Local Sports

Retiring Clinton High School Baseball Coach Reflects on 25-Plus Years Teachinng, Coaching

Clinton science teacher and baseball coach John Hickman has sat in the same middle-school-sized school desk chair in the Maroons dugout for over 25 years as the baseball coach of Clinton High School.


It's a seat that's treated the Maroons' head man well in that time. A front row spot for five Sectional Championship appearances, several Okaw Valley Conference titles, and numerous skilled athletes that went on to incredible things at the next level. 



In Coach Hickman's tenure, five players have gone on to play Division I baseball while numerous others have made the next level. He says each of those individuals had to work very hard to become the type of player that reached that level of success. 



While many in the community know Coach Hickman for his baseball coaching, many more in the community and across the country know him for his teaching and impact in the classroom. As a biology teacher, Hickman says it was simply his goal to effectively teach students and get them to enjoy learning.



Many programs, including Clinton, have struggled to keep up numbers in their baseball programs. While it's not just baseball, Coach Hickman lays out some of the unique challenges facing youth baseball in America today.



Coach Hickman has compiled over 300 wins at Clinton High School. When the Maroons beat Argenta-Oreana 11-1 on May 3, that was Coach Hickman's 300th win. 


Coach Hickman has a busy summer coming up with family milestones on the calendar but hopes when it all settles he might be able to give golfing a try and is hoping a chance to help coach at Millikin University might work out for him. 

Tigers Down White Sox

Alex Faedo struck out a career-high 10 batters in six innings and the Detroit Tigers beat the Chicago White Sox 7-2 on Thursday night.



Hear tonight's action on WHOW.

Cardinals Edge Reds

Nolan Gorman hit a tiebreaking double in the eighth inning and scored on a wild pitch, helping the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Cincinnati Reds 2-1 on Thursday for their 13th win in 18 games.


Miles Mikolas (3-1) won his third straight decision, allowing five hits over seven scoreless innings, which matched his season high. He struck out five and walked none.


Giovany Gallegos gave up a two-out RBI single to Stuart Fairchild in the ninth before striking out Luke Maile for his fifth save in six chances.


Matthew Liberatore (1-0) is to start Friday’s series opener at Cleveland in his second start an third appearance this season.

Mets Power Past Cubs

Pete Alonso launched his major league-leading 19th home run and Carlos Carrasco earned his first win this season as the New York Mets routed the Chicago Cubs 10-1 on Thursday to avoid a three-game sweep.


Brett Baty knocked in New York's first two runs and the Mets pounded out 15 hits on a chilly night at Wrigley Field to ruin Kyle Hendricks’ season debut for the Cubs in his return from a serious shoulder injury.


Jeff McNeil had three hits and scored three times. New York got four straight base hits with two outs in a three-run third inning and took a 4-1 lead on Starling Marte's two-run single.


Alonso added a two-run homer in the seventh and Brandon Nimmo laced a two-run triple in a three-run eighth.


Dansby Swanson homered in the first off Carrasco (1-2), who pitched 6 2/3 effective innings in his fifth start this year and second since missing about a month with an elbow injury.


Justin Steele (6-1, 2.20) opposes Cincinnati RHP Hunter Greene (0-4, 4.68) when the Cubs host the Reds.

Indy 500, Coca-Cola 600 Highlights Jam Packed Racing Weekend

Marcus Ericsson held off Pato O’Ward after a late restart and won under caution to give Chip Ganassi Racing its fifth Indy 500 victory. 


The 107th running of the Indy 500 runs Sunday morning. Alex Palou inherited the lead on Lap 65, then drove away from the pack to win the Indianapolis Grand Prix by 16.8006 seconds over Pato O’Ward.


Race time is 10 am Sunday morning.




Kyle Larson rallied from the rear to win the non-points All-Star Race in the series’ return to historic North Wilkesboro Speedway for the first time since 1996. 


The cup series takes its annual Memorial Day Weekend place at Charlotte Motor Speedway for the Coca Cola 600. Denny Hamlin needed overtime to earn his first win in 31 starts at the track. He led three times for 15 laps after starting on the pole, including the final lap last year. 


The second half of the regular season begins with Ross Chastain atop the standings but still seeking his first victory. Christopher Bell is second, 27 points back, followed by Kevin Harvick (-29) and Denny Hamlin (-36). 23XI teammates Bubba Wallace and Tyler Reddick were second and third in the All-Star Race, respectively.


Race time is 5 pm Sunday evening.


Kyle Larson outmuscled John Hunter Nemechek in the final lap to win at Darlington. He earned his first series win this season and 14th career as the Xfinity Series returns this week at Charlotte. 


Josh Berry earned his fourth career victory, leading the final 23 laps and five times for 89 laps overall last year at Charlotte. Race time is noon Saturday afternoon. 


Kyle Larson substituted for an injured Alex Bowman and won the Tyson 250 in overtime at North Wilkesboro. He led 138 of 252 laps as the Craftsman Truck Series heads to Charlotte Motor Speedway this weekend. 


Larson’s Trucks win kicked off a successful weekend highlighted by his All-Star Race victory. Ty Majeski was second, Matt DiBenedetto third and Carson Hocevar fourth. Points leader Corey Heim finished sixth after starting on the pole to hold a seven-point edge over Majeski in the standings with Zane Smith 16 back.


Last year, Ross Chastain passed Christian Eckes late and held off Grant Enfinger for the victory.


Race time is 7:30 pm tonight.


Formula One heads the prestigious Monaco Grand Prix Sunday morning at 8 am. 

Sox Blank Guardians

Michael Kopech struck out nine and allowed two hits over seven dominant innings, and Romy González had a two-run double for the Chicago White Sox in a 6-0 victory over the Cleveland Guardians on Wednesday.


Kopech (3-4), who retired the first 16 batters in his last start against Kansas City, did not allow a baserunner until Josh Naylor singled leading off the fifth. He walked one and extended his shutout streak to 15 innings in his last two outings, helping Chicago climb to 21-30 - a game behind Cleveland for third in the AL Central.


The Guardians only pushed one player into scoring position and were blanked for the sixth time. Andrés Giménez had the other hit off Kopech, who held the Royals and Cleveland to a combined three singles while striking out 19 in back-to-back wins.


In the month of May, Kopech is 3-1 with a 1.99 ERA in five starts, striking out 33 while surrendering just 13 hits in 31 2/3 innings. The turnaround has been dramatic after posting an 0-3 record and 7.01 ERA in April.


González’s drive into the right-field corner highlighted a five-run fourth against Guardians starter Cal Quantrill (2-3). Jake Burger and Zavala added sacrifice flies in the inning as the White Sox went up by six.


Reynaldo López and Jimmy Lambert wrapped up the combined four-hitter for Chicago, which is 7-2 since falling a season-low 14 games below .500 on May 14. The White Sox won their third straight series by taking two of three from the Guardians.


Quantrill entered the year with a perfect 14-0 record at Progressive Field but lost for the third time in four home decisions. The right-hander went four innings, giving up four hits and a season-high six earned runs, one of them on a wild pitch.


Giménez had a pair of hits and was thrown out trying to advance for the Guardians, who are 12-22 after starting the season with a 9-6 record. The defending AL Central champions have lost six of their eight home series.


Tim Anderson singled home Clint Frazier in the third to open the scoring. Former Cleveland first-round pick Frazier had two runs, singled and stole a base.


White Sox OF Luis Robert Jr. (right quadriceps) was held out of the lineup after exiting the game Tuesday, but doesn’t plan on missing additional time. 


White Sox RHP Lucas Giolito (3-3, 3.62 ERA) works Thursday against Detroit as the teams begin a four-game set at Comerica Park.

Illinois Eliminated From Big Ten Tournament

Illinois was eliminated from the Big Ten Tournament after a 6-3 loss to [6] Michigan (27-27) on Wednesday night at Charles Schwab Field Omaha.


The Wolverines opened the scoring with five runs in the bottom of the third to take a 5-0 lead.


Illinois got back into the contest by putting up a three-spot in the top of the sixth. Cam McDonald, Drake Westcott and Camden Janik started the frame with three-straight singles to load the bases with nobody out. Ryan Moerman picked up an RBI with a groundout to first to get the Illini on the board. Jacob Schroeder followed with a line-drive single back up the middle to score Westcott and put runners on the corners. Brody Harding then dropped in a bunt single to score Janik and cut the Michigan lead to two.


Jack Crowder kept Illinois in the ballgame by keeping the Wolverines off the board in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings. Crowder struck out five along the way, including big punchouts to end the sixth and seventh.


Michigan would tack on another run in the eighth to make it 6-3 and Illinois would go down in order in the ninth to end the game.


McDonald finished 2-for-4 with a run scored and finishes his Illini career among program leaders in games played (220, T-7th), games started (219, 5th) hits (255, 8th) and RBI (163, 9th).


Westcott went 2-for-4 with a run scored. 


The Fighting Illini finish the season with a 25-27 record and went 12-12 during Big Ten play.

Reds Clobber Cardinals

Ben Lively earned his first victory as a starter since 2017, Kevin Newman drove in three runs and Cincinnati had its highest hit total in almost a year in a 10-3 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday night.


Rookie shortstop Matt McClain hit the second homer of his big league career and Spencer Steer had a career-best four hits with two RBIs for Cincinnati, which pounded out 18 hits, the team's highest total since posting 20 against the Chicago Cubs last May 26.


Lively's last win as a starter came as a member of the Phillies on Sept. 29, 2017, against the Mets. A fourth-round draft pick by the Reds in 2013, Lively spent time with the Phillies and two seasons as a reliever for the Royals before a two-year stint in South Korea.


Lively (2-2) worked six innings, allowing five hits and two walks while striking out eight. It was the 31-year-old right-hander's longest effort since April 20, 2018, when he also went six inning for the Phillies in a 2-1 win over Pittsburgh.


The Cardinals' Brendan Donovan and Lars Nootbaar homered, hitting leadoff shots in the fourth and fifth innings, respectively.


St. Louis left-hander Steven Matz remained winless after giving up up four runs in the first inning. Matz (0-6) allowed a season-high 11 hits and matched a season high by allowing six earned runs.


St. Louis second baseman Nolan Gorman extended his career-best hitting streak to 14 games with a single in the third.


Reds RHP Luke Weaver (1-2, 6.54) will make his first start against his former team, while Cardinals RHP Miles Mikolas (2-1, 4.77) is looking for his first win at Great American Ball Park since April 14, 2018.

Cubs Double Up Mets

Marcus Stroman pitched eight efficient innings in his second straight win, leading the Cubs to a 4-2 victory over the New York Mets on Wednesday night.


Nico Hoerner homered in Chicago's second consecutive victory since coming home after a 2-7 trip. Seiya Suzuki also drove in a run with a double off Japanese countryman Kodai Senga.


Stroman (4-4) threw just 88 pitches in his longest outing of the season, 59 for strikes. The right-hander allowed four hits, struck out three and walked two.


Francisco Álvarez hit a two-run shot in the third, but that was it for the Mets. Stroman helped himself by starting a 1-6-3 double play in the sixth, and then pounded his chest in celebration.


On a windy, cool night at Wrigley Field, Mark Leiter Jr. worked a 1-2-3 ninth for his second save.


Senga (4-3) labored through five innings for New York, allowing three runs and six hits. Coming off a dominant performance against Tampa Bay, the rookie right-hander struck out six and issued a season-high five walks.


After Álvarez connected for his sixth homer, Chicago responded with three runs in the bottom half of the third. Dansby Swanson doubled home Hoerner, and Suzuki added a two-out RBI double off the wall in left. Suzuki then scored on Mike Tauchman's single.


Hoerner connected for his third homer in the sixth against Drew Smith. It was his first homer in his fifth game since returning from a left hamstring strain.


Chicago's Christopher Morel extended his hitting streak to his first 13 games this season with an infield hit in the fifth. But his homer streak ended at five games.


Kyle Hendricks will come off the injured list and start Thursday night for Chicago. Hendricks had been sidelined by a right shoulder strain. He hasn't appeared in a big league game since July 5. Jameson Taillon was slated to pitch for the Cubs, but he was pushed back to Saturday against Cincinnati. 


Carlos Carrasco (0-2, 8.68 ERA) is making his second start for New York since he was sidelined for more than a month by right elbow inflammation.

NASCAR Opens Investigation Into Bubba Wallace Radio Hack at All-Star Race; Bowman Cleared to Return

NASCAR has opened an investigation into how a derogatory message was broadcast on the radio channel of Bubba Wallace’s race team during last weekend's All-Star race.


Wallace, NASCAR's only Black driver in the Cup series, had just finished Sunday's race at North Wilkesboro Speedway when a person not on the 23XI Racing team said over the radio, “Go back to where you came from” and then added another non-racial expletive.


NASCAR spokesman Mike Forde said Wednesday the series immediately had its security and racing electronic teams look into the hack. He said Wallace did not hear the remark.


Forde said NASCAR is trying to determine who cracked Wallace's radio communications and how it was done, as well the best method toward preventing it from happening in the future.


Forde said the investigation was ongoing and would have happened no matter the nature of the comment.


NASCAR had already said earlier this week there were no plans to penalize Wallace after he appeared to make an obscene gesture on camera before a live interview with Fox Sports.




Alex Bowman has been cleared to return to racing this weekend for the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway after missing four events with a fractured vertebra.


Bowman was injured April 25 while competing in a sprint car race in Hendrick Motorsports' teammate Kyle Larson's new racing series in West Burlington, Iowa. He was NASCAR's Cup Series points leader at the time of his injury and has dropped to 17th in the standings while sidelined.


NASCAR has granted Bowman a waiver to participate in the playoffs should he qualify. He is five points out of the 16th and final qualifying position with 13 races remaining in the regular season.


Bowman on Tuesday drove a Cup car for 170 laps during a NASCAR-approved medical evaluation test at North Wilkesboro Speedway.


Josh Berry subbed for Bowman in all three points races Bowman missed with a best result of 10th at Dover on April 30. He also competed in Sunday’s non-points NASCAR All-Star Race at North Wilkesboro, finishing 15th after winning the All-Star Open.


Berry, 32, drives full-time for Hendrick Motorsports affiliate JR Motorsports in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.

Illinois Rally Falls Short in First Round of Big Ten Tournament

Seventh-seeded Illinois (25-26) fell to [2] Indiana (41-16), 4-3, in the opening round of the Big Ten Tournament on Tuesday at Charles Schwab Field Omaha.


The Illini were locked into a pitcher's duel early with starter Jack Wenninger holding the Hoosiers scoreless through the first four innings of the ballgame. Wenninger struck out four and stranded three baserunners.


Illinois found the breakthrough in the top half of the fifth when Danny Doligale led off the inning with a walk and Branden Comia brought him home with an RBI-double into the right-center gap to make it 1-0.


Indiana would take the lead the bottom of the fifth by scoring twice. The Illini would send just one batter over the minimum against the Hoosiers from the sixth to the eighth, picking up just one hit against Hoosier pitching during that stretch.


TJ Constertina and Joe Glassey combined for 2.2 scoreless, and hitless, innings in relief to keep the Illini in the game, but the Hoosiers would make it a three-run game by scoring two more times in the eighth to make it a 4-1 contest.


Illinois attempted a furious rally in the ninth, which began with a two-out infield single from pinch-hitter Coltin Quagliano. Comia then worked a walk in a lengthy at-bat to load the bases for Cam McDonald. McDonald would reach on an error that would result in two runs scoring to make it a 4-3 game, but the Illini would leave runners on the corners to end the game.


Comia went 1-for-3 with a double, RBI and two walks, extending his season-high hitting streak to 12 games. 


The Fighting Illini will now face [6] Michigan in an elimination game tonight at 7:00 p.m. CT.

White Sox Double Up Guardians

In a game heard on WHOW, Romy González's two-run double broke a seventh-inning tie to help Dylan Cease get his first win since April 10 as the White Sox, who opened the season so miserably, rallied for a 4-2 win over the Cleveland Guardians on Tuesday night.


González snapped a 2-2 tie with his first double this season, a hard shot off rookie Logan Allen (1-2), who was probably left in the game one batter too many by manager Terry Francona.


Yasmani Grandal homered for the White Sox, who started 7-21 but have won six of eight to stay within striking distance in the wide open and winnable AL Central.


Chicago's win was tainted with some concern as center fielder Luis Robert Jr. left in the eighth inning with soreness in his right hip/quadriceps area and is day to day. He leads the White Sox with 13 homers.


Cease (3-3) had gone eight starts since his last win at Minnesota last month. The right-hander allowed five hits in six innings, Keynan Middleton and Joe Kelly pitched an inning apiece and Kendall Graveman worked the ninth for his fourth save.


Rookie Will Brennan hit a solo homer for the Guardians, who have scored four runs or fewer in seven of eight games.


Josh Naylor's RBI double in the sixth gave Cleveland a 2-1 lead, but the White Sox countered with three runs in the seventh.


Allen gave up a leadoff single to Andrew Vaughn and Andrew Benintendi doubled. Grandal followed with a chopper that star third baseman José Ramírez misplayed for an error that allowed Vaughn to score.


White Sox OF Eloy Jiménez (appendectomy) will begin a rehab assignment at Double-A Birmingham this week. Manager Pedro Grifol said Jiménez will play the outfield and DH before being recalled. He's been out since May 6. 


Chicago RHP Michael Kopech (2-4, 4.83) starts the series finale against Cal Quantrill (2-2, 4.06).

Cardinals Jump Reds

Paul Goldschmidt homered in his first two at-bats and Adam Wainwright earned his first victory over Cincinnati since 2019 as the Cardinals defeated the Reds 8-5 on Tuesday night.


Since starting the season 10-24, the Cardinals have won 12 of their last 16 games.

Goldschmidt hit solo homers in the first and third innings off Reds starter Graham Ashcraft. He has nine home runs this season and has had three multi-homer games this year and 26 in his career.


Wainwright (2-0) earned his first victory over the Reds since Aug. 16, 2019, also at Great American Ball Park. He hasn’t beaten the Reds at home since 2016, and his 17 career losses against Cincinnati are his most against any opponent.


Wainwright had two strikeouts and a walk in 5 2/3 innings. He allowed eight hits and five earned runs. The Cardinals’ offense gave him a big boost on Tuesday.


In addition to Goldschmidt's early blasts, Tommy Edman hit a two-run triple that helped the Cardinals build a 7-3 lead in the fourth.


The Cardinals' Nolan Gorman singled in the third inning, extending his career-best hitting streak to 13 games.


Cardinals third baseman Nolan Arenado and manager Oliver Marmol were ejected for arguing a called strike in the third inning.


Reds rookie shortstop Matt McClain hit his first career homer in the third inning. Cincinnati had the bases loaded with two outs in the ninth. But Ryan Helsley got Jonathan India to ground into a force play for his sixth save.


Ashcraft (2-3) had allowed two or less runs in his first six starts, the first Reds pitcher to do that since Luis Castillo in 2019. But, he has averaged more than six runs allowed in every start since.


Ashcraft gave up 10 hits and seven earned runs in five innings. He struck out five and didn't allow a walk.


Ben Lively (1-2, 2.45) is facing the Cardinals for the first time. LHP Steven Matz (0-5, 5.05) hasn't allowed more than three runs in any of his four starts against the Reds.

Cubs Blast Mets

Christopher Morel extended his homer streak to five games, helping the Chicago Cubs cool off the New York Mets with a 7-2 victory Tuesday night.


Matt Mervis and Seiya Suzuki also connected for the Cubs in the opener of a nine-game homestand. Dansby Swanson and Yan Gomes each had a run-scoring single, and Drew Smyly pitched four-hit ball into the sixth inning.


Morel hit a solo shot against Stephen Nogosek in the seventh, becoming the first player with a five-game homer streak for Chicago since Sammy Sosa in June 1998. Morel, another Dominican Republic native, was born a year later, in June 1999.


It was the ninth homer in 12 games for Morel, who was recalled from Triple-A Iowa on May 8. 


New York had won five in a row - all by one run. But Tylor Megill (5-3) turned in his worst start of the season and Tommy Pham committed a costly error, sending manager Buck Showalter to the loss on his 67th birthday.


Pete Alonso hit his big league-best 18th homer for the Mets, who dropped to 13-15 in a majors-high 28 road games.


Suzuki opened the Cubs' four-run second with a leadoff drive to center for his fifth homer in his last eight games. Gomes added a two-out RBI single on a high chopper to third, and Mervis made it 4-0 with a two-run shot for his first homer at Wrigley since he was brought up from Iowa on May 5.


Mervis and Swanson tacked on two-out RBI singles in the fourth. Mervis drove in Mike Tauchman, who reached second when his leadoff liner was dropped by Pham in left.


Megill was charged with six runs, four earned, and six hits in 3 2/3 innings. The 6-foot-7 right-hander was 2-0 with a 2.45 ERA in his previous two starts.


New York had a chance to get back in the game when Smyly (5-1) was replaced by Jeremiah Estrada with the bases loaded and no outs in the sixth. But Estrada limited the damage to one run on Alonso's grounder to third.


Cubs RHP Kyle Hendricks (shoulder strain) likely will return to Chicago's rotation at some point during the team's nine-game homestand. He hasn't pitched in a big league game since July 5. 


OF Cody Bellinger (left knee contusion) tracked pitches in the bullpen after doing some light drill work during the team's series in Philadelphia. 


Right-handers Kodai Senga (4-2, 3.77 ERA) and Marcus Stroman (3-4, 3.05 ERA) pitch on Wednesday night. Senga is coming off a dominant performance for New York, striking out 12 while throwing six innings of one-run ball in a no-decision against Tampa Bay. Stroman is 1-2 with a 4.35 ERA in four May starts for Chicago.

Guardians Blank White Sox

Mike Zunino connected for a two-run homer in the eighth inning to help Hunter Gaddis get his first major league win and lead the Cleveland Guardians over the Chicago White Sox 3-0 on Monday night.



Hear tonight's action on WHOW.

Reds Walk Off Cardinals

Nick Senzel hit a sacrifice fly in the 10th inning and the Cincinnati Reds snapped a four-game losing streak Monday night, cooling off the St. Louis Cardinals with a 6-5 victory.


Spencer Steer launched an early two-run homer and scored the winning run for the Reds. Ian Gibaut (4-1) struck out two in a hitless 10th to keep it tied.


Paul DeJong homered and drove in four runs for the Cardinals, who had won 11 of 14 since a 10-24 start.


St. Louis had the bases loaded in the ninth and two runners aboard in the 10th, but failed to score.


Steer began the bottom of the 10th as the automatic runner at second base. He advanced to third on a wild pitch by Helsley (2-3) and scored on Senzel's deep fly to right field.


Cincinnati jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first on an RBI double by Matt McLain and an RBI single by Tyler Stephenson.


DeJong hit a three-run homer off rookie left-hander Brandon Williamson in the second. It was DeJong’s fourth homer in six games.


Williamson made his second career appearance after an impressive debut Tuesday at Coors Field when he retired 14 consecutive batters in a no-decision.


In the third, Steer’s two-run homer off left-hander Jordan Montgomery put the Reds back ahead.


Montgomery is winless in his past eight appearances.


Pinch-hitter Lars Nootbaar tied it 4-all with an RBI double in the fifth.


The Reds took a 5-4 lead in the bottom half on a run-scoring groundout by Wil Myers. St. Louis tied it in the eighth when Nolan Gorman doubled to extend his career-best hitting streak to 12 games and scored on DeJong’s double.


Graham Ashcraft (2-2, 4.84 ERA) has produced five of the Reds’ eight quality starts. He’ll face Cardinals RHP Adam Wainwright (1-0, 5.74), who is four wins shy of 200 for his career.

Green Bay to Host 2025 NFL Draft

The NFL draft will be in Green Bay in 2025.


The league announced the 2025 draft’s location on Monday during its spring meetings. The draft and related activities will take place inside and around Lambeau Field and Titletown, the collection of shops and restaurants surrounding the stadium. With an expected 250,000 visitors, the draft will be the largest event ever held in Green Bay, which has a population of 107,000.


Next year’s draft will take place from April 25-27 in Detroit. After being held at various New York locations from 1965-2014, the draft has made stops in Chicago (2015-16), Philadelphia (2017), Dallas (2018), Nashville (2019), Las Vegas (2022) and Kansas City (2023).


More than 2.2 million people have attended draft festivities since 2015. This year’s draft brought more than 312,000 fans to Kansas City.


Now it’s preparing to head to the league’s smallest market. The Packers first applied to host in 2016, and the NFL pushed them to answer questions about hotel space and transportation infrastructure.

Illinois Topples UT-Martin

Illinois (24-24, 12-12) claimed a 7-3 over UT Martin (21-32, 14-10) to open up the final series of the regular season.


The Skyhawks jumped out to a 2-0 lead after four innings.


The Illini got on the board with a two-spot in the bottom half of the fourth to tie the game. Cal Hejza led off with a single and Brody Harding followed with a walk. Branden Comia doubled into the left-center gap two batters later, extending his hitting streak to nine games, to bring the contest level.


UT Martin would briefly jump back into the lead with a run in the sixth, but Illinois immediately responded with two runs to take the lead back. Cam McDonald picked up his first two RBI of the game with a double down the right field line to bring home Harding and Comia, making it 4-3.


Harding would double the Illini lead in the seventh with a two-out RBI single and McDonald broke the game open in the eighth with a two-run homer to make it 7-3.


McDonald went 3-for-5 with a run, double, home run and four RBI. Comia went 2-for-5 with two runs, a double and two RBI extending his hitting streak to nine games.


Harding went 2-for-2 with two runs, two walks and two stolen bases. Every Illinois starter reached base safely in the win.


The Fighting Illini will be back in action tonight, with first pitch from Illinois Field scheduled for 6:00 p.m. CT.

Valpo Edges ISU, Ending Redbirds Shot at Missouri Valley Tournament

The Illinois State baseball team was edged by Valparaiso, 7-6, on Thursday at Emory G. Bauer Field as the Redbirds allowed three runs in the 8th inning.


Illinois State (18-30 overall, 7-18 Missouri Valley Conference) has been eliminated with from qualifying for the Missouri Valley Conference baseball tournament. The Redbirds could have qualified with a sweep of Valpo or taking two of three and Bradley sweeping Belmont.


Belmont blanked Bradley Thursday night 4-0. 


The Redbirds were led by freshmen Luke Lawrence and Daniel Pacella with Lawrence reaching base four times and scoring three times while Pacella homered and tallied four RBIs. junior Elijah Dale recorded 11 strikeouts in relief.


Pacella smacked a two-run homer in the 4th inning. 


Pacella added a two-RBI double in the 6th inning to regain the lead for Illinois State.


In the 7th inning, Lawrence tallied an RBI ground-rule double just inside the left field line before junior Auggie Rasmussen went off the center field wall for an RBI triple.


Valparaiso (20-23 overall, 10-15 MVC) secured a spot in the MVC Tournament.


Illinois State is scheduled to play Valparaiso Friday (1:00 p.m. CT) and Saturday (1:00 p.m. CT).

Guardians Down White Sox

Cam Gallagher snapped a long hitless drought with an RBI single during Cleveland's two-run seventh inning, and the Guardians beat Dylan Cease and the Chicago White Sox 3-1 on Thursday to salvage the series finale.



Michael Kopech (1-4, 5.74 ERA) takes the mound against Kansas City RHP Zack Greinke (1-4, 5.01 ERA) on Friday to start a three-game set on the South Side. Hear tonight's game on WHOW.

Cardinals Outslug Dodgers

Willson Contreras hit two three-run homers, Nolan Gorman also homered twice and the St. Louis Cardinals went deep seven times in a home game for the first time in 83 years to power past the Los Angeles Dodgers 16-8 in a slugfest Thursday night.


Nolan Arenado added a two-run homer, and Juan Yepez and Paul DeJong each hit solo homers run for St. Louis.


The Cardinals, who have homered in a season-high seven games in a row, hit seven in a home game for the first time since May 7, 1940, when they did it against the Brooklyn Dodgers. Yepez, Gorman and DeJong hit consecutive homers in the sixth inning.


Freddie Freeman hit a grand slam for his 300th career home run and Max Muncy added a solo homer for the Dodgers. Los Angeles leads the majors this season with five grand slams and rank second with 74 homers.


The teams’ nine combined home runs set a record for Busch Stadium.


St. Louis has won nine of 11 games after a 10-24 start to the season. The Cardinals have hit 27 homers in their last 11 games.


Adam Wainwright (1-0) allowed five runs - two earned - and five hits in 5 1/3 innings for the win in his third start this season.


Dodgers RHP Tony Gonsolin (1-1, 1.42) is 1-0 with a 3.86 ERA and 16 strikeouts in three career starts against St. Louis.


Cardinals LHP Steven Matz (0-4, 5.62) has made five career starts against the Dodgers, but this will be his first as a member of the Cardinals.

NASCAR All-Star Weekend at North Wilkesboro

The NASCAR Cup series takes to North Wilkesboro for the first time in nearly 30 years this Sunday for the annual All-Star race and a $1-million prize.


This is a non-points exhibition at the midpoint of the regular season. The races will be the first for NASCAR at North Wilkesboro since 1996.


Practice and qualifying are this afternoon at 3 pm with the all-star pit crew challenge at 4:45. Two Saturday heats are at 6:30 pm and 7:15 pm. 


The all-star open is at 4:30 pm Friday and the all-star race is at 7 pm. 


William Byron avoided a crash six laps from the finish and won in overtime at Darlington last week's throwback race. Byron became the first three-time winner this season but stands just fifth in points, 42 behind non-winning points leader Ross Chastain. 


Christopher Bell is second, 27 points back, followed by Kevin Harvick (-29) and Denny Hamlin (-36). Kyle Larson and Kyle Busch, the only other multiple-race winners with two each, are 10th and 11th in points, respectively.


The XFinity series returns Memorial Day weekend at Charlotte Motorspeedway.

Christian Eckes led 82 of 158 laps and won under caution in double overtime at Darlington as the Craftsman Truck Series returns this week to North Wilkesboro.


The victory was the second for Eckes this season and the third of his career. It ended a five-race slump during which he’d finished no better than 15th. 


Stewart Friesen was second, followed by Tanner Gray, Byron and Carson Hocevar. Corey Heim led four times for 66 laps but finished just eighth. Defending series champion Zane Smith, the only other two-time winner, leads the point standings with Ty Majeski nine points behind and Heim 15 in arrears.


Practice for this week's North Wilkesboro is at 2 pm. Qualifying is tomorrow morning at 9:30 am with the race Saturday at 12:30 pm. 

Postseason Baseball, Softball Scores

Class 1A Baseball Regional semifinal action from Thursday


At Argenta-Oreana


Champaign St. Thomas More 10 F-6

Cerro Gordo 0


At LeRoy


LeRoy 11

Ridgeview 6


At Lexington


Dwight 6

Lexington 9


Class 2A Regional semifinal action Wednesday:


At Downs 


Tri-Valley 0

Bloomington Central Catholic 10


At Gibson City


Tolono Unity 6

Paxton-Buckley-Loda 4


At Sullivan


Shelbyville 12

Sullivan 2


Class 1A Regional championship baseball action Saturday


At Argenta-Oreana


Mt. Pulaski 11:00am

Champaign St. Thomas More


At Catlin 


Decatur St. Teresa 1:00pm

Salt Fork


At LeRoy


Delavan 11:00am



At Lexington


Heyworth 11:00am



Class 2A Reginal Championship Baseball action Saturday


At Athens


Williamsville 11:00am



At Tri-Valley


Tremont 11:00am

Bloomington Central Catholic


At Gibson City (Hear on WEZC/dewittdailynews.com)


Monticello 10:00am

Tolono Unity


At Sullivan


Carlinville 10:00am



Class 1A Softball action from Thursday




Villa Grove 12 F-5

Watseka 0


Class 1A Softball Regional Championship Action


At Heyworth


Heyworth 4:30pm



At Meridian


LeRoy 4:30pm



Class 2A Regional Championship action


At Bloomington Central Catholic


Normal U-High 4:30pm

Bloomington Central Catholic


At Maroa-Forsyth


Tolono Unity 4:30pm



At Sullivan


Marshall 4:30pm

St. Joseph-Ogden


At Buffalo


Olympia 11:00am (Saturday)


Sox Offense Stays Hot In Win Over Guardians

Jake Burger and Gavin Sheets both homered for the second straight game, leading the Chicago White Sox past the Cleveland Guardians 7-2 on Wednesday night.



Cleveland LHP Logan Allen (1-1, 3.43) faces Chicago RHP Dylan Cease (2-2, 4.86) in the series finale Thursday.

Cardinals Blank Brewers

Matthew Liberatore tossed five shutout innings in his season debut and Paul DeJong homered to lead the St. Louis Cardinals to a 3-0 win over the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday night.


St. Louis has won eight of 10 after a 10-24 start to the season.


Milwaukee has dropped two of three following a three-game winning streak.


Nolan Arenado added a run-scoring hit for St. Louis, which remains in last place in the NL Central for the 22nd successive day after winning the division last season.


Liberatore (1-0), a 23-year-old left-hander, gave up three hits in a 95-pitch stint. He struck out six and left after giving up a leadoff walk to Willy Adames to start the sixth.


Relievers Andre Pallante, Giovanny Gallegos and Ryan Helsley combined to nail down the seven-hit shutout. Helsley recorded the final four outs for his fifth save in eight chances.


Corbin Burnes (4-3) gave up three runs on eight hits over six innings in the loss.


DeJong hit a two-run homer off Burnes with two out in the sixth to push the lead to 3-0.


Arenado, who had homered in his previous five games, drove in the first run of the game with a single off the glove of third baseman Brian Anderson in the first. It was his 1,000th career RBI.


The Cardinals won their third straight series and are beginning to dig out after the rough start.


St. Louis has now homered in a season-high six games in a row.


Milwaukee outfielder Owen Miller extended his hitting streak to 10 games with three hits. Miller has reached base safely in a career-best 19 straight games.


Brewers outfielder Tyrone Taylor hit what was first called a home run with two out in the fourth. The ball hit the top of the wall and bounced back into play. The call was reversed and Taylor had a double.


The Brewers stranded a season-high 12 runners. They went 0 for 9 with runners in scoring position in the game and were 2 for 21 in the series.


The Cardinals placed OF Dylan Carlson on the 10-day injury list retroactive to May 15. Selected the contract of OF Oscar Mercado from Triple-A Memphis. Carlson suffered a sprained ankle on Sunday in Boston.


Brewers RHP Adrian Houser (0-0, 5.19) will open a three-game series at Tampa Bay on Friday. He is making his third start after beginning the season on the injured list with a right groin strain.


Cardinals RHP Adam Wainwright (0-0, 7.20) takes on Los Angeles Dodgers LHP Julio Urias (5-3, 3.61) in the first of a four-game set on Thursday. Wainwright is 7-6 with a 2.79 ERA in 19 lifetime appearances against the Dodgers.


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