) gives the Illini a chance to avenge one of its only series losses of the season. Andy Fisher will get the ball against Maryland's Hunter Parsons, a rematch of the two teams' Friday game on April 5, when Maryland rallied with four runs in the ninth to beat Illinois 4-2 at Illinois Field. 

 

The winner of Illinois vs. Maryland will face the winner of No. 2 seed Michigan vs. No. 7 seed Ohio State at 5 p.m. CT Thursday. The two games' losing teams will play Thursday at 9 a.m. CT.

All Big Ten Tournament games will be televised nationally on Big Ten Network.

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Illinois State's Nick Zouras Missouri Valley Conference Baseball Player of the Week

Illinois State catcher Nick Zouras has been named Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Week, announced by the conference office Monday afternoon.

 

Zouras helped Illinois State take home a share of the MVC regular season title this weekend with a series victory on Sunday over Evansville, 11-4. The senior led the Redbirds offensively, as he slashed .538/.538/.769 going 7-for-13 at the plate with three doubles, six RBI, and four runs scored.

 

The Prospect Heights, Illinois, native was a perfect 4-for-4 in the series opener with two RBI and two runs scored in the Redbirds 11-2 win. Zouras went 1-for-4 with a RBI and two runs scored on Saturday. He finished on Senior Day going 2-for-5 with three RBI including the go-ahead RBI in the fifth inning, and then added a two-run double in the seventh inning to secure the series victory over Evansville.

 

The No. 2 seeded Redbirds will open the MVC baseball tournament on Wednesday, May 22 at 3 p.m. Illinois State will play the winner of the No. 6 Bradley versus No. 8 Southern Illinois game on Tuesday.

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Cubs, White Sox Lose Monday

Jake Arrieta allowed one run over six innings in his return to Wrigley Field, J.T. Realmuto hit a solo homer in the 10th and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Chicago Cubs 5-4 on Monday.

 

Realmuto connected with two outs against Kyle Ryan (0-1), driving a 1-2 fastball a few rows into the left-field seats to decide the opener of a four-game series between the NL East and Central leaders. But the night belonged to Arrieta.

 

Hector Neris (1-1) worked a scoreless ninth. Adam Morgan struck out Jason Heyward leading off the 10th, and Juan Nicasio earned his first save since last June 28 when he got Daniel Descalso to ground into a double play after giving up a single to Albert Almora Jr.

 

Philadelphia scored three runs with two outs in the sixth against Darvish for a 3-1 lead. Realmuto hit an RBI single, and Cesar Hernandez followed with a two-run triple to right that ricocheted off the side wall and bounced over Heyward's head.

 

The Cubs scored three in the eighth against Seranthony Dominguez. Descalso drove in two with a triple to left-center, then was rewarded home when the relay from shortstop Jean Segura ricocheted off his right foot and into Chicago's dugout.

 

Philadelphia tied the game in the ninth against Brad Brach when Maikel Franco doubled and came home on a two-out bloop single to right by Segura.

 

Darvish gave up three runs, four hits and three walks in six innings while striking out seven.

Anthony Rizzo had three hits, including an RBI single.

 

Zach Eflin (5-4, 2.89 ERA) tries for his fourth win in five starts.

 

Jose Quintana (4-3, 3.68) has lost two straight starts after going 4-0 in his previous five.

 

 

 

Jake Marisnick and Tyler White homered and Brad Peacock had another solid start to lead the

Astros over the Chicago White Sox 3-0.

 

With George Springer, who leads the American League with 17 homers, out with a stiff back the Astros got pop from the bottom of the lineup to give them at least one homer in 17 straight games.

They have 40 home runs in that span, and the two long balls Monday night helped them to their 11th

win in 12 games.

 

Peacock (5-2) allowed two hits and fanned nine in five innings for his third straight win. He has allowed just two runs combined in his last three starts after giving up 11 combined in his previous three outings.

 

Ryan Pressly pitched a scoreless eighth to extend his MLB-record streak of appearances without allowing a run to 40, and Roberto Osuna gave up a hit in the ninth, preserving the shutout and earning his 12th save.

 

The White Sox used five pitchers on a bullpen day which began with Ryan Burr (1-1), who had made 22 relief appearances in two seasons with the team, but whose last start came at Arizona State on Feb. 23, 2014. He allowed one hit and one run - which was unearned, in two innings.

 

Eloy Jimenez was reinstated from the 10-day injured list before Monday's game, taking the roster spot of OF Nicky Delmonico, who was optioned to Triple-A Charlotte on Sunday. Jimenez has been on the injured list since April 28 after sustaining a high ankle sprain two days earlier.

 

Dylan Covey (0-2, 4.41 ERA) will start for Chicago on Tuesday. Covey did not factor in the decision after allowing two hits and two runs in 5 2/3 innings against Toronto in his last start.

 

Justin Verlander (7-1, 2.38) is scheduled to start for Houston on Tuesday. Verlander yielded two hits and one run in seven innings against Detroit for his third straight win the last time out.

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Blues Look To Close Out Western Conference Finals At Home Tonight

The team that sat dead last in the NHL when the calendar flipped to 2019 is now one win away from the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 1970.

 

That kind of turnaround sounds like a cheesy movie of the week, but it's the scenario before the St. Louis Blues after they blasted the host San Jose Sharks 5-0 Sunday afternoon to take a 3-2 lead in the Western Conference finals.

 

The Blues will look to close out the best-of-seven series Tuesday at home when they host Game 6. The winner of the series will face the Boston Bruins in the Stanley Cup Final.

 

The Sharks suffered through a war of attrition in what may have been their final home game of the season. Defenseman Erik Karlsson and forward Tomas Hertl didn't play in the third period, while captain Joe Pavelski left early in the final frame after taking a hard check.

 

Jaden Schwartz's trio of goals gives him 12 in the playoffs, one more than he collected through the regular season, while Vladimir Tarasenko netted a penalty shot goal in a three-point game. Tarasenko has collected at least one point in every game this series.

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UPDATED: Lady Maroons Advance To Regional Semifinals; Boys Baseball Falls At Pontiac

As heard on WHOW, the Clinton Lady Maroons defeated Springfield Lanphier by a score of 18-1 in 4 innings on Monday evening. 

 

The Lady Maroons were led at the plate by Camydn Alsup who went 3 for 4 with 3 RBIs including a 2 run double. Kianna Easton was 2 for 4 with 3 RBIs. Savanah Clifton was 2 for 4 with 3 RBIs and Amanda Tool was 2 for 2 with 2 RBIs. 

 

Mackenzie Armstrong took the win pitching 4 innings, allowing 1 run on 3 hits, walking none and striking out 3. 

 

The Lady Maroons advance to the 3A Regional Semifinals at Rochester on Wednesday. The Lady Maroons will play against Springfield High School with first pitch set for 4:30 pm. You can hear the game live on the Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM/106.5 FM WHOW, online at dewittdailynews.com, and on the WHOW app.

 

Class 3A Regional quarterfinal softball scores....

 

Limestone 24 F-4

Peoria Manual 0

 

At Decatur MacArthur

 

Decatur MacArthur 16

Decatur Eisenhower 1

 

Effingham 11 F-5

Champaign Central 1

 

Morton 13

Lincoln 9

 

Macomb 15

Peoria 0

 

Mattoon 8

Champaign Centennial 3

 

Metamora 18 F-4

Peoria Richwoods 1

 

Rantoul 8

Urbana 3

 

Springfield Southeast 12

Jacksonville 11

 

>>Big Second Inning Lifts Pontiac Over Clinton

 

Pontiac scored five runs in the second inning and that was the difference as they rolled past Clinton 7-3 in boys baseballl Class 3A Regional quarterfinal action from Pontiac Monday afternoon. 

 

Michael Oswald drove in three runs as part of a 2-for-4 afternoon. Braden Cross and Logan Peterson each had a double.

 

The Maroons finish their 2019 campaign 8-12 overall. Pontiac moves on to take on Normal U-High Wednesday afternoon in Bloomington. 

 

Boys baseball Class 3A Regional quarterfinal scores from Monday.....

 

East Peoria 6

Streator 5

 

Geneseo 10

Peoria 0

 

Jacksonville 6

Springfield Lanphier 7

 

Mahomet-Seymour 10

Urbana 3

 

Mt. Zion 7

Rantoul 3

 

Peoria Richwoods 1

Canton 6

 

Springfield Southeast 6

Decatur MacArthur 3

 

Taylorville 10

Decatur Eisenhower 0

 

Class 3A Regional semifinal softball action today....

 

At Bartonville

 

East Peoria 4:30pm

Limestone

 

At Illinois Valley Central

 

Geneseo 4:30pm

Metamora

 

Streator 6:30pm

Illinois Valley Central

 

At Galesburg

 

Peoria Notre Dame 4:30pm

Macomb

 

At Mahomet-Seymour

 

Mahomet-Seymour 6:00pm

Effingham

 

At Rantoul

 

Mt. Zion 4:30pm

Rantoul

 

Paris 6:30pm

Danville

 

At Rochester

 

Rochester 4:30pm

Springfield Southeast

 

At Taylorville

 

Chatham Glenwood 4:30pm

Decatur MacArthur

 

Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin 6:30pm

Taylorville

 

Class 4A Regional semifinal softball action today....

 

At Pekin

 

Normal West 4:30pm

Pekin

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Maroons Open Regional Play At Pontiac; Lady Maroons Host Springfield Lanphier

The Class 3A, 4A baseball and softball postseaon opens this afternoon with a day full of regional semifinal action.

 

The Clinton Maroons head to Pontiac for a Regional semifinal game as a part of the Bloomington Regional. A windy day Saturday resulted in a slugfest in Taylorville as the Maroons ended their campaign with a 26-12 loss to the Tornadoes.

 

Game time this afternoon from Pontiac is 4:30 pm.

 

The Lady Maroons will host Springfield Lanphier as a part of the Rochester regional. First pitch this afternoon from Clinton High School is 4:30 pm. Hear all the action on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com. 

 

Other Class 3A Regional semifinal girls softball action today....

 

Limestone 4:30pm

Peoria Manual

 

Decatur MacArthur 4:30pm

Decatur Eisenhower

 

Lincoln 4:30pm

Morton

 

Effingham  4:30pm

Champaign Central

 

Macomb 4:30pm

Peoria

 

Mattoon 4:30pm

Champaign Centennial

 

Metamora 4:30pm

Peoria Richwoods

 

Rantoul 4:30pm

Urbana

 

Springfield Southeast 4:30pm

Jacksonville

 

Boys baseball Class 3A Regional semifinal action....

 

East Peoria 4:30pm

Streator

 

Geneseo 4:30pm

Peoria

 

Jacksonville 4:30pm

Springfield Lanphier

 

Mahomet-Seymour 4:30pm

Urbana 

 

Mt. Zion 4:30pm

Rantoul

 

Peoria Richwoods 4:30pm

Canton

 

Springfield Southeast 4:30pm

Decatur MacArthur

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Illinois Earns 3-Seed in This Week's Big Ten Tournament

Illinois earned the No. 3 seed for the 2019 Big Ten Tournament and will play No. 6-seeded Maryland at 9 a.m. CT on Wednesday at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha. The winner of Illinois vs. Maryland will play the winner of Michigan vs. Ohio State at 5 p.m. CT on Thursday, while the two losing teams play Thursday at 9 a.m. CT.

 

The Big Ten Tournament is an eight-team double elimination tournament. Four wins in five days are required to win the tournament, which runs through the championship game Sunday, May 26 at 1 p.m. CT.

 

Illinois is No. 22 in the RPI, the best in the Big Ten and has won 14 of their last 18 games.

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Illinois State Earns Co-Missouri Valley Conference Regular Season Title, To Host MVC Tournament

An 11-4 win in the regular season finale gave the Illinois State Redbirds a share of the 2019 Missouri Valley Conference regular season title. ISU finished the regular season 32-22 and 14-7 in MVC play heading into the conference tournament held next week in Normal.

 

Illinois State will open its tournament action on Wednesday, May 22 when the team will play the winner of the first round game between Bradley and Southern Illinois in a 3 p.m. first pitch. 

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Cubs Win; Cardinals, Sox Lose Sunday

Steve Cishek pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings for his fourth save as the Cubs held on for a 6-5 win.

Chicago led 6-1 before Washington closed to within one on a three-run homer by Anthony Rendon in the sixth inning and a solo home run by Howie Kendrick in the seventh.

 

Cishek retired Rendon with a man on to end the seventh and allowed a single in the eighth before a 1-2-3 ninth.

 

Anthony Rizzo homered and Albert Almora Jr. had three hits for the Cubs, who took two of three from the Nationals and improved to 10-1-1 in their past 12 series.

 

Kyle Hendricks (4-4) retired the first 11 Washington batters and didn't allow a hit until Kurt Suzuki's single leading off the fifth, but gave up four runs and six hits in 5 2/3 innings. Hendricks had been masterful in May, allowing just one earned run over his past three starts (25 innings).

 

Washington starter Jeremy Hellickson (2-3) allowed three runs and four hits with three walks in three innings.

 

Yu Darvish (2-3, 5.14) starts the opener of a three-game series against former Cub Jake Arrieta and the visiting Philadelphia Phillies.

 

>>Blue Jays Down White Sox

 

Vlad Guerrero, Jr. hit another home run, Danny Jansen and Billy McKinney also connected and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Chicago White Sox 5-2 on Sunday.

Guerrero has hit all four of his homers in the past six games and is 7 for 21 with nine RBIs during that span. The 20-year-old didn't homer in his first 13 games after making his debut in late April.

Guerrero's two-run drive broke a 1-all tie in the eighth inning. Jansen added a two-run homer in the ninth.

 

Jose Abreu drove in both runs for the White Sox.

 

Daniel Hudson (3-1) worked a scoreless seventh. Ken Giles gave up an RBI double to the first batter he faced, then got four outs for his 10th save.

 

Kelvin Herrera (1-3) took the loss.

 

Toronto starter Trent Thornton allowed one run and three hits in six innings. White Sox starter Reynaldo Lopez gave up one run and four hits in six innings.

 

The White Sox have not named a starter Monday night for the opener of a four-game series at Houston and likely will go with a bullpen day. Chicago was winless in seven games last season against the Astros, who will start RHP Brad Peacock (4-2, 4.01 ERA).

 

>>Ranger Outlast Cardinals in Extra Innings

 

Danny Santana connected for a pinch-hit home run in the eighth inning and then scoring the winning run in the 10th on a sacrifice fly by Nomar Mazara off Martinez that lifted Texas over the St. Louis Cardinals 5-4.

The Rangers rallied for two runs in the 10th and won for the fourth time in five games. The Cardinals dropped their fifth straight series and haven't won consecutive games since taking five in a row from April 27-May 1.

 

Dexter Fowler's solo homer in the ninth off Texas reliever Chris Martin made it 3-all.

 

The Cardinals went ahead in the 10th when Harrison Bader doubled off Jeanmar Gomez (1-0) and scored on a sacrifice fly by Paul DeJong.

 

Rougned Odor opened the Texas 10th with a single off Jordan Hicks (1-2), Santana walked and Calhoun had a tying single.

 

Hicks threw 39 pitches, the most of his two-year major league career.

 

DeJong drove in three runs for the Cardinals.

 

St. Louis starter Jack Flaherty gave up two runs on four hits with two walks and five strikeouts in six innings. Choo led off the first with a home run.

 

Rangers starter Drew Smyly sought his first win since Sept. 13, 2016, having missed the next two major league seasons following Tommy John surgery. He pitched four innings, allowing two runs in the first.

 

Michael Wacha (3-1, 4.93 ERA) will make his fifth career start against the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday and his first at home. Wacha is 3-1 with a 2.56 ERA against Kansas City.

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Koepka Holds Off DJ For Second Straight PGA Championship Title

Brooks Koepka completed a stellar effort at Bethpage Black on Sunday, winning the 2019 PGA Championship in wire-to-wire fashion -- the first to do so since 1983 -- by ending every round as the clubhouse leader. The defending champion at the event, Koepka won his second straight PGA Championship and becomes the first golfer in history to hold consecutive titles at two different major championships simultaneously, the other being the U.S. Open.

 

Entering Sunday's final round, Koepka led all of his challengers by seven strokes entering Round 4, something that had happened nine other times after 54 holes in a major since 1900. Those nine all went on to victory, as did Koepka eventually, but the champion saw his lead shrink to as little as a single stroke down the stretch following four straight bogeys on holes 11-14.

 

Dustin Johnson was hot on Koepka's heels but simply unable to get the job done over the final few holes, finishing 6 under after posting a 69 on Sunday. Koepka shot a 4-over 74 to finish 8 under for the tournament, playing his first major championship round over par since the 2018 Open.

 

Jordan Spieth tied for third at two-under. This is Spieth's first top-10 finish in 10 months (2018 Open Championship) and first top-20 finish of the season.

 

Rory McIlroy logged his ninth top-10 of the season here thanks to a pair of 69s on the weekend. 

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Regional Baseball and Softball Scores; Baseball, Softball Regional Final Matchups

Class 1A girls softball Regional final results from Friday

 

At Heyworth

Heyworth     3    F
LeRoy     2

 

At Villa Grove

Villa Grove         10    F-5
Decatur St. Teresa    0

 

Saturday Regional final action....

 

At Bethany Okaw Valley

Meridian  3     F
Central A & M 2

 

Class 2A Regional final action today....

 

At Fairbury

Olympia      2    F
Prairie Central 1

 

At Newton

Newton       3   F
Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond 7

 

At Teutopolis

Shelbyville  0   F
Teutopolis   3

 

Saturday Regional final matchups....

 

At Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley

Bloomington Central Catholic    1   F
Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley          3

 

At Maroa-Forsyth

St. Joseph-Ogden      5   F
Maroa-Forsyth           1

 

At Pittsfield

Petersburg PORTA         0   F
Williamsville                    2

 

At Tolono Unity

Tolono Unity         3   F
Bismarck-Henning-Rossville-Alvin  1


Class 1A Baseball Regional final matchups for Saturday

 

At LeRoy

LeRoy         17   F
Peoria Christian  5

 

At Mt. Pulaski

Mt. Pulaski         10   F
Decatur St. Teresa 7

 

At Roanoke-Benson

Delavan         10    F
Peoria Heights 0

 

Class 2A boys baseball Regional final action Saturday....

 

At Georgetown-Ridge Farm

Tuscola         12  F
Fithian (Oakwood)  2

 

At Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley

Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley    0   F
Bloomington Central Catholic  1

 

At Maroa-Forsyth

Maroa-Forsyth         3   F
Pleasant Plains        5

 

At Tolono Unity

St. Joseph-Ogden        3   F
Monticello                     1

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Jr. High State Qualifier Walk Through

Per CJHS Maroons Twitter account the State Qualifiers in Track for 8th grade are Seth Varble in Discus, Isaac Webb in Shot Put and Discus, and Megan Stevens in Pole Vault.  In 7th Grade is Alaina Helfand in Pole Vault, Dawson Graves in 800, Nick Feathers in Shot Put and Discus and Brock Newberry in Shot Put and Discus.

 

This morning the school had their traditional send-off for State Qualifiers with a hall walk to wish them luck. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Regional Baseball Scores; Baseball, Softball Regional Final Matchups

Class 1A Regional baseball semifinal scores from Thursday....

 

At LeRoy

 

Peoria Christian 6

Heyworth 4

 

At Central A & M

 

Meridian 0 F-5

Decatur LSA 10

 

At Mt. Pulaski

 

Decatur St. Teresa 13

Blue Ridge 3

 

Class 2A Regional semifinal scores....

 

At Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley

 

Bloomington Central Catholic 11

Tri-Valley 3

 

At Maroa-Forsyth

 

Pleasant Plains 9

Argenta -Oreana 1

 

At Pana

 

Shelbyville 11 F-5

Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond 1

 

At Tolono Unity

 

Monticello 10

Unity 5

 

Class 1A Regional final matchups for Saturday

 

At LeRoy

 

LeRoy 11:00am

Peoria Christian

 

At Mt. Pulaski

 

Mt. Pulaski 10:00am

Decatur St. Teresa

 

At Roanoke-Benson

 

Delavan 11:00am

Peoria Heights

 

Class 2A boys baseball Regional semifinal action today....

 

At Georgetown-Ridge Farm

 

Bismarck-Henning-Rossville-Alvin 4:30pm

Fithian Oakwood

 

Class 2A boys baseball Regional final action Saturday....

 

At Georgetown-Ridge Farm

 

Tuscola 11:00am

(Winner of Regional semifinal game today)

 

At Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley

 

Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley 11:00am

Bloomington Central Catholic

 

At Maroa-Forsyth

 

Maroa-Forsyth 11:00am

Pleasant Plains

 

At Tolono Unity

 

St. Joseph-Ogden 11:00am

Monticello

 

Class 1A girls softball Regional final action this afternoon....

 

At Heyworth

 

Heyworth 4:30pm

LeRoy

 

At Villa Grove

 

Villa Grove 4:30pm

Decatur St. Teresa

 

Saturday Regional final action....

 

At Bethany Okaw Valley

 

Meridian 11:00am

Central A & M

 

Class 2A Regional final action today....

 

At Fairbury

 

Olympia 4:30pm

Prairie Central

 

At Newton

 

Newton 4:30pm

Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond

 

At Teutopolis

 

Shelbyville 4:30pm

Teutopolis

 

Saturday Regional final matchups....

 

At Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley

 

Bloomington Central Catholic 11:00am

Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley

 

At Maroa-Forsyth

 

St. Joseph-Ogden 11:00am

Maroa-Forsyth

 

At Pittsfield

 

Petersburg PORTA 11:00am

Williamsville

 

At Tolono Unity

 

Tolono Unity 11:00am

Bismarck-Henning-Rossville-Alvin

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Illinois State Rolls Past Evansville

Illinois State defeated Evansville Thursday afternoon at Duffy Bass Field, 11-2. 

 

The Redbirds got hits from eight of the nine starters in the lineup. Starting pitcher, Brent Headrick earns the victory, and now has beaten every team in conference play. 

 

John Rave's third inning home run to deep center field scored Nick Zouras and Aidan Huggins to stake Headrick to a 3-0 lead. In the bottom of the seventh inning, Joe Aeilts hit a bases-clearing double to drive home three runs. Zouras would later drive home two more runs on a single to center field. He would later score in the inning on a throwing error. Illinois State led Evansville, 10-2 after seven innings.

 

Rave and Aeilts each drove in three and scored twice, each finishing 1-for-4. Zouras was 4-for-4 with two runs batted in and scored twice. 

 

The 'Birds improve to 31-21, 13-6 MVC on the season with the win And return to action tonight for game two against Evansville. First pitch from Duffy Bass Field is scheduled for 5 p.m.

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Illinois Drops Michigan State; Still Alive for Big Ten Regular Season Title

The No. 23 Illinois baseball team pounded six extra-base hits Thursday night, including homers from Zac Taylor and Kellen Sarver, to win at Michigan State, 8-4. Illinois took the opener of the three-game series and won for the 13th time in the last 16 games.

 

Illinois (35-16, 14-8 Big Ten) trailed 2-0 early but scored three in the fourth sparked by Taylor and Sarver's back-to-back homers to start the inning. Jack Yalowitz tripled off the wall and scored later in the inning, part of a three-hit day to bring his career hit total to 200. 

 

Yalowitz also scored three runs to lead Illinois. Branden Comia had three hits and three RBIs and Grant Van Scoy scored twice. 

 

After Comia plated two runs in the ninth to take a 8-3 lead, Michigan State (19-33, 7-14 Big Ten) rallied to load the bases in the ninth inning and bring the potential tying run to the on-deck circle. Illinois went to Garrett Acton, who worked three straight outs to record his national-leading 18th save. Acton tied the Big Ten record for saves held by Ohio State's Jake Hale in 2009 (18).

 

Andy Fisher (7-1) started and put together his fourth straight quality start to earn his seventh win. Fisher settled in to throw 6 2/3 innings while allowing three runs on seven hits. Fisher has allowed three earned runs or fewer in 11 straight starts.

Illinois and Michigan State are back at the ballpark Friday night at 5:35 p.m. CT for Game 2 of the series. The regular season finale is scheduled for Sunday at 12:05 p.m. CT.

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Koepka Dominates Daunting Bethpage Black To Take Day 1 Lead at PGA Championship

Brooks Koepka was in one of the early groups out on the course at Bethpage Black in the 101st PGA Championship, so his course-record 63 lingered over the rest of the field as everyone tried to chase the defending champion and clubhouse leader's early advantage at 7 under. By the end of the afternoon only one player, Danny Lee, was within three strokes of Koepka. 

 

Dustin Johnson, Jason Day, Jordan Spieth and Phil Mickelson are all in the top 10 on the leaderboard technically, but that top 10 doesn't feel as close to the top when the leader is up six strokes heading into Friday. 

 

The largest comeback to win we've seen in PGA Championship after 18 holes was eight strokes, so in theory, there are 52 golfers still within that comeback precedent. Tiger Woods, at 2 over, is not included in that group. Woods started his day with a double bogey and spent much of the early round grinding with few birdie opportunities. When he got good looks, he was able to take advantage and found himself moving with some momentum after back-to-back birdies. 

 

With just 17 players under par, a big winner on Thursday was Bethpage Black itself. Koepka and Lee may have come out unscathed, but it's unsustainable to expect those same results the rest of the week. When the setbacks come, the leaders are going to be required to have a championship caliber response in order to keep this cushion on the rest of the field. 

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