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HS Softball: Lady Maroons Tame Broncos In 2A Regional Opener

In a game heard Monday afternoon on WHOW, the Clinton Lady Maroons topped the Cerro Gordo-Bement Broncos, 7 to 1, in Class 2A Regional softball action.  
 

Clinton jumped out to a 2-0 lead after the first two innings, and never trailed.  
 

The Lady Maroons were led by the Serv Pro of Piatt Dewitt County Player of the Game - Ashley Armstrong.  The junior pitched seven innings for the win, only allowing 1 run on 6 hits with 8 strikeouts and no walks.  Armstrong also went 2 for 3 at the plate with 2 runs batted in.  

 

In addition, the Maroons saw Heidi Humble go 2 for 3 with a triple and two runs scored. Alaina Soberalski also went 2 for 3 with an RBI. 
 

Serena Throneburg took the loss for the Broncos.  She gave up 7 runs on 10 hits with 4 walks and 2 strikeouts.  CGB committed six errors in the game.  The Broncos season ends at 1-21. 
 

Clinton improves to 4-19 on the year.  They advance to take on Maroa-Forsyth Tuesday afternoon at 4:30 at Illinois Wesleyan University. Hear all the action on all WHOW platforms! 
 

 

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HS Softball: Lady Maroons Tame Broncos In 2A Regional Opener

In a game heard Monday afternoon on WHOW, the Clinton Lady Maroons topped the Cerro Gordo-Bement Broncos, 7 to 1, in Class 2A Regional softball action.  
 

Clinton jumped out to a 2-0 lead after the first two innings, and never trailed.  
 

The Lady Maroons were led by the Serv Pro of Piatt Dewitt County Player of the Game - Ashley Armstrong.  The junior pitched seven innings for the win, only allowing 1 run on 6 hits with 8 strikeouts and no walks.  Armstrong also went 2 for 3 at the plate with 2 runs batted in.  

 

In addition, the Maroons saw Heidi Humble go 2 for 3 with a triple and two runs scored. Alaina Soberalski also went 2 for 3 with an RBI. 
 

Serena Throneburg took the loss for the Broncos.  She gave up 7 runs on 10 hits with 4 walks and 2 strikeouts.  CGB committed six errors in the game.  The Broncos season ends at 1-21. 
 

Clinton improves to 4-19 on the year.  They advance to take on Maroa-Forsyth Tuesday afternoon at 4:30 at Illinois Wesleyan University. Hear all the action on all WHOW platforms! 
 

 

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Illinois Outlasts Weather and Nebraska

The Fighting Illini walked off in the bottom of the ninth inning after coming back from a four-run deficit to take the final game of the series against Nebraska, 5-4. 

 

The game had two rain delays totaling four hours and fifty-three minutes as the originally scheduled 2 p.m. game ended at 9:45 p.m. CT.

 

All four of Nebraska's runs came on a grand slam in the top of the third inning. The Illini scored a run in the sixth and two in the seventh to get within one of the Huskers, and Justin Janas's 2-out single led the Illini to their second walk-off win of the season.

 

Ty Rybarczyk started for the Illini and Joe Glassey came in out of the bullpen, throwing five innings and giving up just one hit while striking out six. Tommy Green entered after the second rain delay, throwing one scoreless inning and earning the win to move to 2-2 on the season. Nebraska's Hawkins moves to 0-2 with the loss.

 

The Illini took two of three on the weekend. 

 

Illinois is on the road next weekend at Penn State for the final B1G series of the season before heading to Omaha, Neb. for the B1G Tournament (May 25-29).

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Illinois State Powers Past Missouri State

Sophomore Ryan Cermak and junior Jake McCaw blasted back-to-back home runs in the 8th inning to lift the Illinois State baseball team to a 4-3 victory over Missouri State at Hammons Field on Sunday.

 

Cermak's 18th home run of the season tied the game at 3-3 before McCaw's 12th home run of 2022 put the Redbirds (19-27 overall, 6-12 Missouri Valley Conference) on top for good.

 

Sophomore Justin Schubert threw 4.1 innings in relief, recording the win as he did not allow a run in the 7th, 8th, or 9th innings. Senior Colin Wyman also had a solid showing on the mound, allowing one run in 4.2 innings. Wyman was forced to exit the game after a 1:41 rain delay.

 

Cermak robbed what would have been a game-tying home run in the 4th inning.

 

The Bears drop back to .500 at 24-24 overall and move to 7-11 in the MVC.

 

Illinois State is scheduled to play at Indiana on Tuesday with a 6:00 p.m. CT start, seeking to defeat its fourth Big Ten team in 2022.

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Yankees Drop White Sox

Nestor Cortes pitched a career-high eight innings to lead the New York Yankees to a 5-1 victory over Michael Kopech and the Chicago White Sox on Sunday.

 

New York managed just two hits: a second-inning single for Isiah Kiner-Falefa and a two-run homer by Joey Gallo in the ninth. But it was more than enough, thanks to the crafty Cortes (2-1).

 

The 27-year-old left-hander, who carried a no-hitter into the eighth in his previous outing against Texas, allowed three hits, struck out seven and walked none in another brilliant performance. He has permitted two runs or fewer in each of his seven starts this year.

 

Since his first big league outing of last season, on May 30, 2021, Cortes has an AL-low 2.44 ERA over 133 innings. He has allowed three runs or fewer in 16 straight starts, matching Luis Severino in 2018 for the second-longest such streak in franchise history.

 

Clay Holmes finished the four-hitter for New York's 18th win in 21 games. The major league-leading Yankees took three of four in the series.

 

Kopech (0-1) pitched six innings of one-hit ball for Chicago. The right-hander had five sharp innings - and one real bad one.

 

New York got to Kopech for three runs in the second after he retired the first two batters, making the most of four walks, a wild pitch and Kiner-Falefa's single to left. Aaron Hicks and DJ LeMahieu each walked with the bases loaded, and Jose Trevino scored on the wild pitch.

 

Kopech threw 41 pitches in the second, 17 for strikes. He threw a total of 50 pitches in his other five innings, 33 for strikes.

 

Kopech's shaky stretch provided more than enough run support for Cortes, who retired 15 in a row after Luis Robert extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a first-inning single.

 

Adam Engel homered for Chicago with one out in the eighth, but Cortes retired the next two batters. Pinch hitter Yasmani Grandal flied out to the warning track in right for the second out.

 

The White Sox open an eight-game trip Monday night at Kansas City. The White Sox haven't announced their starting pitcher, and the Royals plan to go with RHP Brad Keller (1-3, 2.70 ERA).

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Cubs Edge Dbacks

Frank Schwindel had a tiebreaking single in the ninth inning and the Chicago Cubs beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 3-2 on Sunday.

 

Patrick Wisdom and Rafael Ortega also homered for the Cubs, who have won four of six after a 3-14 stretch.

 

Wisdom doubled to deep center field to lead off the ninth against Ian Kennedy (2-2) and Schwindel reached out and hit a soft line drive over first base for his second hit of the game.

 

Scott Effross (1-1) gave up a single to open the ninth. Rowan Wick allowed a single to the first batter he faced before getting his fourth save in as many chances on a foulout and double-play grounder.

 

Chicago starter Justin Steele struck out a career-high 10 and gave up one earned run and three hits in six innings. It was his first appearance since being removed from last Sunday's start after four innings because of thumb soreness.

 

Cubs right fielder Seiya Suzuki was 1 for 3 with a double and a walk in his second straight start after missing three starts with an ankle injury.

 

Suzuki also made two outstanding plays in the field, a sliding catch on Christian Walker's line drive in front of him in the first inning and a backhanded, over-the-shoulder catch on Josh Rojas' flyball to the warning track in the seventh.

 

Arizona lost its first series in six. The Diamondbacks had won their previous last five one-run games - they are 7-4 in one-run games this season after going was 10-31 in such games last season.

 

Ortega hit the second pitch of the game for a 428-foot homer and Wisdom led off the second with a 414-foot homer for a quick 2-0 lead off Humberto Castellanos.

 

Daulton Varsho had an RBI single and shortstop Ildemaro Vargas made a two-out error as the Diamondbacks tied it at 2-all in the fourth.

 

Walker and Pavin Smith singled to open the ninth before Varsho fouled out and Peralta grounded into a double play started by second baseman Jonathan Villar. Peralta's ball was measured at 107 mph.

 

Wade Miley (0-0) is scheduled to face Pittsburgh RHP Bryse Wilson (0-2) in the opener of a three-game series at Wrigley Field on Monday.

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Cardinals Club Giants

Albert Pujols made his first career pitching appearance Sunday night, closing out a 15-6 blowout for the St. Louis Cardinals over the San Francisco Giants that gave Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina the major league record for wins by a starting battery.

 

Molina homered and drove in four runs, Wainwright tossed six effective innings and St. Louis roughed up Carlos Rodon early. Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado each added a two-run homer for the Cardinals, who took two of three in the series after losing two of three to struggling Baltimore. Goldschmidt had three RBIs.

 

Pujols, the Cardinals' designated hitter, entered to pitch in the ninth inning for the first time in his 22-year career. He gave up a three-run homer to Luis Gonzalez and a solo shot to Joey Bart but managed to get the final three outs with plenty of margin to spare.

 

Wainwright and Molina broke the major league mark with their 203rd victory as a starting battery. They passed Warren Spahn and Del Crandall, who amassed 202 wins for the Boston and Milwaukee Braves from 1949-63.

 

Joc Pederson hit a two-run homer for San Francisco, which lost its second in a row after winning six straight.

 

Molina capped a four-run outburst in the first inning off Rodon (4-2) with a two-run single. The 39-year-old catcher added a two-run homer off reliever Zack Littell in the fifth to make it 11-0.

 

Wainwright (4-3) gave up two runs and three hits. He struck out five and walked two. The 40-year-old right-hander retired 14 of the first 15 batters he faced. Gonzalez got the Giants' first hit with a two-out single in the fifth.

 

Rodon allowed eight runs and 10 hits over 3 2/3 innings. He had given up just seven earned runs over his previous six starts this season.

 

Every St. Louis starter had a hit by the sixth inning. Pujols was 2 for 3 at the plate with a double. He scored twice and drove in a run.

 

St. Louis outfielder Juan Yepez singled in the first inning. He has reached safely in each of his first 11 games, the longest streak by a Cardinals rookie since Luis Alicea went 23 successive games to begin his career in 1988.

 

The Cardinals were 0-4 in Sunday night games last year before winning in their first try this season.

 

Gonzalez came in from the outfield to pitch in the seventh with the bases loaded and two outs. He gave up a run-scoring single to Dylan Carlson before getting Harrison Bader to fly out.

 

Miles Mikolas (3-1, 1.49 ERA) faces the Mets in the opener of a four-game set Monday night in New York - though a storm is in the forecast. Mikolas has allowed two runs or fewer in all seven starts this season. The Mets had not announced a starter yet.

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Kurt Busch Dominates Kansas for First Win of 2022

Kurt Busch survived a weary day of tire attrition, then pinched his way past Kyle Larson for the lead with eight laps to go, before driving away from the reigning NASCAR Cup Series champion to win for the first time at Kansas — and give the up-and-coming 23XI Racing team owned by Hamlin and NBA great Michael Jordan its second win ever.

 

Larson had the dominant car, riding the top line around the mile-and-a-half oval, but Busch was able to put his Toyota just about anywhere he wanted. That paid off when the two were side-by-side with eight to go and Busch squeezed by Larson, who brushed the wall and lost just enough momentum to surrender the lead — and the win.

 

Busch pulled his No. 45 car — one of the numbers that Jordan wore during his career — to a stop at the start-finish line and climbed out the window before throwing his arms up in triumph, the familiar Jumpman logo splashed across his fire suit.

 

It was the second win for 23XI after Bubba Wallace triumphed last year at Talladega, and it came at the most unexpected of times; neither of the team’s drivers had finished in the top 10 this season.

 

Kyle Busch, who earlier this week welcomed daughter Lennix Key into the world, managed to avoid the tire trouble and hold off Ross Chastain and Chase Elliott to win the first stage Sunday. His older brother, Kurt, beat him to the line to take the second stage with Elliott again coming across in third.

 

Christopher Bell parlayed his third pole of the season into a fifth-place finish. Martin Truex, Jr. bounced back from his tire issue to finish sixth with Chastain, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Alex Bowman and Wallace rounding out the top 10.

 

The series takes a regular-season break before the Coca-Cola 600 and heads to Texas for next weekend’s All-Star race.

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HS Baseball: Clinton Downs Warrensburg-Latham

The Clinton Maroons used a five-run second inning to propel them past Warrebsurg-Latham 8-3 in Central Illinois Conference high school boy's baseball action from Clinton Friday afternoon.

 

Josh Carter and Brooks Cluver combined to shut down the Cardinals on the mound and Cluver and the Walker brothers led the way at the plate.

 

Carter went two innings allowing three runs on four hits with a walk and a strikeout. Cluver finished the game with five shutout innings allowing two hits, walking four and striking out seven. 

 

Cluver and Mason Walker went 2-for-4 with a double apiece and freshman Colton Walker finished 3-for-3 with a pair of RBIs.

 

Joey Young hit a solo homerun for Warrensburg-Latham. The Cardinals drop to 16-10 overall with a 9-5 mark in the CIC. 

 

The Maroons finishes the regular season 8-7 overall and 8-6 in the CIC. 

 

Next week it's off to postseason play at Olympia for Clinton in Regional action in the 2A playoffs.

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HS Baseball: Big Sixth Inning Sends Monticello Past Mt. Zion

The Monticello Sages used an eight-run sixth inning to get by Mt. Zion 11-2 in non-conference high school boy's baseball action from Millikin University in Decatur on Friday afternoon.

 

Jacob Trusner tripled twice in and drove in four runs as part of a 3-for-4 afternoon at the plate. Biniam Lienhart hit third on Friday and finished 2-for-4 with three runs scored and had two runs batted in.

 

Triston Foran finished 3-for-5 from the leadoff spot. Jack Buckalew added a triple and Joey Sprinkle doubled for the Sages. 

 

Buckalew struck out ten across six innings of two-run ball, both runs were unearned. He issued two walks and permitted four hits. 

 

Sprinkle struck out the side in a scoreless seventh for Monticello. 

 

The Sages improve to 18-8 overall. They conclude the regular season Monday afternoon and head to postseason action on Thursday at Tolono Unity taking on Westville. 

 

Hear Thursday's action from Tolono on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.

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HS Baseball: Mt. Pulaski Rolls Bloomington Cornerstone Christian Academy

The Mt. Pulaski Hilltoppers started fast and rolled at 12-1 five-inning, ten-run rule win over Bloomington Cornerstone Christian Academy in non-conference high school boy's baseball action Friday afternoon in Bloomington. 

 

The Hilltoppers started with a seven-run first inning to open things up and never let up from there. Kolin Gibbs was 3-for-3 with a double, four RBIs, three runs scored and swiped two bags.

 

Jackson Fricke was 2-fof-3 with a double and a pair of runs batted in while Lucas Kuhlman scored three times in a 2-for-2 afternoon with a stolen base.

 

Luke Farris went four innings allowing a run on three hits with a walk and a strikeout for the Hilltoppers.

 

Mt. Pulaski goes to 21-4 overall. They'll wrap up the regular season this morning at New Berlin. 

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HS Softball: Meridian Downs Clinton

Meridian used a quick start and shut down Clinton for a 7-2 win in Central Illinois Conference High School girl's softball action Friday afternoon from Meridian.

 

Katy Hendrick struck out 17 in a complete game, two-run effort in circle for the Lady Hawks. Hendricks walked four and permitted four hits. 

 

Hendricks went 1-for-3 with a triple and two RBIs. Lucy and Lizzie Snow each tripled as well for Meridian. Sophie Roe and Kristina Smith added a double apiece in the victory. Hendricks and Snow had two RBIs apiece. 

 

Brooke Reeves and Chloe Griffin finished 1-for-4 for the Lady Maroons and Heidi Humble was 2-for-3 with a double and drove in both Clinton runs. 

 

Meridian moves to 22-5 overall and 13-1 in the CIC.

 

Clinton drops to 3-19 overall and 2-12 in the CIC.

 

The Lady Maroons are off to postseason play next week against Cerro Gordo-Bement to open Regional action from Clinton High School. Hear the action at 4:30 pm on Monday afternoon on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM/106.5 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com. 

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HS Softball: Tuscola Blanks Clinton

The Clinton Lady Maroons could only muster six baserunners against Tuscola's Keri Pierce and fell 10-0 in Central Illinois Conference high school girl's softball action Thursday from Clinton High School. 

 

Pierce struck out five over seven scoreless innings and issued a walk while permitting five hits.

 

The Lady Warriors committed an error and Ashley Armstrong was hit by a pitch. 

 

Armstrong, Chloe Griffin, and Heidi Humble recorded hits for the Lady Maroons. 

 

Clinton falls to 3-18 overall and 2-11 in the CIC. They wrap up regular season play this afternoon at Meridian. 

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HS Boy's Baseball: Mt. Pulaski Rolls El Paso-Gridley

The Mt. Pulaski Hilltoppers boy's baseball team racked up 17 hits and rolled to a 15-5, five-inning, ten-run rule win over El Paso-Gridley in non-conference high school boys baseball action Thursday afternoon at Mt. Pulaski High School.

 

Gavin Smith was 3-for-4 with five RBIs while Evan Cooper finished 3-for-4 with a pair of RBIs. Landon Smith and Jackson Fricke finished 2-for-4 with an RBI. Chance Payne was also 2-for-4 with a pair of RBIs and Lucas Kuhlman was 2-for-4 with an RBI and scored four times. 

 

AJ Bailey scored four runs and doubled for the Hilltoppers. 

 

Cooper went five innings, allowing five runs, two were earned on five hits with a walk and strikeout. 

 

With Thursday's win, Mt. Pulaski tops the 20-win mark for the third straight season going to 20-4 overall. 

 

The Hilltoppers take on Bloomington Cornerstone Christian Academy this afternoon and finish out the regular season tomorrow morning at New Berlin. 

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Yankees Outslug White Sox

Giancarlo Stanton homered twice and drove in a career-best six runs, and New York beat the Chicago White Sox 15-7 on Thursday night for its fourth straight victory.

 

Aaron Judge and Josh Donaldson also connected for the major league-leading Yankees in the opener of an eight-game trip. Judge had four RBIs, and Donaldson drove in three runs.

 

Led by its relentless lineup, New York won for the 16th time in 18 games. Stanton and Co. are off to the franchise's best start since the Yankees also opened 23-8 in 2003.

 

Chicago tied it at 7 on Yoan Moncada's first homer of the season, a three-run drive to center against Jonathan Loaisiga (1-1) in the seventh. It was the third homer allowed by Loaisiga this year after he yielded a total of three in 70 2/3 innings in 2021.

 

Didn't matter all that much.

 

After Joe Kelly (0-1) retired the first two batters in the eighth, New York put together its highest scoring inning this season.

 

Three straight walks loaded the bases for Judge, who beat out a grounder up the middle for a two-run infield single. Torres ignored third-base coach Luis Rojas' stop sign and slid home safely for a 9-7 lead.

 

Stanton added a two-run single, and Donaldson capped the rally with a three-run shot to left against Tanner Banks.

 

Judge's major league-leading 11th homer leading off the seventh traveled an estimated 456 feet to left-center.

 

Chicago right-hander Dylan Cease matched his career-high with 11 strikeouts in four innings, but he was tagged for a season-high six runs to go along with six hits. He yielded a total of nine runs in his first six starts of the year.

 

The White Sox had won seven of eight.

 

Gerrit Cole (2-0, 2.67 ERA) pitches Friday night for New York. The right-hander has allowed one run and struck out 25 in 19 innings over his last three starts. Vince Velasquez (2-2, 3.97 ERA) takes the mound for Chicago. The right-hander is going for his third straight win.

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Orioles Edge Cardinals

Rylan Bannon became just the third Baltimore player since 2000 to get a hit on the first pitch of his big league career, Jorge Mateo and Anthony Bemboom homered and the Orioles beat the St. Louis Cardinals 3-2 on Thursday.

 

Bannon a 26-year-old third baseman, was recalled from Triple-A Norfolk before the game and singled on a pitch from Steven Matz (3-3) with two outs in the second inning, one batter after Mateo homered to put the Orioles ahead.

 

Bannon went 1 for 4 with a strikeout and two flyouts. The 2017 Big East Player of the Year at Xavier, he was selected by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the eighth round of the 2017 amateur draft and traded to Baltimore in July 2018 in the deal that brought Manny Machado to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

 

Bemboom hit his first big league home run since September 2020 in the seventh, and Cedric Mullins added an RBI single off Genesis Cabrera later in the inning for a 3-0 lead.

 

Matz lost his second straight start, allowing three runs and seven hits in 6 2/3 innings with seven strikeouts and no walks.

 

Baltimore took two of three from the Cardinals and improved to 4-1 in rubber games this season after going 7-5 in such games in 2021.

 

Keegan Akin (1-0), the second of six Orioles pitchers, got just his fourth win in 16 big league decisions, allowing one hit over 2 2/3 scoreless innings and striking out four on a bullpen day for the Orioles.

 

Bryan Baker gave up one hit in 2 1/3 innings of his first big league start.

 

Dylan Carlson hit a solo homer off Cionel Perez in the seventh after Tyler O'Neill bounced into a double play. Nolan Arenado added a sacrifice fly in the eighth against Joey Krehbiel.

 

Felix Bautista got four straight outs for his second save of the series and the season.

 

Trey Mancini singled twice and has a hit in eight of nine games since returning from bruised ribs on May 3.

 

 

 

Jordan Hicks (1-2, 3.78) is slated to start in Friday's series opener against Francisco. Hicks has not gone longer than 4 1/3 innings in six starts this season.

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NASCAR Off to Kansas

Joey Logano used a bump-and-run to ease leader William Byron out of the way on the next-to-last lap and won at Darlington, ending a 40-race winless streak. 

 

Logano's maneuver has been all the talk in the NASCAR world this week as the series shifts to Kansas after a lengthy run at short and intermediate tracks. 

 

Kyle Busch won after starting ninth in the spring race last year. 

 

Logano became the 10th different winner through 12 races. He also extended to 11 his streak of years with at least one victory. 

 

Byron and Ross Chastain are the lone two-time winners. Chase Elliott now leads Byron and Ryan Blaney by 65 points. Logano is fourth, 79 points back, with Chastain, Busch and Martin Truex Jr. all 89 behind. 

 

The race will be followed by the non-points all-star race at Texas, a virtual one-week break from the championship battle at the regular season midpoint for the premier series.

 

The Adventhealth 400 races at 2 pm central time Sunday with practice and qualifying Saturday afternoon at 4 pm. 

 

Pole winner John Hunter Nemechek held off Carson Hocevar by 0.552 seconds in overtime at Darlington to earn his first victory of the season in the Camping World Truck Series last weekend at Darlington. 

 

Nemechek became the sixth different winner in seven races this season. Zane Smith is the only two-time winner. Nemechek jumped to second in the points race, 30 behind Ben Rhodes. Chandler Smith is 32 back. Zane Smith all leads all drivers with 6 top-10s, but is fifth in points, 42 back.

 

Busch won after starting second in the spring race last year. 

 

The Camping World Truck Series races at 7 pm Saturday night with practice and qualifying Saturday morning at 11 am. 

 

The XFinity Series takes the week off and returns next week at Texas. Justin Allgaier ended a 34-race winless streak with his second consecutive victory at Darlington, beating teammate Noah Gragson and leading a second consecutive 1-2 finish for JR Motorsports.

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HS Baseball: Clinton Downs Meridian

Dom Thayer went the distance striking out 14 and Clinton downed Meridian 9-1 in Central Illinois Conference high school boy's baseball action from Meridian Wednesday afternoon. 

 

Thayer followed an exceptional pitching performance Tuesday by Mason Walker and for the second straight game, a Maroons pitcher went the distance helping preserve arms and pitch counts heading to postseason play starting next week.

 

Thayer allowed a run, one hit, and walked five in facing six batters over the minimum Wednesday. 

 

Brooks Cluver, Payton Cross, and Walker each had three hits apiece. 

 

Cluver finished 3-for-4. Walker was 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles. Cross was 3-for-4 with a double and Wes Harrold drove in a pair of runs going 2-for-3 for Clinton.

 

The Maroons get back to .500 at 7-7 overall and move to 7-6 in the Central Illinois Conference. 

 

The Maroons wrap up the regular season at home Friday hosting Warrensburg-Latham and begin Regional play at Olympia next week.

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HS Baseball: Mt. Pulaski Downs Havana

The Mt. Pulaski Hilltoppers used a four-run fourth inning to propel them past Havana 6-2 in non-conference high school boy's baseball action Wednesday afternoon in Havana.

 

Gavin Smith struck out 12 across 5 1/3 innings of two-run ball, one was earned. Smith permitted two hits and walked four. Liam Smith closed the game out with two strikeouts across an inning and two-thirds.

 

Freshman Chance Payne was 2-for-4 with a pair of RBIs. Clayton Aylesworth was 2-for-3 with a pair of RBIs. Lucas Kuhlman walked three times and Jackson Fricke was 1-for-2 with an RBI and walked twice.

 

Smith scored two runs for the Hilltoppers.

 

Mt. Pulaski goes to 19-4 overall. 

 

The Hilltoppers host El Paso-Gridley this afternoon.

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HS Softball: Shelbyville Downs Clinton

Shelbyville scored five runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to break a 4-all tie and got by Clinton 9-4 in Central Illinois Conference High School girl's softball action from Shelbyville Wednesday afternoon.

 

Brooke Reeves pitched a scoreless inning to start for Clinton and the wheels fell off late for Ashley Armstrong who allowed all nine runs, but six were earned. She walked two, struck out four and permitted 11 hits.

 

Reeves was 2-for-3 with a double and RBI to lead the Lady Maroons offense. Heidi Humble finished 2-for-2 with a triple, pair of walks, and an RBI. Alaina Soberalski, Ari Humes, Ella Steward, and Mea Kivlehan each recorded hits for Clinton. 

 

The Lady Maroons fall to 3-16 overall and are 2-9 in the Central Illinois Conference.

 

Clinton will host Tuscola this afternoon and then travels to Meridian Friday to wrap up the regular season before Regional play at Cerro Gordo next week.

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COVID Postpones White Sox, Guardians Wednesday Game

The Cleveland Guardians are dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak that has sidelined manager Terry Francona and several of the team's coaches, leading to the postponement of Wednesday's game against the Chicago White Sox.

 

Shortly after Francona's positive test became known, Major League Baseball said there were ''multiple positive COVID-19 tests'' in Cleveland's organization and called off Wednesday's series finale to allow for more testing and contact tracing.

 

It's the first coronavirus-related postponement since the season started on April 7.

 

Guardians bench coach DeMarlo Hale, who was slotted to fill in for Francona, also tested positive, and Cleveland has ''multiple coaches and other team support staff members'' infected with the virus, according to team spokesman Bart Swain.

 

At this point, it's unclear who will manage the Guardians when they open a three-game series in Minnesota on Friday. It's likely the team will bring up several minor league coaches and field coordinators for the series.

 

First-base coach Sandy Alomar could be an option to manage. He took over those duties during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season after Francona was forced to step away after just 14 games due to a health issue.

 

The Guardians are off Thursday. The team did set its rotation for the Twins series, with Aaron Civale starting on Friday, followed by Shane Bieber and Triston McKenzie. Civale was scheduled to start Wednesday.

 

Francona, who has dealt with serious health problems the past two seasons, tested positive for the virus a few hours before the scheduled first pitch. The team said the 63-year-old Francona currently is not showing any symptoms.

 

Cleveland's team recently had a coronavirus outbreak, with infielders Owen Miller, Yu Chang and pitchers Cal Quantrill and Anthony Castro all being placed on the COVID-19 injury list. All have returned except Chang, who is in the minors.

 

Also, the team's TV broadcast crew had several members test positive during the team's West Coast trip.

 

Francona had been in good health this season following two challenging years. In 2020, he was hospitalized with gastrointestinal issues. Last year, Francona struggled after undergoing offseason surgery on his foot and left the team in July.

 

Dylan Cease (3-1, 2.38 ERA) will face the New York Yankees on Thursday. Cease allowed one run in five innings in a 3-1 win at Boston on Saturday.

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Cubs Down Padres

Playing against his hometown San Diego Padres for the first time, Alfonso Rivas hit a tiebreaking two-run single in the eighth inning to lift the banged-up Cubs to a 7-5 victory on Wednesday.

 

Willson Contreras homered for the Cubs, who took two of three from the Padres after arriving in town with a season-high, five-game losing streak. Frank Schwindel hit a two-run double in Chicago's four-run fourth.

 

Rivas, who grew up in Tijuana and Chula Vista, came up with the bases loaded and singled up the middle off Luis Garcia (0-2). Rivas hit a two-run homer in Tuesday night's 5-4 loss that bounced out of the glove of rookie center fielder Jose Azocar and went over the fence.

 

One-time Padres pitcher Rowan Wick got a six-out save, striking out Manny Machado to end the eighth with a runner on second. It was his second save in as many chances.

 

The Padres announced during the game that manager Bob Melvin had prostate surgery and is expected to make a full recovery. Melvin said Tuesday that he hoped to miss only the first six games of the Padres' forthcoming nine-game road trip.

 

San Diego tied it at 5 on solo homers by Eric Hosmer and Luke Voit in the seventh.

 

Cubs shortstop Nico Hoerner departed with a sprained right ankle an inning after colliding with second base umpire Dan Iassogna in center field. The Cubs, who have a crowded injured list, were without outfielder Seiya Suzuki for the second straight game due to a sore right ankle.

 

Hoerner was running to get into relay position after Jurickson Profar hit a fly ball over center fielder's Jason Heyward's head for a triple when he collided with Iassogna. Hoerner was on the ground in pain after the collision in the first inning and was tended to by a trainer. He batted in the second and struck out, and then was replaced in the bottom half of the inning by Ildemaro Vargas.

 

With the Padres trailing 5-3, Hosmer connected with one out in the seventh against Mychal Givens (2-0) and Voit went deep with two outs. It was the seventh career multihomer game for Voit, who was batting .136 and in an 0-for-29 slump coming in. Voit, who recently missed 14 games with a biceps tendon injury, has struck out 18 times this season.

 

Contreras homered off Nick Martinez with one out in the first, his fourth. San Diego went ahead 2-1 on Hosmer's RBI single in the first and Voit's first homer with the Padres, leading off the second.

 

The Cubs jumped on Martinez for four runs in the fourth. Contreras keyed the inning by drawing a leadoff walk and then taking second on a wild pitch by sliding around the tag of Machado in the shift, touching the bag with his right hand.

 

Contreras scored the tying run on Patrick Wisdom's one-out single, and Schwindel doubled to center with two outs for the lead. Heyward added an RBI single.

 

Machado extended his on-base streak to 21 games.

 

Cubs spot starter Keegan Thompson permitted two runs and five hits in four innings.

 

Martinez allowed five runs and four hits in four innings. He struck out eight and walked two.

 

Yu Darvish (3-1, 4.05 ERA) is scheduled to start Friday night in the opener of a three-game series at Atlanta. The Braves are expected to start former Padres farmhand Max Fried (4-2, 2.68 ERA).

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Cardinals Pound Orioles

Juan Yepez homered and Miles Mikolas pitched seven strong innings, leading the St. Louis Cardinals to a 10-1 win over the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday night.

 

Paul Goldschmidt drove in three runs for St. Louis, which snapped a three-game losing streak. Brendan Donovan added a two-run double to the Cards' 11-hit attack.

 

Baltimore had its season-best three-game winning streak halted.

 

Yepez continued a sizzling start to his MLB career. He has hit safely in all seven games since being called up on May 3. He hit a homer in the second inning off Spenser Watkins (0-1) and reached base safely in 13 of his first 25 plate appearances.

 

Yepez's seven-game streak is the longest by a St. Louis player to start a career since Magneuris Sierra hit in his first nine games in 2017. Yepez went 2 for 5 and is hitting .444.

 

Yepez, who is 12 for 27, is the seventh player in franchise history to have 12 or more hits through his first seven games.

 

Mikolas (3-1) allowed one run on four hits. He struck out three and walked one. Mikolas has allowed two runs or less in all seven starts this season.

 

Donovan, who reached base in all four trips to the plate, capped off a three-run outburst in the second inning with a two-run double for a 3-0 lead. Goldschmidt highlighted a four-run fourth inning with a two-run double. He added a run-scoring single in the sixth.

 

Tommy Edman also drove in a pair of runs for the Cardinals.

 

Watkins gave up eight hits and seven earned runs in 3 2/3 innings. He struck out three and walked two.

 

Even with the loss, Baltimore has won seven of 11 after a 6-14 start to the season.

 

Jordan Hicks (1-2, 3.78) will start for the Cardinals in the final game of the three-game set on Thursday afternoon. Baltimore has not named a starter. Hicks has never gone longer than 4 1/3 in any of his previous six starts this season.

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White Sox Down Guardians

Lucas Giolito threw seven innings in winning his second consecutive start, Gavin Sheets homered in his second straight game, and Chicago shook off a major collapse by beating the Cleveland Guardians 4-1 on Tuesday night.

 

Tim Anderson added three hits and two RBIs as the White Sox won for the seventh time in eight games. The lone blemish was when they blew a six-run lead in the ninth on Monday and lost in 11 innings.

 

The only run Giolito allowed was on a homer by Josh Naylor, otherwise giving up six hits, striking out five and walking one.

 

Anderson gave the White Sox a 1-0 lead with a single in the fifth. Sheets hit a two-run shot in the sixth and Anderson then chased Cleveland's Cal Quantrill (1-2) with an RBI double in the seventh for the final score.

 

Quantrill went 6 1/3 innings, allowing four runs and 10 hits.

 

Jose Ruiz got two outs in the eighth before Bennett Sousa retired Jose Ramirez on a groundout with a runner on second. Kendall Graveman worked the ninth for his second save in three chances.

 

Graveman walked Franmil Reyes with two out and gave up a single to Amed Rosario before retiring Andres Gimenez on a slow roller to first baseman Jose Abreu. A diving Gimenez was initially ruled safe, ahead of a sliding Abreu, but the call was overturned after a lengthy review.

 

The teams close out the three-game series, with RHP Vince Velasquez (2-2, 3.97 ERA) starting for Chicago and RHP Aaron Civale (1-2, 9.45 ERA) pitching for Cleveland. Civale had allowed an American League-worst 24 runs entering Tuesday's games.

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HS Baseball: Clinton Blanks Tuscola

In a game heard on WHOW, Mason Walker went the distance in a shutout effort as Clinton blanked Tuscola 9-0 in Central Illinois Conference High School boy's baseball action from Clinton Tuesday afternoon. 

 

Walker allowed three hits, two walks and struck out 11 facing just six over the minimum. 

 

Payton Cross was 1-for-2 with a double for the Maroons. 

 

Clinton moves to 6-7 overall and 6-6 in the Cental Illinois Confernece.

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