Nolan Hickman outdueled Adam Crites of Rantoul and provided the insurance base hit that would ensure a Clinton Maroons 3-1 victory over Rantoul in non-conference boys baseball action Monday afternoon.
A pair of 3A schools preparing for the IHSA postseason next week, the Maroons, who are in Class 3A for the 2016 postseason, answered the bell against the Eagles of the Okaw Valley Conference.
Hickman was brilliant on the mound, going the distance for seven innings allowing an earned run on three hits, issued three walks and struck out eight.
Rantoul's Crites was good enough but Hickman was better. Crites went six innings, allowing three runs, two earned on four hits with 10 strikeouts and just two walks.
Hickman also delivered a two-run single in the top of the sixth inning that would ultimately be the game winner, as his hit gave the Maroons a 3-1 cushion.
Trenton Fryman had the other Maroons RBI and Jacob Overton scored twice. Mac Hickman finished 1-for-3 for Clinton, who improves to 6-18, ahead of next week's Class 3A play-in game against Urbana at Clinton High School.
Hear next week's action on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.
Class 1A Regional quarter-final scores from Monday:
Mt. Pulaski 1
Bloomington Cornerstone Christian Academy 1
At Springfield Lutheran
Springfield Lutheran 8
Class 2A Regional Quarter-final scores:
Cerro Gordo 2
At Deer Creek-Mackinaw