Local Sports

HS Girl's VBall: Maroa-Forsyth Drops Heyworth

The Maroa-Forsyth Lady Trojans swept away Heyworth in two sets, 25-21 and 25-20, in non-conference high school girl's volleyball Monday night. 

 

Addi Voorhees recorded eight kills to lead the Lady Trojans. Savannah Moody and Reagan Vanhook had seven blocks apiece. 

 

Moody, Vanhook, and Mia Hubbard also had three kills apiece while Kelci Kahler added five blocks. 

 

Maroa-Forsyth improves to 3-0 on the season and will host Argenta-Oreana next Monday.

Royals Outslug White Sox

In a game heard on WHOW, rookie Nick Pratto hit two home runs to highlight a career-high four-hit performance and the Kansas City Royals sent the Chicago White Sox to their fifth straight loss, 9-7 on Tuesday night.

 

White Sox manager Tony La Russa missed the game because of an unspecified medical issue. The team said the 77-year-old Hall of Famer was out on the recommendation of his doctors and would undergo further testing Wednesday.

 

La Russa's absence was announced about one hour before the first pitch. He showed no signs of health trouble during his pregame session with reporters. Bench coach Miguel Cairo took over as Chicago fell for the 10th time in its last 12 games since moving to a season-high five games over .500 on Aug. 16.

 

Gavin Sheets homered twice and drove in five runs for the White Sox.

 

Salvador Perez and Michael A. Taylor each homered and drove in three runs for the Royals. Pratto added a double and also had three RBIs.

 

Pratto hit solo home runs in each of his first two at-bats against Lucas Giolito (10-8), and his single off reliever Tanner Banks sparked a two-run sixth. Pratto hit a ground-rule double off Jake Diekman to score Ryan O'Hearn in the seventh.

 

Pratto is 8 for 17 with four doubles, three homers and 10 RBIs in his last four games. This marked the first multi-homer game of Pratto's career.

 

White Sox OF Luis Robert (left wrist) missed his fourth consecutive start due to lingering discomfort. 

 

3B Yoan Moncada (left hamstring strain) fielded grounders before Tuesday's game. Moncada is eligible to return from the 10-day injured list Sept. 5. 

 

The Royals will start LHP Kris Bubic (2-9, 5.62) on Wednesday. Bubic allowed a season-high six earned runs in four innings in a 13-5 loss Friday to the Padres.

 

White Sox RHP Lance Lynn (3-5, 5.00) will be activated from the bereavement list. Lynn allowed two runs in six innings of a 4-3 loss Thursday to the Orioles.

Reds Roll Cardinals

Former St. Louis catcher Austin Romine hit a two-run homer as the Cincinnati Reds roughed up Dakota Hudson and beat the Cardinals 5-1 Tuesday night, ending their three-game winning streak.

 

Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols went 0 for 2 and was hit by pitch from Justin Dunn that caromed off his chest and caught his right forearm in the second inning. Pujols stayed in the game for the NL Central leaders and remained at 694 home runs, two behind Alex Rodriguez for fourth on the all-time list.

 

Hudson (7-7), who had been 3-0 with a 1.93 ERA in three career starts at Great American Ball Park, gave up five straight hits to start a four-run burst in the third. Romine's go-ahead liner that reached the front row of the seats in deep right-center field made it 2-1.

 

Hudson went 4 2/3 innings, giving up nine hits and five runs with one walk.

 

Dunn went four innings in his fifth start after missing the first half of the season with a right shoulder strain. He yielded just three hits and one run, which came on Tommy Edman's leadoff homer in the third, and struck out four.

 

Cardinals LHP Jose Quintana (4-6, 3.45) pitched seven shutout innings in his last start against Cincinnati, won by the Pirates 1-0 at Pittsburgh on May 15 despite being held hitless by Hunter Greene and Art Warren. Reds LHP Mike Minor (3-10, 6.10) has won back-to-back starts for the first time all season.

Blue Jays Get By Cubs

Teoscar Hernandez hit a three-run homer, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. also went deep and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Chicago Cubs 5-3 on Tuesday night.

 

Kevin Gausman pitched six solid innings to win his second straight decision as the Blue Jays won back-to-back games after losing their previous three. Toronto is in position for an AL wild card.

 

Guerrero finished with three hits and two RBIs.

 

Back in the lineup after sitting out Monday because of a sore left foot, Hernandez homered for the first time since Aug. 18 at New York.

 

Willson Contreras and Christopher Morel hit solo home runs for the Cubs, but Contreras left in the sixth inning after aggravating his sore left ankle. Contreras limped around the bases after his fourth-inning homer.

 

Gausman (10-9) allowed two runs and five hits, walked one and struck out nine, including five straight Ks in the second and third innings.

 

Facing his former team for the first time, Cubs right-hander Marcus Stroman allowed one run and three hits in five innings, leaving with a 2-1 lead.

 

Contreras is the first catcher in Cubs history to hit 20 or more home runs in consecutive seasons.

 

Mitch White (1-4, 4.24 ERA) starts for Toronto in Wednesday's series finale. The Cubs have not named a starter.

Packers K Crosby Cleared From Injury

Green Bay Packers kicker Mason Crosby’s chances of continuing his consecutive games streak are looking stronger.

 

Crosby had spent training camp on the physically unable to perform list, but he passed his physical and was on the 53-man roster the Packers released Tuesday as they announced their final cuts. Green Bay cut Ramiz Ahmed, the only other kicker on the roster.

 

Crosby, who turns 38 on Saturday, had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee before training camp. He began his NFL career in 2007 and hasn’t missed a game, a span of 241 regular-season contests.

 

The Packers open their season Sept. 11 at Minnesota.

 

Crosby holds Green Bay franchise records in points (1,806), field goals (370) and extra points (696).

Clinton Boy's Cross Country Runners Finish Second at Clinton Meet; Girl's Finish Fifth

The Clinton boy's cross country runners took home second place at Saturday night's 'Light It Up' night race on the campus of Clinton Schools. 

 

The best finisher on the girl's side was MaKayla Koeppel, who set a personal best on the Clinton course of 20-minutes and 11-seconds, and finished 13th. Amerie Hemphill also ran her best on the Clinton course of 23-minutes and three seconds. She finished 17th. 

 

Drew Moser paced the Maroons boy's runners with a fifth-place finish, setting a lifetime best of 16-minutes and 21-seconds. 

 

Talan Thrasher finished 17th with a lifetime best time and a personal course record of 17-minutes and 10-seconds. 

 

Jade Carlos Gustafson ran a lifetime best and personal course record of 17-minutes and 33-seconds. 

 

Abel Koritz and Colin Jameson set personal bests during the run as well. 

 

The Maroons will travel to Rochester on Saturday where junior high school runners will also participate.

Cardinals Pummel Reds

St. Louis Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols tagged his major league record 450th different pitcher for a home run, connecting off Cincinnati left-hander Ross Detwiler on Monday night in a 13-4 rout of the Reds.

 

Pujols hit his 694th home run overall. He had been tied with Barry Bonds for most pitchers as longball victims at 449.

 

Bonds leads the all-time home run list with 762, followed by Hank Aaron (755), Babe Ruth (714) and Alex Rodriguez (696).

 

Tyler O'Neill hit two home runs on a rainy night as the Cardinals moved a season-high 21 games over .500. He has homered in three of his last four games, including a go-ahead, three-run drive in Sunday night's 6-3 win over Atlanta.

 

O'Neill homered during a six-run second and again in a four-run sixth.

 

Miles Mikolas faced one batter over the minimum through four innings before allowing solo homers by TJ Friedl and Stuart Fairchild and a two-run drive by Chuckie Robinson while getting just one out in the fifth.

 

Mikolas allowed six hits and four runs in 4 1/3 innings. He is winless in six Cincinnati starts since April 14, 2018.

 

Chris Stratton (7-4) relieved and got the win.

 

Brendan Donovan extended his career-high hitting streak to 11 games with a two-run single in the Cardinals second.

 

Cardinals RHP Dakota Hudson (7-6, 4.23) didn't allow a hit after the third inning and retired 13 of the last 14 batters he faced while going seven innings in an 8-5 win over the Cubs at Chicago on Thursday.

 

Reds RHP Justin Dunn (1-2, 5.12) logged a career-high six innings in his last start, a 4-1 loss at Philadelphia on Thursday.

Blue Jays Outlast Cubs

Danny Jansen hit a three-run homer in the seventh inning and singled home the winning run in the 11th as the Toronto Blue Jays overcame a four-run deficit to defeat the Chicago Cubs 5-4 on Monday night.

 

Jansen connected off Erich Uelmen for his 11th homer, then won it with a base hit to left field against Mark Leiter Jr. (2-6) that scored Matt Chapman from second base and ended Toronto's three-game skid.

 

Chicago blew a lead and lost for the 41st time, more than any other big league team.

 

Toronto tied it 4-all in the eighth when Cavan Biggio hit a two-out double off Manuel Rodriguez and scored on Chapman's single.

 

Cubs outfielder Ian Happ lined out to begin the 10th and shortstop Bo Bichette doubled automatic runner Nelson Velazquez off second base. That was one of five outs Chicago ran into on the basepaths, including one at third and another at the plate.

 

After Chicago intentionally walked Alejandro Kirk to start the bottom of the 10th, third baseman Christopher Morel turned a double play on Bichette's grounder. Kirk was initially ruled safe at second, but the Cubs challenged and umpire Nick Mahrley's call was overturned.

 

The Cubs put runners at second and third with two outs in the 11th but Yimi Garcia (3-4) struck out P.J. Higgins.

 

Berrios allowed a season-high 10 hits and four runs in 5 2/3 innings. He slammed his glove onto the dugout bench in frustration after being replaced by left-hander Tim Mayza.

 

Pinch-hitting for Alfonso Rivas, Higgins greeted Mayza with a two-run double. The hit snapped an 0-for-13 slump and was Higgins' second in his past 35 at-bats.

 

Making the second appearance of his career, Cubs right-hander Javier Assad allowed four hits, all singles, in five scoreless innings. He walked two and struck out one.

 

Assad escaped a bases-loaded jam in the first by getting Biggio to fly out.

 

After back-to-back hits by Nick Madrigal and Willson Contreras put runners at second and third with one out in the fifth, Toronto turned a unique double play to end the threat. Happ struck out on a pitch that got away from Jansen, who threw to first to complete the strikeout. Madrigal broke for home on the throw, but Vladimir Guerrero Jr. threw back to Jansen, who got the tag down just in time.

 

Marcus Stroman (3-6, 4.10 ERA) faces Blue Jays RHP Kevin Gausman (9-9, 3.15) on Tuesday.

Diamondbacks Sneak By White Sox

In a game heard on WHOW, Jake McCarthy hit a tiebreaking double in the ninth inning and the Arizona Diamondbacks completed a three-game sweep of the struggling Chicago White Sox with a 3-2 victory Sunday.

 

Diamondbacks rookie Stone Garrett launched his first major league home run and Sergio Alcantara also went deep for Arizona, which earned its first interleague sweep since 2019. Noe Ramirez (5-4) pitched a scoreless eighth and Ian Kennedy got three outs for his ninth save.

 

Kendall Graveman (3-3) took the loss in relief of Dylan Cease, who allowed Arizona's two solo homers while striking out eight in a career-high eight innings.

 

Zach Davies, who has gone 10 starts without a victory, pitched 5 2/3 innings for the Diamondbacks and gave up two runs. Gavin Sheets had a sacrifice fly and AJ Pollock followed with an infield single that brought home Andrew Vaughn to give the White Sox a 2-1 lead in the sixth.

 

Alcantara hit his fourth homer of the season in the eighth to tie it.

 

Garrett opened the scoring in the second with a drive to center field. The 26-year-old spent more than seven seasons in the minors before making his debut Aug. 17.

 

The White Sox, who allowed 17 runs in the first two games of the series, have lost nine of 11 and dropped two games under .500. They heard a smattering of boos as they left the field.

 

Lucas Giolito (10-7, 5.14) opposes Royals RHP Brady Singer (7-4, 3.15) on Tuesday.

Cardinals Double Up Braves

Tyler O'Neill hit a three-run homer to break an eighth-inning tie and the St. Louis Cardinals rallied past the Atlanta Braves 6-3 on Sunday night.

 

Tommy Edman pulled the Cardinals even with a leadoff homer in the eighth against A.J. Minter (5-4), who also gave up O'Neill's two-out drive to straightaway center field. Lars Nootbaar went deep with two outs in the sixth for the first hit off Braves starter Jake Odorizzi.

 

O'Neill entered on defense in the seventh and delivered the decisive blow his first time up - immediately after Minter struck out sluggers Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado with two runners aboard. St. Louis' rally was aided by third baseman Austin Riley's error.

 

O'Neill also drew a game-ending walk Saturday in a 6-5 victory for the Cardinals, who have won 12 of 15. They stayed six games in front of second-place Milwaukee in the NL Central.

 

O'Neill hit just .194 in July, but is slowly rounding back into form.

 

Atlanta remained three games behind the first-place New York Mets in the NL East.

Dansby Swanson put Atlanta ahead 3-2 with a three-run homer off reliever Ryan Helsley in the seventh. But the Braves couldn't hold on and lost two of three in St. Louis after winning their previous five series.

 

Atlanta rookie Michael Harris II went 4 for 4.

 

Helsley (9-1) struck out three in 1 1/3 innings. Giovanny Gallegos pitched a scoreless ninth for his 13th save.

 

Nootbaar slammed a line drive down the left-field line to break a scoreless tie in the sixth, and Odorizzi never got another out. Three more hits in a row followed, and Nolan Arenado chased the right-hander with an RBI single.

 

Eddie Rosario and Harris singled in the seventh off Wainwright before Swanson went deep. Wainwright was charged with two runs and eight hits over 6 2/3 innings. He struck and five and did not walk a batter.

 

The 40-year-old righty made his 18th career start on ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball, the most of any active pitcher.

 

Odorizzi, acquired from Houston on Aug. 1 for reliever Will Smith, gave up two runs on four hits over 5 2/3 innings in his fifth start with the Braves.

 

The start of the contest was delayed 59 minutes by rain.

 

Cardinals RHP Jack Flaherty will likely make his fifth and final rehab start Wednesday at Triple-A Memphis. He has been sidelined since June 27 with a right shoulder strain.

 

Miles Mikolas (10-10, 3.35) takes on Reds RHP Chase Anderson (0-0, 0.00) in the opener of a three-game series Monday in Cincinnati. Mikolas is 3-4 with a 5.37 ERA in 14 games against the Reds and has not won in Cincinnati since April 4, 2018.

Brewers Outslug Cubs

Christian Yelich and Kolten Wong each homered for the second straight game and Garrett Mitchell drove in two runs with his first hit as a major leaguer, leading the Milwaukee Brewers over the Chicago Cubs 9-7 Sunday.

 

Mitchell, Milwaukee's first-round choice in the 2020 MLB draft, made his debut Saturday as a defensive replacement after getting called up from Triple-A Nashville, where was hitting .343 with nine RBIs in 20 games.

 

The 23-year-old outfielder flied out his first time up in the third. Mitchell then hit two-run single the next inning off Sean Newcomb (2-1) that put Milwaukee ahead for good at 3-2.

 

Yelich followed by sending an 0-1 fastball over the wall in left for his 11th home run of the season and Wong added another two-run drive in the fifth for a 7-4 lead.

 

Eric Lauer (10-5) gave up four runs in five innings, including a two-run home run to Nico Hoerner in the fifth.

 

Franmil Reyes hit a two-run homer in the ninth off Brad Boxberger and Hoerner followed with a single. Devin Williams relieved and got three outs for his ninth save.

 

After working four scoreless innings against the Cardinals in his big league debut last week, Cubs right-hander Javier Assad returns to the mound Monday when the Cubs open a three-game series against the Blue Jays in Toronto.

Austin Dillon Outlasts Weather, Field To Punch Ticket to Postseason in Regular Season Finale

Austin Dillon avoided a massive wreck in the rain to take the lead before a red flag and returned more than three hours later to finish off an improbable victory at Daytona International Speedway and snag a playoff spot in the Cup Series’ regular-season finale Sunday.

 

Dillon passed Austin Cindric with three laps to go and was unchallenged down the stretch. It was an aggressive move that capped a drama-filled race and set off a wild celebration for a team that’s usually a factor at Daytona.

 

Martin Truex Jr. was the biggest loser. Truex looked like he would secure the final postseason berth when rain halted the race with 21 laps remaining, but he faded after the restart and allowed Ryan Blaney to make up ground in a points scramble.

 

Blaney finished seven spots behind Truex in the race but three points ahead in the standings.

 

Dillon’s victory in the No. 3 Chevrolet was as stunning as Blaney’s comeback. Running 16th at the time of the crash, he turned onto the apron to avoid the 15-car melee between Turns 1 and 2 that was caused by a summer shower everyone saw coming. Cars started sliding sideways heading into the high-banked turn, a result of slick tires losing grip on wet asphalt.

 

Daniel Suarez and Denny Hamlin were running 1-2 when the pack drove into the rain with 23 laps remaining.

 

Inclement weather was a factor all weekend. Thunderstorms delayed the Xfinity Series race Friday night and pushed the Cup race from Saturday to Sunday morning. More rain was in the forecast Sunday, and dark clouds had surrounded the track for at least half an hour before several drivers reported seeing raindrops on the previous lap.

 

But it wasn’t enough for NASCAR to stop the race — until it was obvious and too late.

 

Only 18 cars stayed on track once the green flag dropped and only 10 finished on the lead lap. Dillon’s teammate at Richard Childress Racing, Tyler Reddick, finished second, followed by Cindric, Landon Cassill and Noah Gragson.

 

The first round of the playoffs begin at Darlington next Sunday. Joey Logano won the May race at the track, with Ford and Chevy claiming 19 of the top 20 spots.

Week 1 HS Football Scores

Illini Prairie

Bloomington Central Catholic at Pontiac 33-12
IVC at Paxton-Buckley-Loda 20-28
Tolono Unity at Prairie Central 12-34

 

Big Twelve

Bloomington at Peoria Richwoods 28-26
Champaign Centennial at Proviso East 47-22
Champaign Central at Normal West 0-42
 

Central State Eight

Decatur MacArthur at Springfield Southeast 40-8
Jacksonville at Chatham-Glenwood 23-64 
Rochester at Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin 27-62
Springfield at Decatur Eisenhower 37-6 
Springfield Lanphier at Normal U-High 6-24

 

Sangamo

Maroa-Forsyth at Pleasant Plains 61-12
New Berlin at Auburn 21-42
Olympia at Riverton 60-6
Williamsville at Petersburg-PORTA 45-8

 

Non-conference 

Arcola at Tuscola 13-30
Argenta-Oreana at Warrensburg-Latham 0-25
Bridgeport-Red Hill at Cerro Gordo-Bement 30-0
Colfax-Ridgeview at Dee-Mack 21-8
Decatur St. Teresa at Effingham 18-0
Tri-Valley at Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond 42-7
Galesburg at Dunlap 13-27
Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley at Fieldcrest 23-14
Highland at Washington 54-7
LeRoy at Central A & M 6-35
Meridian at El Paso-Gridley 0-6
Metamora at Peoria 0-2
Morton at Mahomet-Seymour 14-51
Mt. Zion at Limestone 48-7
Newton at Sullivan-Okaw Valley  27-33
Sangamon Valley at Tremont 8-14
Normal Community at O'Fallon 17-23
Peotone at Rantoul 48-16
Streator at East Peoria 52-0
Taylorville at Mt. Vernon 0-40
Toledo-Cumberland at Shelbyville 14-38

Monticello Falls Short to St. Joseph-Ogden

The Monticello Sages started slow and missed opportunities led to a 21-14 loss to the St. Joseph-Ogden Spartans in Illini Prairie Conference high school football action from Monticello High School Friday night.

 

Monticello went 3-and-out in its first two series and did not score until 3:31 left in the first half on a five-yard run by quarterback Drew Sheppard.

 

On the second play from scrimmage, the Spartans had a big play to 6-foot-6 wide receiver Ty Pence called back because of a penalty but on the next drive, junior quarterback Logan Smith hit Pence from 12 yards out for the first score of the game.

 

With a minute left in the second quarter, Smith found Pence again from 12 yards out to send the Spartans up 14-7 going into the half.

 

St. Joe took advantage of getting the ball to start the second half and Alex Funk scored from less than a yard out to go up 21-7. 

 

Monticello was moving the ball for most of the first part of the fourth quarter looking to cut into the deficit but Sheppard was picked off at the goal line with 7:21 left in the game and the Spartans got the ball deep into Monticello territory before turning it over on downs.

 

With a slim chance of a comeback, Sheppard punched in his second touchdown to bring Monticello to 21-14.

 

An onside failed for Monticello and St. Joe knelt on the ball to seal the victory.

 

Smith finished 11-for-20 for 170 yards and a pair of touchdown passes to Pence, who hauled in four receptions for 91 yards.

 

Funk ran for 132 yards on 13 carries with a touchdown. Sophomore Coy Taylor had six receptions for 71 yards.

 

Sheppard finished 22-for-38 for 235 yards with a pair of interceptions. Senior tailback Tylor Bundy had 8 catches for 114 yards to lead Monticello. Junior receiver Raiden Colbert had six catches for 64 yards.

 

Monticello travels to IVC next Friday night at 7 pm. Hear all the action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com. 

Clinton Falls to LIncoln in Season Opener

In a game heard on WHOW, the Clinton Maroons fell to the Lincoln Railsplitters by a score of 28-0 on Friday night. Tristin Potts led the Maroons with 19 carries for 64 yards. Quarterback Mason Walker was 10 of 24 passing for 110 yards and 3 interceptions. He also had 12 carries for 88 yards. Khanton Wilson ran the ball 4 times for 50 yards and had 3 catches for 20 yards. The Maroons Player of the Game Logan Thoms led the defense with a fourth quarter fumble recovery and multiple tackles.

 

Kion Carson led the Railsplitters with 12 carries for 100 yards and 3 touchdowns. He also had 1 catch for 64 yards and a touchdown. Quarterback Darren Stevens went 3 of 6 passing for 98 yards and a touchdown. Isaac Decker had 10 carries for 98 yards, and Payton Bunner had 13 carries for 54 yards.

 

With the loss, the Maroons drop to 0-1 and the Railsplitters improve to 1-0.

 

Tune in next Friday, September 3, as the Maroons take on the Argenta-Oreana Bombers. You can hear the game live on the Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM/106.5 FM WHOW, online at dewittdailynews.com, on the WHOW mobile app, and on Amazon Alexa.

Monticello Turning to New Players in Key Spots

The Monticello Sages will need new players to step into roles left behind by an All-State quarterback and several experienced stars from an 8-3 2021 squad.

 

Coach Cully Welter feels confident in a first-year starting quarterback, senior Drew Sheppard to replace All-State quarterback Joey Sprinkle. Tylor Bundy, who played at receiver some in 2021 will shift to the primary ball carrier and players like Luke Teschke, Spencer Mitze, and Wade Carroll will look to take on bigger roles with the departure of Triston Foran and Peyton Scott.

 

 

Monticello is rarely noted for its size upfront but Coach Welter says like many teams of the past, this group will make up for it with toughness - across the board.

 

 

With six returners seeing significant time from last year's defense, Coach Welter likes this year's defensive unit. He points ou they are going to be starting three sophomores on the defensive line but he doesn't necessarily see that as a weakness.

 

 

While he doesn't the like cliche coaches throw out about their conference being the best and tough week in and week out but he believes the Illini Prairie will just that this season with Tolono Unity the likely front-runner as the favorite.

 

Monticello hosts St. Joseph-Ogden tonight in the season opener at 7 pm. Hear pregame coverage around 6:45 on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com. 

 

High school football week 1 matchups:

 

Illini Prairie

 

Bloomington Central Catholic at Pontiac

IVC at Paxton-Buckley-Loda

Tolono Unity at Prairie Central

 

Big Twelve

 

Bloomington at Peoria Richwoods

Champaign Centennial at Proviso East

Champaign Central at Normal West

Peoria Notre Dame at Peoria Manual (Sat.)

 

Central State Eight

 

Decatur MacArthur at Springfield Southeast

Jacksonville at Chatham-Glenwood

Rochester at Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin

Springfield at Decatur Eisenhower

Springfield Lanphier at Normal U-High

 

Sangamo

 

Maroa-Forsyth at Pleasant Plains

New Berlin at Auburn

Olympia at Riverton

Williamsville at Petersburg-PORTA

 

Non-conference action tonight

 

Arcola at Tuscola

Argenta-Oreana at Warrensburg-Latham

Bridgeport-Red Hill at Cerro Gordo-Bement

Champaign St. Thomas More at Decatur LSA (Sat.)

Colfax-Ridgeview at Dee-Mack

Decatur St. Teresa at Effingham

Tri-Valley at Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond

Galesburg at Dunlap

Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley at Fieldcrest

Heyworth at Oakland-Tri-County (Sat.)

Highland at Washington

LeRoy at Central A & M

Meridian at El Paso-Gridley

Metamora at Peoria

Morton at Mahomet-Seymour

Mt. Zion at Limestone

Newton at Sullivan-Okaw Valley 

Sangamon Valley at Tremont

Normal Community at O'Fallon

Peotone at Rantoul

Streator at East Peoria

Taylorville at Mt. Vernon

Toledo-Cumberland at Shelbyville

Illinois Takes on Wyoming in Season Opener

In Brett Bielema's first-year as the head man at Illinois, the Illini finished 5-7 overall and there is a lot of hype surrounding the Illini entering 2022.

 

Champaign News Gazette beat writer Bob Asmussen says he doesn't know what to expect from Illinois this year. He points to the questions on defense replacing some really good players, to the quarterback position and lack of depth at the receiver position.

 

 

Asmussen has a few guys to keep an eye that are turning some heads in the early going of fall practices...

 

 

Asmussen says he just is not sure what Illinois will do but believes it is important for Illinois get off to a fast start. He believes if they can beat Wyoming Satuday and come back and beat Indiana next week, they have a chance to have some momentum going into the home game with Virginia on Sept. 10. 

HS Volleyball: Maroa-Forsyth Topples Monticello in Two Sets

McKenzie Barnett's five aces and Addi Voorhees' seven kills helped lead the Maroa-Forsyth Lady Trojans over Monticello in two sets, 25-22 and 25-11 in high school girl's volleyball action from Monticello High School Thursday.

 

Barnett recorded seven assists and a kill. Voorhees added two aces and a block. Abi Tertocha added five assists and an ace and kill.

 

The Lady Trojans move to 2-0 overall. They'll host Heyworth on Tuesday.

HS Volleyball: Blue Ridge Volleyball Rolls Ridgeview

The Blue Ridge Lady Knights moved to 2-0 beating Ridgeview in three sets, 25-22, 21-25, and 25-20 from Blue Ridge High School Thursday night in non-conference girl's volleyball action. 

 

Gracie Shaffer led the way with 11 assists, 8 kills, and 1 block. Alexis Wike added 18 digs and Madi Wingert contributed 11 service pts and 2 aces.  

 

Ridgeview was led by Claire Edwards with 25 assists and 3 aces, Kenzie Wesson had 9 kills and 5 blocks with 20 digs by Kenley Kaufman.

 

Ridgeview won the JV contest by the scores of 25-18 and 25-14. 

HS Golf: Okaw Valley Edges Blue Ridge in Boy's, Girl's Matches

Okaw Valley edged Blue Ridge by two strokes and three strokes in high school boy's and girl's golf action Thursday afternoon.

 

Okaw Valley girl's beat Blue Ridge with a team score of 244 to Blue Ridge's 246.

 

Despite Lillian Enger's team-best 50, Okaw Valley got scores of 57 from Malorie Wons and 58 from Lexi Bartimus. 

 

Iroquois West, who did not place in the match, was led by Adelynn Sharpe who shot a day's best score of 42.

 

Nevach Burns scored a 64 while Payton Heiser recorded a 65 for the Lady Knights.

 

In boy's action, Okaw Valley edged Blue Ridge with a team score of 217 to the Knight's 220.

 

Trey Hall shot a day's best 38 on the boy's side for Okaw Valley. Chase Creviston shot a 52.

 

Blue Ridge was led by Jackson Hawn's 56 and Gavin Friel shot a 58. 

Cardinals Power Past Cubs

Paul Goldschmidt slugged his 32nd and 33rd homers to highlight a five-RBI performance and position himself in the Triple Crown discussion, helping the St. Louis Cardinals roll to an 8-3 win Thursday over the Chicago Cubs.

 

Goldschmidt increased his NL-leading RBI total to 105 and also leads the NL in batting average (.339). He is second to Kyle Schwarber of the Phillies (35) in home runs, and Thursday was the the third time this season Goldschmidt had a multi-homer game and the 23rd time in his career.

 

Goldschmidt, Corey Dickerson and Tommy Edman collected three hits apiece as the NL Central-leading Cardinals won for the 10th time in their last 12 games and concluded a 6-2 trip.

 

The Cardinals collected 16 hits even without slugger Nolan Arenado, who returned to St. Louis to attend the birth of his first child. But that was plenty of support for Dakota Hudson (7-6), who pitched a season-high seven innings of five-hit ball.

 

The Cubs lost for the fourth time in six games. Starter Marcus Stroman (3-6) gave up 11 hits and five runs, all earned, in five innings. 

 

The Cardinals will start LHP Jose Quintana (4-5, 3.45 ERA) Friday night at Atlanta. Quintana allowed four runs (two earned) in a season-low 2 2/3 innings in a 6-4 win Sunday over the Diamondbacks.

 

The Cubs will start LHP Justin Steele (4-7, 3.25) Friday night at Milwaukee. Steele pitched six shutout innings Sunday in a 5-2 loss to the Brewers.

Orioles Walk-Off White Sox

Kyle Stowers hit his first major league homer to tie the game with Baltimore down to its last strike, and the Orioles went on to a 4-3 victory over the Chicago White Sox in 11 innings Thursday night. The win kept Baltimore - which lost 110 games a season ago - within 2 1/2 of the final wild card in the American League.

 

Anthony Santander won it with an RBI single, but it was Stowers who provided the night's biggest swing in the ninth. The 24-year-old outfielder, playing his seventh career game, sent an 0-2 pitch from Liam Hendriks over the wall in right-center field. Hendriks had converted 19 save chances in a row before that.

 

Andrew Vaughn went deep on the game's first pitch for the White Sox, but Santander answered with a two-run shot in the first. The White Sox tied it with an unearned run in the seventh, and Jose Abreu hit an RBI single in the eighth to put Chicago ahead 3-2.

 

The White Sox remained four games behind first-place Cleveland in the AL Central.

 

Lyles allowed one earned run and nine hits. Chicago's Lance Lynn allowed one earned run and three hits in six innings.

 

The White Sox start a nine-game homestand Friday night, the first opponent being Arizona. Johnny Cueto (6-5, 2.58 ERA) starts for Chicago against Tommy Henry (2-2, 3.57).

NASCAR Cup Series Concludes Regular Season at Daytona

Kyle Larson's pass of Hendrick Motorsports teammate Chase Elliott on the first lap of a restart with five laps to go and won at Watkins Glen last week was the talk of the NASCAR world all week as the playoff chase heats up in the final regular season race this Saturday at Daytona.

 

Ryan Blaney won after starting sixth last year in the fall race. Blaney is 25 points ahead of Martin Truex Jr. for the final playoff spot if there’s not a 16th different winner in the final race of the regular season.

 

Larson’s victory was his second of the season and the 11th in a row for Chevrolet on a road course. 

 

Elliott clinched the regular season title and Larson moved to second in the points race. He’s the eighth multiple race winner of the season.

 

Practice and qualifying are this afternoon at 4 pm. The 400 mile, 160 lap race drops the green flag Saturday night at 6 pm. 

 

The XFinity Series races tonight at 6:30 pm.

 

The Camping World Truck Series returns Friday, Sept. 9 at Kansas for the final race of the round of 10 the playoffs. 

Young Maroons Cross Country Programs Hoping to Build on Fall of 2021

A very young Clinton Maroons cross-country program flew in under the radar in 2021. That won't be the case in 2022.

 

The Lady Maroons cross country team, directed by co-head coach Rachel Anderson-Lyons, is looking to repeat as Central Illinois Conference champions with three athletes advancing to state. 

 

 

Last season, Drew Moser was a revelation as a sophomore and Coach Anderson-Lyons has seen a lot of maturity for her junior runner this year setting the tone by working very hard in the offseason.

 

 

Coach Anderson-Lyons says her teams have big goals. She believes her boy's team will surprise some people this fall and believes the girl's team is exceptionally strong give the returning runners they have from last year.

 

 

In 2020, the program introduced a very unique season-opening event at Clinton High School utilizing the entire campus including the junior high school for a boy's and girl's meet. Coach Anderson-Lyons says the event is unique because meets are traditionally not held at night so a night run is very unique. 

 

 

New to the event this year; at the conclusion of the closing ceremonies around 9 pm, there will be a professional-grade fireworks display. Coach Anderson-Lyons says Darren Moser and his brother will be helping coordinate that display at Clinton High School.

 

 

For those that hope to attend the Saturday event, Coach Anderson-Lyons asks attendees to avoid the Clinton High School parking lot because that will be part of the course for the runners. She encourages parking at Clinton Junior High School or at CES across Illini Drive.

White Sox Roll Orioles

Three times, Gavin Sheets went to the plate with the bases loaded Wednesday. He came through on two of those plate appearances, driving in three runs in Chicago's 5-3 win over the Baltimore Orioles.

 

In a game heard on WHOW, Lucas Giolito pitched impressively into the seventh inning and Yoan Moncada pulled off a slick double play for the White Sox. Chicago left 14 men on base after stranding 13 the night before. They managed to split the two games despite all those missed chances.

 

Giolito (10-7) allowed one run and four hits in 6 1/3 innings, rebounding from last week's effort in which he gave up seven runs in three innings against Houston. Then Kendall Graveman was helped out of a bases-loaded jam in the seventh thanks to Moncada's play at third.

 

With the bases loaded and one out and Chicago up 3-1, Baltimore's Jorge Mateo hit a bouncer right at the base. Moncada lunged to his right to snag it, and while doing so tagged third with his bare hand and then his left foot. Then he threw to first to complete the twin killing.

 

The White Sox remained four games behind first-place Cleveland in the AL Central. Austin Hays homered for the Orioles, who stayed 2 1/2 back of the last wild card in the American League.

 

Lance Lynn (3-5) starts for the White Sox against Jordan Lyles (9-9) in the series finale Thursday night. Lynn is 2-2 with a 3.06 ERA over his last six starts.

Monticello No. 9 in Pre-Season High School Football Polls

The Monticello Sages football squad is no. 9 in the preseason high school Class 3A football polls.

 

Monticello is coming off an 8-3 campaign with a second-round defeat in the 3A playoffs to Benton. 

 

Defending state champion Byron is no. 1 in the preseason poll followed by IC Catholic. Reed-Custer, Tolono Unity, and Williamsville tied for third in the 3A poll.

 

Princeton, Mt. Carmel and Eureka come in at 6-8, respectively. Benton rounded out the top 10. Prairie Central and Paxton-Buckley-Loda from the Illini Prairie Conference received votes in the vote.

 

Defending state champion Wilmington is no. 1 in class 2A followed by Decatur St. Teresa, Tri-Valley, Pana and Breese Mater Dei rounding out the top five.

 

Maroa-Forsyth checks in at no. 7 in the preseason poll. 

 

In Class 1A, Colfax-Ridgeview and Central A&M are 3-4 respectively in 1A.
 


Lena-Winslow is no. 1 with Arcola checking in at no. 9. Tuscola received votes in the poll. 

 

In Class 4A, Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin is no. 1. Rochester is no. 3.

 

Mahomet-Seymour received a vote for first place in Class 5A but comes in at no. 3 to start the season. Kankakee and LaGrange Park Nazareth are 1-2, respectively. 

 

Peoria is no. 6 in the 5A poll. Morton and Decatur MacArthur received votes in the poll.

 

Washington received votes in the 6A poll but did not make the top 10. East St. Louis is the top team in 6A.

 

In 7A, Pekin and Normal received votes but did not make the top 10. Chicago Mt. Carmel is no. 1.

 

Lincoln-Way East is no. 1 in 8A.

 

Cubs Topple Cardinals

Zach McKinstry homered and drove in three runs, helping the Chicago Cubs beat the St. Louis Cardinals 7-1 on Wednesday night.

 

Nico Hoerner had three hits for Chicago, and Yan Gomes added two RBIs. Rowan Wick (4-6) got five outs for the win, leading a solid performance by the Cubs bullpen.

 

Lars Nootbaar homered for NL Central-leading St. Louis, and Corey Dickerson went 4 for 4. The Cardinals dropped to 17-5 in August.

 

Chicago and St. Louis split the first four games of their unusual five-game set. The series finale is Thursday afternoon.

 

Chicago was helped by a solid start from Luke Farrell, who pitched 4 1/3 innings of one-run ball in his first appearance for the Cubs since 2018. Farrell, the son of former Toronto and Boston manager John Farrell, was promoted from Triple-A Iowa before the game.

 

Wick, Mark Leiter Jr., Brandon Hughes and Kervin Castro then shut out St. Louis the rest of the way. The Cardinals finished with nine hits, six of them coming against Farrell.

 

McKinstry chased Miles Mikolas (10-10) with a two-run shot in the seventh. It was McKinstry's first homer since he was acquired in a July 30 trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

 

Mikolas was charged with three earned runs and six hits in 6 2/3 innings. He was 2-0 with a 1.69 ERA in his previous two starts.

 

Cardinals third baseman Nolan Arenado was ejected by umpire John Libka in the third for arguing a third-strike call. Arenado appeared ready to head to first before hopping in place to shout at Libka. Marmol thought the umpire was too quick to send the seven-time All Star off.

 

The Cardinals' Dakota Hudson (6-6, 4.33 ERA) faces fellow right-hander Marcus Stroman (3-5, 3.83 ERA) in the series finale.

After Just Missing Postseason in 2022, Lincoln Railers Football Hungry To Get Started

After back-to-back seasons of 4-5 records and a 'win-and-in' scenario in week 9 last year, the Lincoln Railsplitters football program is hungry to get over the hump this year. Coach Matt Silkowski says he an inexperienced team in 2022 and his players worked hard this offseason.

 

 

Coach Silkowski likes that this group is very competitive. He explains this summer he did a lot more with 7-on-7 competitions and even joint practices with other teams. 

 

 

Heading into the fall of 2022, Coach Silkowski is impressed with the selflessness of the team. He points out with a bigger group, they adjusted some positions of players and there was buy-in almost across the board.

 

 

The Railers will be a run-first team and Coach Silkowski makes no bones about it, if they don't have to throw the ball, they won't. He says they are introducing a new defensive scheme. He calls it simple stuff but they will be going to a 4-3.

 

The Railers open the season Friday night taking on Clinton. 

Monticello Cross Country Looking For Another Successful Year

Dave Remmert has had been wildly successful in his tenure as the cross country coach in Monticello and while he has one of the smallest groups he's ever had, he feels it is just as strong as any other.

 

It starts with Mabry Bruhn on the girl's team whom Coach Remmert calls the best runner he's ever coached. She has already experienced a great deal of success in both cross country and track.

 

 

According to Remmert, the fall of 2021 was nice to get back to a regular season. The girl's placed sixth in state and the boy's tenth. He was very pleased with the progress of last year's boy's team.

 

 

While Bruhn highlights the girl's squad and will be the one to gain a lot of attention, Coach Remmert has been pleased with the progress the boy's team has shown already and is excited about the things they could accomplish. 

 

The Sages head to Champaign St. Thomas More Saturday for its first meet of the season.

HS Volleyball

Season opener:

 

Clinton 16 Tri-Valley 25
Clinton 13 Tri-Valley 25 

 

Clinton 0-1

Cubs Turn For Shutout; Then Cardinals Club Cubs in Nightcap of Doubleheader

Javier Assad pitched four scoreless innings in his major league debut and combined with four relievers on a five-hitter as the Chicago Cubs cooled off the St. Louis Cardinals 2-0 on Tuesday in the first game of a doubleheader.

 

Michael Rucker (3-1), Sean Newcomb, Erich Uelmen and Brandon Hughes allowed one hit over the final five innings to halt the NL Central-leading Cardinals' season-high eight-game winning streak. Hughes picked up his third save.

 

Nico Hoerner and Seiya Suzuki drove in runs off St. Louis starter Adam Wainwright in the third. Rookie Christopher Morel had two hits for the Cubs, who have won six of eight.

 

Chicago kept red-hot, 42-year-old Albert Pujols in the ballpark. He went 1-for-4 with a double after batting .548 (17-for-33) with seven homers in his previous 10 games.

 

Wainwright (9-9) yielded two runs on five hits in six innings.

 

Lars Nootbaar doubled twice but was thrown out at the plate in the first when he tried to score from third on Goldschmidt's grounder to first.

 

The Cardinals loaded the bases with two outs in the third on Brendan Donovan's single followed by a pair of walks. Assad got Gorman to ground out.

 

The Cubs scored on Hoerner's RBI groundout and Suzuki's single up the middle that deflected off Wainwright's glove.

 

Nolan Arenado and Tyler O'Neill homered in a five-run fourth inning, Corey Dickerson had four hits and the St. Louis Cardinals pounded the Chicago Cubs 13-3 on Tuesday night to split a doubleheader.

 

The NL Central-leading Cardinals got back on track in the nightcap with 16 hits. Tommy Edman had a solo homer, a double and three RBIs.

 

Dylan Carlson had a two-run triple as the Cardinals pulled away with six runs in the ninth. Chicago designated hitter Franmil Reyes came on for his first pitching appearance and hit pinch-hitter Albert Pujols with a 70 mph delivery, then got Paul Goldschmidt to hit into a double play and struck out Paul DeJong.

 

Jake Woodford (3-0) allowed one run on four hits in 5 1/3 innings in his first start this season.

 

Hitless in the opener, Arenado went 3-for-4 in the nightcap. The seven-time All-Star is 11 for his last 25.

 

Dickerson doubled twice and had an RBI. Brendan Donovan drove in two runs.

Chicago's Rafael Ortega and Reyes each had RBI doubles, and Nick Madrigal had two hits. The Cubs have dropped three of four following a five-game winning streak.

 

Cardinals RHP Miles Mikolas (10-9, 3.32) is slated to start on Wednesday night. Chicago will counter with RHP Luke Farrell, who will be recalled from Iowa.

Orioles Roll Cubs

The Baltimore Orioles broke through early against Dylan Cease and held on late with Felix Bautista. Their starting pitcher made it to the middle innings with a lead. Their new wall in left field kept a couple 400-foot Chicago drives in the park.

 

Ryan Mountcastle hit a three-run homer off Cease in the first inning, and Bautista pitched out of an eighth-inning jam to help the Orioles hold on for a 5-3 victory over the White Sox on Tuesday night.

 

Cease (12-6) allowed four runs in 5 1/3 innings, his second straight start allowing at least three earned runs after he went 14 in a row yielding no more than one. The right-hander settled in after a rough first inning, but Austin Voth (4-1) pitched through trouble enough times to keep the Orioles ahead.

 

he White Sox, who have lost five of six, left 13 men on base.

 

Voth allowed two runs and seven hits in 5 2/3 innings. Bautista was the last of five relievers for the Orioles. He came on with one out in the eighth and men on first and third, trying to protect a two-run lead. After striking out Luis Robert, he hit Eloy Jimenez with a 102 mph fastball, loading the bases. Jose Abreu struck out on a full count to end the threat.

 

Jimenez, who hit a two-run in the first inning, exited after being hit around the left elbow. The White Sox said X-rays were negative.

 

Bautista then pitched a clean ninth for his ninth save.

 

Baltimore managed only three hits off Cease, but he also walked three with four strikeouts. The first two Baltimore hitters reached base in the first, and then Mountcastle sent a one-out drive to center for his 18th homer of the year.

 

After that, Cease retired 13 of the next 14 hitters, but Cedric Mullins walked to lead off the Baltimore sixth and went to second when Cease threw wildly on a pickoff attempt for an error. Anthony Santander's one-out single brought Mullins home and chased Cease.

 

The Orioles remained 2 1/2 games behind the final wild card in the American League. The White Sox are five games back of that wild card and four behind first-place Cleveland in the AL Central.

 

Robert extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a three-hit night. He doubled twice, including once on a drive that hit high off the wall in left field at Camden Yards, which was pushed back before the season from its previous distance.

 

Chicago put RHP Michael Kopech (left knee strain) on the 15-day injured list and recalled LHP Tanner Banks from Triple-A Charlotte.

 

Spenser Watkins (4-3) starts for the Orioles against Lucas Giolito (9-7) on Wednesday night. Giolito lasted just three innings in a loss to Houston on Thursday.

HS Volleyball: Maroa-Forsyth Tops St. Joe-Ogden

The Maroa-Forsyth Lady Trojans took down St. Joseph-Ogden in three sets, 26-24, 24-26, 25-17 Monday night in season-opening non-conference high school girl's volleyball action.

 

The Lady Trojans were led by Savanna Moody's nine blocks and six kills. Cami Cutler had five aces and four assists. Reya Corley added 14 assists and three aces. 

 

Avaleena Stewart recorded ten kills and six blocks while Addi Voorhees had six kills and three assists.

 

Megan Holub had five digs for the Lady Trojans.

 

Maroa-Forsyth is 1-0 on the season. They travel to Monticello Thursday.

HS Golf: Heyworth Boy's Take Home Tri-Meet at Blue Ridge; Lady Knights Girl's Team Wins

Brady Wicklander and Tyler Bartels shot a day's best 40 leading the Heyworth boy's golf team to a 181 score and convincing win at the Blue Ridge tri-meet over Blue Ridge, Donovan, and Champaign Academy.

 

Donovan's Brenden Henneike shot a 46 while Blue Ridge was paced by Gavin Friel's 55. 

 

Koehn Donaldson shot a 48 for Heyworth as the Hornets' top-3 golfers went under 50 at the Farmer City's Woodland Golf Course. 

 

As a team, Donovan shot 205 while Blue Ridge finished at 243 as a team.

 

Champaign Academy did not record a team score with only two golfers but Dillon Jones shot a 72.

 

In the girl's meet, Blue Ridge was the only squad in the meet that qualified with enough golfers shooting a 253. 

 

Lillian Enger led the Lady Knights with a 52. Lucy Hawk from Heyworth edged out Enger with a 51 for the low score of the day. 

 

Brooke Monteggia shot a 55 for the Lady Hornets while Taryn Strunk finished with a 65.

 

Nevaen Burris had a 66 for Blue Ridge.

 

Champaign Academy and Donovan al participated in the girl's tri-meet. 

Royals Sink White Sox

Drew Waters drew a bases-loaded walk to break an eighth-inning tie in his major league debut, boosting the Kansas City Royals to a 6-4 win over the Chicago White Sox on Monday in a game rescheduled because of the lockout in April.

 

Joe Kelly (1-3), the seventh of eight White Sox pitchers, hit a pair of batters to start the inning. Ryan O'Hearn singled, and Waters drew a five-pitch walk with one out to break a 4-all tie.

 

The White Sox rallied from a four-run deficit after their starter, Michael Kopech, exited the game having faced just four hitters.

 

Kopech hit a batter, allowed an RBI single to Salvador Perez, and walked the bases full before leaving with left knee soreness.

 

Elvis Andrus drove in three runs in his third game with the White Sox. Chicago signed the veteran shortstop on Friday after the Oakland Athletics designated him for assignment.

 

Jose Abreu had three hits and two walks for the White Sox, who have dropped four of five since winning five straight.

 

Chicago stranded 11 runners, including eight from the fourth through sixth innings.

Cardinals Blank Cubs

Pujols hit career homer No. 693, Jordan Montgomery pitched a one-hitter and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Chicago Cubs 1-0 on Monday for their season-high eighth straight victory.

 

Pujols led off the seventh with a drive to left-center for his seventh homer in his last 10 games and No. 14 overall in his final big league season. There was a noticeable round of cheers from the crowd of 29,719 as the three-time NL MVP rounded the bases on his second hit of the night.

 

Pujols matched Barry Bonds' major league record by homering off his 449th different pitcher. It was Pujols' 940th multihit game, snapping a tie with Paul Waner for 10th on the career list.

 

That one run was all Montgomery (7-3) needed. The left-hander struck out seven and walked none in his first career complete game, improving to 4-0 with a sparkling 0.35 ERA in four starts since he was acquired in an Aug. 2 trade with the New York Yankees.

 

Rookie Christopher Morel doubled with two out in the third for Chicago's only hit. Morel hustled into third when shortstop Paul DeJong mishandled the relay from left fielder Tyler O'Neill. But Montgomery retired Nick Madrigal on a grounder to DeJong, ending the inning.

 

Montgomery threw 99 pitches for the NL Central leaders in the opener of a five-game series, 65 for strikes.

 

Chicago wasted a sharp performance by Smyly (5-7) in its second straight loss after a five-game win streak. The lefty allowed four hits, struck out six and walked two in seven innings.

 

The teams play a split doubleheader Tuesday. Adam Wainwright (9-8, 3.11 ERA) starts the opener for St. Louis, and Jake Woodford (2-0, 2.66 ERA) takes the mound for the second game. Javier Assad makes his major league debut for Chicago in Game 1, and Adrian Sampson (1-3, 3.51 ERA) gets the ball for the nightcap.

New Faces, Same Expectations for Central A&M Football

After an incredible run to the 1A semifinals last fall, the Central A&M Raiders will have to bring along an inexperienced group of players if they want to repeat last year's performance.

 

Coach Brent Weakly knows there are some big shoes to fill but he also looks forward to some players that return to key roles.

 

 

According to Coach Weakly, having a group that is little on the inexperienced side changes how he approaches the summer workouts. He explains they, in a way, go back to the drawing board but at the same time, the tradition they've established helps them maintain high expectations.

 

 

As the season gets set to kick off this Friday night, Coach Weakly is getting dialing in on the little things that will make his team successful.

 

 

Coach Weakly says the Central Illinois Conference will be tough again in 2022. He sees Tuscola and Decatur St. Teresa as the frontrunners for the conference title but feels there are a lot of quality groups after those two that will make things a week-in-week-out challenge.

 

The Raiders open the season Friday night taking on LeRoy.

Cardinals Topple Diamondbacks

Nolan Arenado hit a go-ahead two-run single in the seventh inning and finished with three RBIs, helping the St. Louis Cardinals stretch their winning streak to seven games with a 6-4 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday.

 

Trailing 4-3, the Cardinals loaded the bases in the seventh after pinch-hitter Albert Pujols singled off Joe Mantiply (1-4) and Kevin Ginkel hit Paul Goldschmidt with a pitch. Arenado, who had a run-scoring single in the first inning, fell behind 1-2 against Ginkel, but lined a single to right-center to put St. Louis up 5-4.

 

Jake Woodford (2-0) allowed a hit in 1 1/3 innings and Giovanny Gallegos worked a perfect ninth for his 12th save to complete the NL Central-leading Cardinals' seventh sweep this season.

 

Lars Nootbaar hit his first career leadoff homer and Tommy Edman added a run-scoring single in the eighth inning for St. Louis' 16th win in 19 games.

 

Cardinals Manager Oliver Marmol was ejected in the third inning after saying something to plate umpire C.B. Buckner about a called strike.

 

With one out in the inning, Buckner called a strike on a pitch to Arenado that appeared to be well inside. Buckner didn't hesitate in tossing Marmol, ripping off his mask to toss him out of the game.

 

Marmol came out of the dugout and got in Buckner's face while yelling before being pushed back by third base umpire Jeff Nelson.

 

Jose Quintana had been superb since an Aug. 1 trade from Pittsburgh, allowing three earned runs in 17 innings over three starts.

 

The left-hander had his first clunker against Arizona.

 

Struggling with his command, allowed four runs - two earned - on seven hits and walked three in 2 2/3 innings.

 

Jordan Montgomery (6-3, 3.29 ERA) is 3-0 with a 0.54 ERA since being traded from the Yankees headed into Monday's start against the Cubs.

White Sox, Guardians Have Another Matchup Rained Out

The AL Central-leading Cleveland Guardians and Chicago White Sox had their Sunday game postponed due to unplayable field conditions caused by early morning rain.

 

No precipitation fell for more than three hours before the game was called following a delay of 2 hours, 56 minutes. Play never began as the groundskeepers kept the tarp on the infield from Saturday night.

 

The game has been rescheduled for Sept. 15, a mutual off-day, at Progressive Field.

 

It was the Guardians' 12th postponement this season, 10 of them at home. Cleveland has played an MLB-high 10 doubleheaders.

 

Four of Chicago's five postponements in 2022 have been against Cleveland.

 

Cleveland manager Terry Francona, Chicago manager Tony La Russa, umpire crew chief Chad Fairchild and Guardians officials met in the outfield twice during the lengthy delay, splashing water as they walked on the grass.

 

A large portion of left field was re-sodded following an Elton John concert that drew a capacity crowd on July 30. That specific area was deemed unplayable, forcing the game to be called off.

 

The tarp was rolled out immediately after Chicago's 2-0 win on Saturday, a game that was delayed by 2 hours, 55 minutes due to rain and started at 9:05 p.m.

 

Michael Kopech (4-9, 3.25 ERA) starts Monday at Kansas City in a game rescheduled from the lockout. Cy Young candidate Dylan Cease, slated to pitch Sunday, will now work Tuesday in the opener of a three-game set at Baltimore.

Brewers Beat Cubs

Keston Hiura homered twice and drove in three runs, and the Brewers beat the Chicago Cubs 5-2 on Sunday to salvage the finale of their weekend series.

 

Rowdy Tellez also connected and Willy Adames hit a tiebreaking sacrifice fly for Milwaukee, which had dropped three of four. The Brewers blew three one-run leads during a 6-5 loss to the Cubs in 11 innings on Saturday.

 

Brent Suter (5-3) got four outs for the win on Counsell's 52nd birthday, and Taylor Rogers worked the ninth for his first save since he was acquired in the Aug. 1 trade that sent Josh Hader to San Diego.

 

Milwaukee remained five games back of NL Central-leading St. Louis, which rallied for a 6-4 win at Arizona.

 

Chicago wasted a stellar performance by Justin Steele, who struck out nine in six scoreless innings. Ian Happ and Seiya Suzuki homered, but the Cubs finished with just five hits.

 

Chicago had won five in a row and nine of 12 overall.

 

Steele allowed two hits - both singles - and walked one. The left-hander is winless in his last five starts, but he has a sparkling 0.79 ERA and 33 strikeouts over his last 22 2/3 innings.

 

Drew Smyly (5-6, 3.67 ERA) faces St. Louis LHP Jordan Montgomery (6-3, 3.29 ERA) on Monday night in opener of a five-game series against the Cardinals. Smyly is 2-0 with a 1.06 ERA in three August starts.

Kyle Larson Muscles Past Chase Elliot for Road Course Win at Watkins Glen

Kyle Larson, the reigning NASCAR Cup champion, winless since his only victory of the season at Auto Club Speedway in February, beat Hendrick Motorsports teammate Chase Elliott on a restart with five laps to go and won the weather-delayed NASCAR Cup race Sunday.

 

Elliott was seeking his eighth career road course victory and had control of the race late, but a caution gave Larson a chance and he took advantage, moving Elliott to the left coming out of the first turn, then pulling away for a weekend Xfinity-Cup sweep. It was the 11th straight road course win for Chevrolet.

 

AJ Allmendinger was second for the second straight day to Larson, Joey Logano third, Elliott fourth and Daniel Suárez fifth.

 

Elliott declined to criticize his teammate when interviewed postrace, but the disappointment was palpable.

 

The race began on rain tires with a single-file start, the only one of the day, and pole-sitter Elliott was passed early by Michael McDowell, who started third. But strategy played out as the race wore on with Elliott, Larson, and McDowell, all on a two-stop strategy around the 2.45-mile natural terrain layout, holding the upper hand.

 

Elliott regained the lead with 18 laps to go in the 90-lap race and when the final pit stops were complete he was just over 2 seconds ahead of his teammate. McDowell was more than 10 seconds behind, but a spin by Joey Hand in the first turn brought out a caution and bunched up the field for a restart with eight laps to go.

 

Elliott picked the outside lane for the restart and held off Larson when the green flag waved, quickly building a half-second lead. But a spin by Loris Hezemans brought out the caution that changed the outcome.

 

Fifteen drivers are locked into 16-driver field for the playoffs, with Ryan Blaney and Martin Truex Jr. still battling for points. They entered the race separated by 26 and started side-by-side on Row 13. Truex picked up only one point — finishing one spot ahead of his rival.

 

The Cup regular season concludes Saturday night at Daytona International Speedway.

Cardinals Rout Rockies

Albert Pujols launched a pinch-hit grand slam and drove in five runs, Adam Wainwright pitched seven sharp innings and the St. Louis Cardinals routed the Colorado Rockies 13-0 Thursday for a three-game sweep.

 

The Elias Sports Bureau said the Cardinals were the first team in big league history to have a player at least 40 years old hit a grand slam and another at least 40 to pitch seven shutout innings in the same game. Pujols is 42, two years older than Wainwright.

 

The Rockies lost starting pitcher Antonio Senzatela and right fielder Charlie Blackmon in the second inning to leg injuries. Senzatela crumpled to the ground after attempting to cover first base and Blackmon was removed an inning after beating out an infield single.

 

The NL Central-leading Cardinals won their fourth in a row and sent Colorado to its fifth straight loss. St. Louis has won 12 of its last 13 home games and has taken 12 straight from the Rockies at Busch Stadium.

 

Pujols hit his 690th career home run, connecting off Austin Gomber and capping a five-run third that made it 10-0. It was Pujols' 16th career grand slam - his first as a pinch hitter - and it moved him into a tie with Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth and Dave Kingman for 10th-most slams of all-time.

 

Pujols added an RBI single.

 

Wainwright (10-9) gave up three hits, two of them infield singles. He struck out seven, walked none and retired his final 13 batters.

 

Genesis Cabrera and Chris Stratton each pitched a scoreless inning of relief to complete the four-hitter.

 

Lars Nootbaar hit a two-run homer. Paul Goldschmidt added two doubles and a single.

 

Senzatela (3-7) struggled prior to his injury, giving up five runs in 1 2/3 innings. The right-hander is 0-5 with a 6.41 ERA in his eight road starts this season.

 

Miles Mikolas (9-9, 3.44 ERA) will begin a three-game series at Arizona, which will start LHP Tommy Henry (2-1, 4.15 ERA) on Friday night. Mikolas is 1-1 with a 2.55 in four career appearances, including two starts, against the Diamondbacks.

Astros Crush White Sox

Alex Bregman hit two homers and two doubles, driving in a career-high six runs and powering the Houston Astros past the Chicago White Sox 21-5 Thursday.

 

Houston's run total tied for the second most in team history - the Astros scored 23 against Baltimore in 2019.

 

The Astros wound up with 25 hits as Bregman, Kyle Tucker and Christian Vazquez tied career highs with four each. Chas McCormick, who had five RBIs, and Trey Mancini homered for the AL West leaders.

 

White Sox second baseman Josh Harrison pitched the ninth inning and allowed four runs and six hits in his third mound appearance of the season.

 

The Astros won for the sixth time in their last eight games. They improved to 34-19 against teams with a .500 record or better.

 

Gavin Sheets got a career-high four hits for the White Sox, who lost for the second day in a row and split the four-game series.

 

Giolito lasted three-plus innings, matching his shortest start of the season against Cleveland on July 22, when he allowed six runs on nine hits.

 

Giolito has allowed 15 runs on 15 hits in two starts against the Astros this season.

 

Luis Garcia (10-8) blanked Chicago for the first four innings, but was pulled after needing 97 pitches to complete five innings. Yoan Moncada hit a three-run homer in the fifth.

 

The Astros were in position to score even more. White Sox center fielder AJ Pollock robbed Jose Altuve of extra bases with a catch near the top of the fence in the sixth.

 

The White Sox will start RHP Lance Lynn (3-5, 5.62) Friday night at Cleveland. He allowed two runs in six innings Sunday in a win over the Tigers.

Kurt Busch to Miss Last Two Regular Season Races

Kurt Busch said Thursday he’ll miss the final two races of NASCAR’s regular season, bringing it to six races the 2004 champion has been sidelined with concussion-like symptoms.

 

Busch wrote on Twitter he’ll miss Sunday’s race on the road course at Watkins Glen International and then the Aug. 27 regular-season finale at Daytona International Speedway. Busch crashed July 23rd during qualifying at Pocono and has not driven the No. 45 Toyota since.

 

Ty Gibbs will continue to drive for Busch. The 19-year-old grandson of Joe Gibbs has been competitive in the launch of his Cup career as Busch’s replacement. He was 16th at Pocono, 17th at Indianapolis and 10th at Michigan before engine problems led to a 36th-place finish last Sunday at Richmond Raceway.

 

Busch is one of 15 different winners this season with two races to go to determine the final spot in the 16-driver playoff field. If playoff-eligible drivers win for the first time this season in any of the next two races, Busch would be eliminated from playoff contention based on points.

NASCAR Heads to Watkins Glen, NY

Kevin Harvick may have stamped himself as the driver to beat in the upcoming playoffs, taking the lead with 66 laps to go and winning at Richmond for his second consecutive victory as the Cup Series heads to New York for road course racing at Watkins Glen.

 

Kyle Larson won after starting fourth last year. 

 

Harvick had gone 65 races without a victory before winning at Michigan. His victory was the 60th of his career, tying him with Kyle Busch for ninth all-time and the most among active drivers. 

 

Ryan Blaney finished behind Martin Truex Jr., but increased his lead from 19 to 26 points in the standings because of stage points. 

 

Chase Elliott leads Blaney by 116 ponts, Larson by 137, Truex by 142 and Ross Chastain by 143 with two races left in the regular season.

 

Practice and qualifying is at 1 am Saturday morning and the green flag drops at 2 pm on Sunday afternoon. 

 

Ty Gibbs grabbed the lead to start the final stage and held it throughout the stage-long green-flag run at Michigan for his series-best fifth victory of the season as the Xfinity Series also takes to the road course at Watkins Glen.

 

Gibbs won after starting 15th. 

 

The top seven drivers in the standings have all won at least one race Points leader A.J. Allendinger has finished in the top 10 in 18 of 21 races, three more than anyone else. 

 

Allmendinger leads Justin Allgaier by 19 points and Gibbs by 28 in the season standings. No one else is close.

 

Practice is qualifying is at 10 am on Saturday morning and the green flag drops at 2 pm Saturday afternoon. 

 

The Camping World Truck Series returns Sept. 9 at Kansas. 

Meridian Football Working for Encore Playoff Qualifying Performance

The Meridian Hawks football program under first-year coach Kyle Sparks are eyeing an encore, playoff-qualifying performance this fall.

 

The last time Meridian made the postseason in 2008, it followed a 5-5 season the year prior. Coach Sparks is very excited about the experience he has coming back up front.

 

 

As Coach Sparks gets to know his team, he emphasizes the experience and size of his kids up front and also is pleased with the competitive spirit his team has.

 

 

A graduate of Maroa-Forsyth High School in 2008, Coach Sparks says he wants to spread things out. He likes the skill players he has coming into the season.

 

 

So far in practices leading up to week one next Friday, Coach Sparks likes the physicality his team is showing and is very pleased with the competitive fire in practice. 

 

Meridian opens the season at El Paso-Gridley.

Cubs Down Nationals

Yan Gomes hit a tie-breaking single in the seventh inning against his former team and the Chicago Cubs beat the Washington Nationals 3-2 on Wednesday to win the three-game series.

 

Franmil Reyes smacked a leadoff double off Jake McGee (1-3) in the seventh. McGee struck out the next two batters and right-hander Steve Cishek came on to face righty Gomes, who hit a soft liner to right on a 3-2 pitch, scoring Reyes.

 

Erich Uelman (1-1) pitched 2/3 of an inning for his first major league win. Steven Brault, who was activated from the COVID-19 injured list before the game, threw two scoreless innings and Rowan Wick pitched the ninth for his eighth save.

 

P.J. Higgins homered and Reyes had two doubles for Chicago, which has won four straight series.

 

Lane Thomas had two doubles for Washington and rookie Joey Meneses extended his hitting streak to 11 games for the Nationals, who have lost five of seven.

 

Cubs starter Drew Smyly, who had tossed 11 2/3 scoreless innings over his past two starts, allowed two runs on four hits in 5 1/3 innings. He struck out four without a walk on 100 pitches and retired nine straight batters at one point.

 

Smyly has a 1.06 ERA in August, with 17 strikeouts and three walks.

 

Nationals starter Cory Abbott, a former Cub, gave up two runs on three hits in a career-high six innings. He matched his career best with five strikeouts.

 

Higgins' two-out, two-run homer in the fifth gave the Cubs a 2-1 lead.

 

With runners on first and third and one out in the sixth, Nelson Cruz hit into what was initially ruled a double play. The Nationals challenged, the call at first was overturned and Meneses scored from third to tie it 2-2.

 

Adrian Sampson (0-3, 3.88 ERA) starts at Baltimore on Thursday in the makeup of a game rained out on June 8. He allowed three runs on six hits in 5 1/3 innings in a July 12 loss to the Orioles.

Astros Edge White Sox

In a game heard on WHOW, the Houston Astros got back in the win column after blowing late leads in consecutive losses - not exactly shocking considering they own the best record in the American League.

 

Framber Valdez threw solid seven innings, Yordan Alvarez drove in a run and scored one, and Houston beat the White Sox 3-2 on Wednesday night, ending Chicago's five-game winning streak.

 

The AL West-leading Astros hung on after squandering eighth-inning leads in the first two games of the series. The White Sox trail AL Central-leading Cleveland by two games.

 

The Astros can salvage a split in a series that started with two gut-wrenching losses. This one was hardly easy, but they did just enough.

 

Valdez (12-4) delivered his 20th consecutive quality start, matching a club record set by Mike Scott in his 1986 Cy Young Award season. The left-hander gave up two runs and seven hits, struck out six and walked three. He is 4-0 in six outings since losing to Oakland on July 9.

 

The White Sox were hurt by three double plays. They were 1 for 8 with runners in scoring position and left seven on base.

 

Kopech was nowhere near as dominant after tossing six no-hit innings against Detroit last week. The right-hander went six innings in this one, allowing three runs and five hits. He struck out two after whiffing a career-high 11 in his previous start.

 

White Sox CF Luis Robert (sprained left wrist) had an injection Tuesday, and manager Tony La Russa insisted a stint on the IL is not in the works. Robert was out of the lineup for the fifth straight game, though he ran for Eloy Jimenez in the eighth. 

 

Lucas Giolito (9-6, 4.92 ERA) tries to win his fourth straight start, while RHP Luis Garcia (9-8, 4.03) gets the ball for Houston as the teams wrap up the series. Giolito has a 3.71 ERA in his past three outings. Garcia beat Oakland last week after losing his previous three starts.

Cardinals Roll Rockies

Jordan Montgomery picked up his third win in as many starts with St. Louis, and Nolan Gorman drove in three runs to lead the Cardinals to a 5-1 win over the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday night.

 

St. Louis won for the 12th time in 13 home games and beat Colorado for the 11th straight time at home while improving to a season-best 14 games over .500 at 65-51.

 

Colorado lost its fourth in a row and has dropped 18 of 26 since the All-Star break.

 

Montgomery (6-3), who was acquired from the New York Yankees for outfielder Harrison Bader on Aug. 2, gave up one run on six hits in 5 2/3 innings. He struck out eight. He is 3-0 with an 0.54 ERA in three starts with St. Louis. The lefthander has struck out 17 and walked just three in 16 2/3 innings.

 

Gorman capped off a two-run first-inning outburst with a ground-rule double off starter German Marquez (6-10). Arenado got the ball rolling with a run-scoring double as four of the first five batters reached against Marquez, who gave up three runs on seven hits over six innings.

 

Gorman pushed the lead to 3-1 with a run-scoring ground out in the fifth. Brendan Donovan and Paul Goldschmidt singled to begin the inning. Gorman added a run-scoring hit in the seventh.

 

Jose Iglesias had two hits for Colorado, which has been held to one run or less six times since July 26. His second-inning double extended the franchise record to 37 successive games with a double.

 

Marquez had allowed two earned runs or less in five of his previous six starts.

 

Adam Wainwright (8-8, 3.27) will face RHP Antonio Senzatela (3-6, 4.67) in the third and final game of the series on Thursday afternoon. Wainwright carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning of his last start against Milwaukee on Saturday. He struck out eight and allowed just three hits in a nine-inning no decision. Senzatella had recorded four successive quality starts.

Team Penske Signs Blaney to Long-Term Deal

Team Penske signed Ryan Blaney to a multiyear contract extension ahead of his final push to make NASCAR’s playoffs.

 

Blaney has been part of the Penske organization since he was 19 and ran three races in 2012 in the Xfinity Series. He’s been part of the three-car Cup lineup at Penske since 2018 and the team said Wednesday his extension is a “long-term agreement” for him to remain in the No. 12 Ford.

 

The seven-time Cup winner has made the playoffs every season since 2017 but finds himself on the bubble with two regular-season races remaining. Blaney is ranked second in the standings — which in any other year would be good enough for one of the 16 spots in the playoff field.

 

But drivers qualify for the playoffs by winning a race and there have been 15 different race winners so far and Blaney’s only victory this season came in the non-points All-Star race. Blaney is locked into a battle with 2017 NASCAR champion Martin Truex Jr. for the final spot in the field. Truex is ranked fourth in the Cup standings.

 

The series races Sunday at Watkins Glen International, where Blaney finished a career-best fifth in 2019. His average finish is 11th in five career starts.

Taylorville Football Hopes Intangibles Can Lead to Success

Taylorville football Coach Jeb Odam is hoping a fun group that enjoys each other will lead to success for his program in the fall of 2022.

 

Numbers in the program were down in the fall of 2021 and Coach Odam explains they revamped the culture of the program this summer. He feels very good about those adjustments coming into this fall. 

 

 

To balance the rigors of the summer demands for athletes that are involved in multiple sports, Coach Odam points out they started doing 6:30 am practices and workouts and unbelievably enough, the kids really enjoyed that.

 

 

While this group isn't particularly strong at one aspect of football and one position isn't a strength over another, Coach Odam enjoys this group of kids and he especially likes that they enjoy each other. He is hoping those intangibles will lead to success for the team this year.

 

 

Coach Odam hopes for his team to be physical and balanced when they have the football. Leading his alma mater, he admits he would like to sling the ball around the field the entire fall but recognizes you have to be able to run the football in Illinois high school football. He appreciates that his defensive coordinator has an aggressive approach on that side of the ball.

 

The Tornados open the season at Mt.Vernon. 

With New Faces In Key Places, Shelbyville Football Still Eyeing Playoffs

The Shelbyville Rams football team will need players that are stepping into more significant roles to help get them back to the postseason this year.

 

The Rams finished the regular season 5-4, qualifying for the postseason but fell to Carrollton in the first round of the 1A playoffs. Coach Bill Duckett says despite the departure of some very experienced kids, they are hopeful they have prepared this year's group to continue the success of the Shelbyville program in recent years.

 

 

For Coach Duckett, the approach to each summer is different pointing to this summer for instance, where they really dialed in on individual work and development.

 

 

The Rams football program has really opened up the playbook in recent years becoming one of the more pass-heavy programs in the Central Illinois Conference. One lesson Coach Duckett has learned is you need to be able to turn to the run at times.

 

 

The Rams open the season hosting Toledo-Cumberland. 

White Sox Get By Astros

In a game heard on WHOW, Yoan Moncada came through with the go-ahead single in the eighth inning for the second straight game, and the Chicago White Sox rallied to beat the Houston Astros 4-3 on Tuesday night.

 

While the showdown between AL Cy Young Award contenders Dylan Cease and Justin Verlander didn't live up to its billing, the White Sox came away with their fifth straight win. They moved within a game of AL Central leader Cleveland.

 

Moncada hit a tiebreaking two-run single in Monday's 4-2 win. This time, Chicago had a runner on third when he singled to center against Hector Neris (4-4) to make it 4-3.

 

Cease lasted five innings, allowing three runs and six hits. The 26-year-old right-hander had gone a major league-record 14 consecutive starts without allowing more than one earned run.

 

Verlander, tops in the majors in wins and ERA coming in, went seven innings. The two-time Cy Young Award winner gave up three runs and eight hits.

 

Pinch-hitter Gavin Sheets smacked a two-run double off Verlander with one out in the seventh that made it 3-3.

 

Jose Abreu had three hits for Chicago. Jimmy Lambert (1-2) worked around a single in the eighth by Mauricio Dubon, and Liam Hendriks secured his 27th save in 30 chances with a seven-pitch ninth.

 

The four-game series continues with Astros LHP Framber Valdez (11-4, 2.73 ERA) opposing White Sox RHP Michael Kopech (4-8, 3.18). 

Cardinals Walk-Off Rockies

Paul Goldschmidt and Tommy Edman homered, and St. Louis scored the winning run when Tyler O'Neill was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning, leading the Cardinals to a 5-4 win over the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday night.

 

Andrew Knizner and Lars Nootbaar drew walks off Dinelson Lamet (1-2) in the ninth, and Dylan Carlson reached on a bunt single to load the bases before O'Neill was plunked.

 

Jose Quintana pitched no-hit ball with two walks for five innings before allowing two runs on four consecutive hits to lead off the sixth, ending his night.

 

Goldschmidt's two-run home run to left field off Freeland in the fifth inning was the 29th of the season and 100th as a member of the Cardinals.

 

Jordan Montgomery (5-3, 3.37 ERA) will make his first career appearance against Colorado on Wednesday night and is 2-0, having tossed 11 scoreless innings in two starts since being acquired from the New York Yankees on Aug. 2. The Rockies counter with RHP German Marquez (6-9, 5.08 ERA), who is 2-1 with a 2.58 ERA in seven career starts against St. Louis.

Cubs Outlast Nationals

Patrick Wisdom drove in the go-ahead run in the 11th inning, and the Chicago Cubs beat the Washington Nationals 7-5 on Tuesday night after losing a 4-0 lead.

 

Wisdom led off the inning with a double down the left-field line against Victor Arano (1-1), scoring automatic runner Willson Contreras. Wisdom then went to third on a wild pitch and scored on Seiya Suzuki's single.

 

Brandon Hughes (2-1) pitched the 10th for Chicago and Mark Leiter Jr. worked the 11th for his first save.

 

Contreras gave the Cubs a 5-4 lead with a sacrifice fly in the 10th, but Nationals prospect CJ Abrams, called up Monday from Triple-A Rochester, singled home Alex Call in the bottom half for his first hit with Washington. Abrams was acquired in the trade that sent Juan Soto and Josh Bell to San Diego.

 

Contreras got into an argument with a fan as he returned to the bench after his sacrifice fly. The fan was escorted out by Nationals Park security.

 

Franmil Reyes homered and singled for the Cubs.

 

Cubs starter Justin Steele allowed one unearned run on five hits in six innings. He walked two and struck out five.

 

Ian Happ had a scheduled night off but entered as a pinch-hitter in the eighth.

 

rew Smyly (5-6, 3.63 ERA) is 1-0 with a 2.63 ERA in five career appearances (four starts) at Nationals Park.

 

Cory Abbott (0-2, 5.94) makes his first start against his former team on Wednesday. He pitched seven games for the Cubs in 2021, including one start.

LeRoy Football Hoping Lessons from 2021 Will Move Program Forward in 2022

The LeRoy Panthers football program doesn't often have a prolonged run without a playoff appearance and longtime coach BJ Zeleznik says he has a young group that could help them get back to the postseason this year.

 

Coach Zeleznik says his team played a lot of close games in 2021 and with a smaller junior and senior class, they have some young players that could step into some more substantial roles this fall.

 

 

The dynamics of his team to the approach of the summer didn't change for Coach Zeleznik. He explains the weight room, like most programs, was a point of emphasis. He notes they needed renewed commitment to the offseason training program.

 

 

According to Coach Zeleznik, while it isn't a big senior group this year, he applauds their commitment to the program and their dedication to being excellent on the field. His team will, once again, rely heavily on the run.

 

 

With high school football heading to a lot of spread-like offenses, Coach Zeleznik admits his holdout on the run-heavy style is the rarity but says it's what they've done, and done well for many years and they will stick to it.

 

The Panthers open the season at Central A&M.

Bloomington Central Catholic Hoping for Big Step Forward in 2022

A key injury for the Bloomington Central Catholic at an inopportune time in 2021 derailed what could have been the Saints first playoff appearance since the fall of 2017.

 

Coach Kevin Braucht (brat) has very high hopes for his alma mater in the fall of 2022 and it starts with the motivation of just missing the postseason after their leading rusher, Jake Slaughter, went out with injury right at the toughest stretch for their schedule.

 

 

Coach Braucht brings back a very strong group of skill positions players that are rather young. It starts with his 6-foot-6, 215-pound junior quarterback Colin Hayes. Coach Braucht says it's about getting him to understand what he's studying to translate onto the field.

 

 

The Saints under Coach Braucht have taken to the spread offense that is become more popular in high school football but unlike a lot of programs, the Saints will go no-huddle and speed the game up a little bit.

 

 

If the Saints are to make the playoffs in 2022, Coach Braucht says his team will be well tested because the Illini Prairie Conference offers a great test week-in-and-week-out.

 

The Saints open the season at Pontiac.

Sox Double Up 'Stros

In a game heard on WHOW, Yoan Moncada lined a tiebreaking two-run single in Chicago's four-run eighth inning, and the White Sox beat the Houston Astros 4-2 on Monday night for their fourth straight win.

 

Chicago (60-56) moved four games over .500 for the first time since it was 6-2 on April 16. It also pulled within two games of AL Central-leading Cleveland, which split a doubleheader against Detroit.

 

Chicago's winning rally started after Jose Urquidy retired the first two batters. Urquidy was pulled after AJ Pollock's infield hit, and the White Sox jumped all over Rafael Montero (4-2).

 

Andrew Vaughn doubled before Eloy Jimenez bounced a tying two-run double down the third-base line. Walks to Jose Abreu and Yasmani Grandal loaded the bases for Moncada, who made it 4-2 with a liner into center.

 

The four-run outburst handed a win to Cueto (5-5), who pitched eight masterful innings. Liam Hendriks finished his 26th save when he retired Mauricio Dubon on a popup to first with two runners on.

 

Houston (75-42) wasted a stellar performance by Urquidy, who permitted six hits - all singles - struck out four and walked none. The AL West leaders had won four in a row.

 

Justin Verlander (15-3, 1.85 ERA) and Dylan Cease (12-5, 1.96 ERA) are two of the front-runners for the AL Cy Young Award. They'll square off tonight in Chicago.

Nationals Edge Cubs

Nelson Cruz hit a tiebreaking solo homer in the eighth inning to lift the Washington Nationals to a 5-4 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Monday night.

 

Cruz, who hit a two-run double in the fifth, smacked a 1-1 pitch from Brandon Hughes (1-1) to center to snap a 4-all tie with one out in the eighth. It was Cruz's ninth homer of the season and first since June 25.

 

Cruz is 9 for 25 (.360) over his past eight games.

 

Ian Happ hit two solo homers for the Cubs, including a drive into the second deck in right center, giving him three in his past three games.

 

Starter Josiah Gray allowed three runs on five hits for Washington. He walked two and struck out 10.

 

Lane Thomas and Yadiel Hernandez had two hits apiece for the Nationals, who had lost nine of 11.

 

Cubs starter Marcus Stroman allowed four unearned runs on six hits in 4 2/3 innings.

 

Justin Steele (4-7, 3.63 ERA) has recorded 19 strikeouts over 10 2/3 innings of his last two starts, both no-decisions.

 

Patrick Corbin (4-16, 7.02 ERA), whose last turn was skipped after he failed to make it through the first inning in two of three starts, is 5-2 with a 3.97 ERA in eight career starts against the Cubs.

Young Clinton High School Golf Teams Looking to Build on Early Success

An incredibly young Clinton Maroons boy's golf team came out in 2021 and won the Central Illinois Conference and now they have their sites set on bigger things in 2022.

 

First-year head coach Chase Reynolds was very pleased with the way his young golfers approached the summer pointing out after a year of great success, several golfers registered for summer tournaments in central Illinois.

 

 

According to Coach Reynolds, with the success of last year's team and the talent level, he is focused on things like teaching the kids to control their misses. 

 

 

Coach Reynolds says it is a fun dynamic with this young group because a couple of the golfers joke with him about coming for his school record. He notes it is their goal to repeat as conference champions, get out of Regionals as a team, and have a couple of golfers make the State Tournament.

Heyworth Football Seeking Revival

Last year's seniors saved the Heyworth football program.

 

It's not a statement second-year coach Nate Albaugh puts out there lightly. He explains getting appointed to the Hornets head football job in the summer and found quickly interest in playing football was low. That's when his senior class went to work recruiting anyone and everyone in the student body.

 

 

For Coach Albaugh, after last year's season, he put football aside and invested in his role as the school's athletic director and focused on being there for the kids. While difficult, he feels it is paying off. 

 

 

As the season gets going, Coach Albaugh has been pleasantly surprised with some of the things his team is doing well. He believes while young, they could be a very good defensive team with good weapons offensively.

 

 

Early on, Coach Albaugh says his team does look good, he looks forward to getting across the line from another group to find out where his team is at. 

 

The Hornets open the 2022 football season at Oakland Tri-County. 

White Sox Sweep Tigers

In a game heard on WHOW, AJ Pollock and Andrew Vaughn homered, Lance Lynn threw six solid innings and the Chicago White Sox beat the Detroit Tigers 5-3 on Sunday to complete a three-game sweep.

 

Pollock, Eloy Jimenez and Jose Abreu each had two hits for the White Sox, who remained 2 1/2 games behind AL Central-leading Cleveland.

 

Harold Castro homered and Javier Baez had two hits for the Tigers, who have dropped seven straight and 10 of 11. Detroit struck out 14 times.

 

The White Sox climbed to three games over .500 for the first time since April 17, when they were 6-3. Chicago last swept a team July 1-3 at San Francisco.

 

Kendall Graveman worked around Castro's homer and a single in the ninth for his sixth save.

 

Lynn (3-5) allowed two runs and five hits. He has won just two of his last 10 starts.

 

Vaughn has 27 RBIs in the seventh inning or later, tied for second in the AL with Cleveland's Jose Ramirez and behind New York's Aaron Judge, who has 43.

 

Luis Robert (sprained left wrist) was out of the lineup for a second consecutive game after he exited Chicago's 2-0 victory over Detroit on Friday. He was injured trying to steal second base. Robert is expected to avoid the injured list.

 

Johnny Cueto (4-5, 2.91 ERA) will start Monday in the opener of a four-game series against Houston. Jose Urquidy (11-4, 3.85 ERA) pitches for the visiting Astros.

Reds Get By Cubs

Jose Barrero hit a tiebreaking RBI single in Cincinnati's three-run fifth inning, and the Reds stopped a five-game slide with an 8-5 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Sunday.

 

Aristides Aquino hit a three-run drive for Cincinnati, and Austin Romine doubled home two runs. It was Aquino's first homer since he hit two against the Cubs on May 23.

 

Five Reds relievers combined for 5 1/3 scoreless innings.

 

Patrick Wisdom gave the Cubs a 2-0 lead with a two-run drive that squeezed just inside the left-field foul pole in the second. Aquino responded with his fourth homer in the bottom half, a deep drive into the lower deck in left.

 

Chicago grabbed a 5-4 lead with three runs in the fourth. Yan Gomes hit a tying a two-run shot that reached the first row of the second deck in left. Christopher Morel then went deep on the next pitch.

 

Marcus Stroman (3-5, 4.20 ERA), Monday's scheduled starter in Washington, allowed five hits and four runs for a no-decision in his last start, also against the Nationals in Chicago.

Cardinals Double Up Struggling Brewers

Albert Pujols homered twice and Miles Mikolas tossed eight effective innings, helping the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Milwaukee Brewers 6-3 on Sunday.

 

Dylan Carlson and Tyler O'Neill also connected for St. Louis, which pushed its NL Central lead over second-place Milwaukee to 1 1/2 games.

 

Carlson broke a 2-all tie with his eighth homer of the season, a drive to left against Taylor Rogers (1-6) in the eighth.

 

Mikolas (9-9) permitted two runs and four hits. He struck out six and walked none.

 

O'Neill tied the game with his seventh homer in the sixth.

 

St. Louis took an 8-7 lead in the season series. The teams have four games remaining against each other.

 

Jose Quintana (4-5, 3.37 ERA) will take on Colorado LHP Kyle Freeland (7-8, 4.84 ERA) in the first of a three-game series on Tuesday in St. Louis. Quintana will be making his second start after coming over from Pittsburgh in a trade.

NFLPA President Blasts Conditions At Soldier Field

The president of the NFL Players Association blasted the conditions at Soldier Field on Saturday, and he didn’t exactly get an argument from the Chicago Bears or Kansas City Chiefs after their preseason game.

 

Union president JC Tretter tweeted the field was not up to NFL standards.

 

He wrote - “The NFL said that this field met minimum testing standards. We clearly need to re-evaluate what is an acceptable surface for players to compete on. We need new testing metrics looking at the performance and safety of every field. The NFL can and should do better.”

 

The conditions didn’t seem to bother Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes. The four-time Pro Bowler threw for 60 yards and a touchdown on the Chiefs’ first possession and then called it a day.

 

The conditions at Soldier Field have long been a source of frustration for players and coaches on the Bears as well as other teams. The lakefront location and harsh weather make maintaining the surface difficult for the Chicago Park District, which owns the stadium.

 

The field was particularly choppy after Elton John performed there last weekend. Major League Soccer recently moved the Chicago Fire’s game against New York City FC scheduled for Aug. 21 to SeatGeek Stadium in suburban Bridgeview, Ill., because of conditions brought on by “a series of planned events at the venue.”

Packers Getting Healthy

The Green Bay Packers received some good news on their collection of players coming back from knee injuries.

 

Packers coach Matt LaFleur said Sunday that offensive lineman Elgton Jenkins, tight end Robert Tonyan and rookie wide receiver Christian Watson are coming off the physically unable to perform list.

 

Jenkins’ early return would boost an offensive line that is missing left tackle David Bakhtari, who earned first-team All-Pro honors in 2018 and 2020 and was a second-team selection in 2016, 2017 and 2019. Bakhtiari remains on the PUP list and has appeared in only one game since tearing his left ACL on Dec. 31, 2020.

 

Jenkins has started games at every position on the line other than right guard. He was a Pro Bowl selection at left guard in 2020 and filled in for Bakhtiari at left tackle last season before getting hurt in a Nov. 21 loss at Minnesota.

 

Tonyan tore his ACL in an Oct. 28 victory at Arizona. He had 18 catches for 204 yards and two touchdowns in eight games last season after collecting 11 touchdown receptions in 2020.

 

In other injury news, LaFleur said safety Dallin Leavitt will be out for “a while” after leaving the Packers’ 28-21 preseason loss to the San Francisco 49ers with a shoulder injury.

 

The Packers also signed kicker Ramiz Ahmed and released kicker Gabe Brkic. LaFleur said Brkic tweaked a hamstring in pregame warmups.

 

Mason Crosby, the Packers’ kicker since 2007, is on the PUP list after undergoing what he described as a “minor scope on the knee” before training camp.

Former Clinton Basketball Coach Hoping to Help Revive Argenta-Oreana Football Program

Argenta-Oreana High School administration last fall made the tough decision to cancel its varsity football season about two-thirds of the way through the season because of a number of factors.

 

Now, a former Clinton High School basketball coach is hoping to help revive the program. Clay Haurberg says the 2021 fall season was tough because numbers were very down in the program and the group they had was very young. To salvage the health of the program going forward and preserve the health of its very young players, administrators made the tough decision to cancel the remainder of the season.

 

 

While the situation was unfortunate, Coach Haurberg says the good that came from last year was the experience the young players in the program got. He is hoping to re-establish the identity of the program. 

 

 

As the first week of fall practices wraps up, Coach Haurberg enjoys the togetherness of this year's team. He is focused on making the kids 'fooball smart'.

 

 

Coach Haurberg stresses the appreciation he has for his staff this year. He points out he has seven volunteer assistants that are giving their time this year to help develop the kids. He says in a small program, that is a really strong number of coaches and allows the team to break into smaller groups for more individual work.

 

Argenta-Oreana opens its season at Warrensburg-Latham.

GCMS Football Looking to Create Positivity

The 12 months have been very difficult for the GCMS community and its football program is hoping to be a source of some positivity this fall.

 

First Coach Chad Augspurger takes over the very successful Mike Allen who stepped aside after last year's season and Coach Augspurger says it's been a difficult last 12 months in Gibson City and his football team is hoping to be a source of some positivity for the community.

 

 

Coach Allen led the GCMS program to a lot of success in his tenure and Coach Augspurger says while some things will change, he is focused on making sure the culture of the program stays the same.

 

 

The 2021 fall season was a frustrating one for the Falcons as they entered the year with high expectations but ultimately injuries derailed a lot of the things they could have accomplished. Coach Augspurger says this year they are going to have to establish themselves up front on the offensive line.

 

 

The Falcons will open the season at Fieldcrest. 

 

You can follow the GCMS football program on Twitter at the handle, @gcmsfalcon.

Bloomington High School Football Looking to Added Depth, Athleticism to Propel Them in 2022

Coming off a disappointing 4-5 campaign in 2021, Bloomington High School is hoping its football team's collective athleticism will be the catalyst to success in 2022.

 

Coach Scott Godfrey felt his team had a couple of opportunities slip through the cracks in 2021. He says in the Big Twelve Conference, the margin for error is slim. 

 

 

With a small senior class graduating and program numbers on the rise, Coach Godfrey looked to the summer workout time as an opportunity to find out what he'll be working with this year and get those student-athletes repetitions.

 

 

As the season gets started this week, Coach Godfrey is going to be emphasizing the little things that lead to success. But overall, he has several athletes that are standing out and he's looking forward to seeing the things they will do this year.

 

 

Coach Godfrey says the Big Twelve is going to be very balanced and tough in 2022. 

 

You can follow the Purple Raiders football program on Instagram and Facebook as well as on Twitter at the handle @bhsraidersfb.

 

Bloomington opens the season at Peoria Richwoods.

Mt. Zion Will Be Looking to New Faces to Replace Production from Last Year

The Mt. Zion Braves football team experienced its fair share of injuries in 2021, forcing a lot of young players to step into a larger role. Coach Patrick Etherton is hoping the experience of those players will pay off in 2022.

 

As the season opens this week, Coach Etherton says while the 2021 season was injury-riddled for his team, he indicates the team's first-round exit from the 4A postseason left a bad taste in the mouth of the program.

 

 

For Coach Etherton, he approaches most off-seasons the same. He explains they evaluate everything they have in the program and try to find systems that will best fit what they have. With last year's early exit from the postseason, he credits this group's dedication to getting better.

 

 

While the Braves will have to replace a lot of production that graduated out of the program from last year, Coach Etherton says they have a lot of experience coming back, especially on the offensive line, which has him excited.

 

 

You can follow the Mt. Zion Braves football program on Twitter, at the handle @mtz_football.

 

The Braves open the 2022 football season at Limestone on Friday, Aug. 26. 

Normal U-High Looking to Take Next Step in Central State Eight

The Normal U-High Pioneers are looking to take a step forward in the Central State Eight in 2022 and the goal is to be more competitive.

 

In 2021, second-year Coach Brody Walworth says his team played in games that were either blow wins or blowout losses. He says as he enters year two, he is looking for his team to be more competitive.

 

 

Coach Walworth walked into a program that needed to be refreshed. He explains morale was low, numbers were low and it became his goal to bring a new direction to the program.

 

 

The Pioneers will be a spread offense and balanced between the run and the pass. Coach Walworth is very confident in the quarterback position and feels that will be a strength of their team.

 

 

Coach Walworth explains as practice opens this week, he says they are focusing on setting a standard of competitiveness. He says the first few days of practice have been very positive.

 

The Pioneers open the season against Springfield Lanphier.

White Sox, Royals Split Doubleheader

In games heard on WHOW, minus injured All-Star shortstop Tim Anderson, the Chicago White Sox fell to rookie Nick Pratto and the Kansas City Royals 4-2 Tuesday in the first game of a doubleheader.

 

Anderson is expected to miss six weeks with a tear in the middle finger of his left hand. He was put on the 10-day injured list betwen games of the twinbill.

 

Anderson was injured on a check swing during his last at-bat on Saturday night at Texas. He will have surgery on Thursday in Chicago.

 

Pratto homered, doubled and singled. He began the day batting .186 (11 for 59) this season in 19 games. His third homer put the Royals ahead 4-1 in the sixth.

 

Brady Singer (5-4) allowed one run on five hits in 7 1/3 innings. He struck out six without walking anyone.

 

Jose Cuas picked up his first career save.

 

Lynn (2-5) allowed two-run homers by Pratto and Vinnie Pasquantino in six innings.

 

Josh Harrison hit a solo homer in the Chicago third. Pasquantino homered in the bottom half.

 

The White Sox threatened in the sixth, getting two-out singles by Luis Robert and Eloy Jimenez. But Singer got Jose Abreu to line out to end the threat.

 

Yoan Moncada had a sacrifice fly in the ninth for the White Sox.

 

 

 

Lenyn Sosa hit his first major league home run and Yoan Moncada also connected as the Chicago White Sox, minus injured All-Star shortstop Tim Anderson, beat the Kansas City Royals 3-2 Tuesday night to split a doubleheader.

 

Pasquantino homered in both games for Kansas City.

 

Liam Hendriks earned his 23rd save in 26 opportunities.

 

Jonathan Heasley (1-7), who was called up as the 27th man for the Royals, allowed two solo home runs in 5 1/3 innings. He walked one and struck out five.

 

Sosa, who made his big league debut in June, gave the White Sox a 1-0 lead in the third when he hit a curveball into the water fountains in left center.

 

Pasquantino became the 13th different Royals player to homer in both games of a doubleheader when he connected in the fourth.

 

Moncada homered in the sixth for a 2-1 lead.

 

Gavin Sheets had an RBI double in the Chicago eighth. The Royals got within a run on Nick Pratto's sacrifice fly in the ninth.

 

Eloy Jimenez had three hits and a walk for the White Sox.

 

The White Sox and Royals will continue their four-game series Wednesday night. RHP Johnny Cueto (4-5, 2.91 ERA) will start for Chicago. LHP Kris Bubic (2-6, 5.27 ERA) will get the start for the Royals.

Rockies Crush Cardinals

Ryan McMahon hit a 495-foot homer for the longest drive by a Colorado player at Coors Field, Randal Grichuk went 5 for 5 and the Rockies routed St. Louis 16-5 Tuesday night, ending the Cardinals' seven-game winning streak. 

 

Cardinals starter Miles Mikolas, an All-Star this season, was tagged for 10 runs and 14 hits in just 2 2/3 innings.

 

C.J. Cron homered and doubled to drive in five runs and Grichuk also connected as Colorado piled up 22 hits. 

 

Grichuk set a career high for hits and also drove in three runs and scored three. Brendan Rodgers matched a career high with four hits, Jose Iglesias added an RBI single among his three hits and Elias Diaz doubled twice and drove in a pair of runs.

 

The Rockies staked Ryan Feltner (2-3) to a 12-0 lead before St. Louis got on the board with a two-run homer by Paul DeJong in the fifth.

 

Nolan Arenado, who spent his first eight seasons in Colorado before being traded to St. Louis ahead of the 2021 season, had an RBI double in a three-run sixth. Andrew Knizner delivered a two-run single.

 

Most of the offensive damage by the Rockies came at the expense of Mikolas, who struggled to find a rhythm in hitter-friendly Coors Field.

 

Mikolas (8-9) gave up Cron's three-run drive in the first, his 23rd homer of the season. Mikolas was relieved by Packy Naughton after giving up a two-out, two-run double to Cron in the third. Naughton walked McMahon before Grichuk connected for his 12th homer of the season. 

 

Jose Quintana (3-5, 2.39 ERA) is set to make his second start Wednesday night for St. Louis since his Aug. 1 acquisition from Pittsburgh. He'll be opposed by Colorado's LHP Kyle Freeland (7-7, 4.56 ERA).

Nationals Down Cubs

Joey Meneses hit a go-ahead two-run homer in the eighth inning, Keibert Ruiz went deep twice and the Washington Nationals regrouped after blowing a three-run lead, beating the Chicago Cubs 6-5 Tuesday night to snap a six-game losing streak.

 

The Nationals were rolling along with a 4-1 lead, thanks to Ruiz's solo drive in the second and three-run shot in the fourth against Marcus Stroman. It was the first career multi-homer game for the 24-year-old Venezuelan.

 

Chicago got four RBI singles in a four-run seventh, with newcomer Franmil Reyes tying it and newcomer Nico Hoerner the go-ahead hit against Kyle Finnegan. But the Nationals regrouped.

 

Meneses came through against Mark Leiter Jr. (2-5) in the eighth, after Maikel Franco singled with one out and Yadiel Hernandez struck out. The 30-year-old rookie launched a drive to the left-field basket for his third homer in six major league games and second in as many nights, putting Washington back on top, 6-5.

 

The Cubs had a runner on second with two out in the bottom half when Carl Edwards Jr. came into the game and struck out Willson Contreras. He then worked the ninth for his first save this season and fourth since he debuted for Chicago in 2015.

 

Edwards, a member of the Cubs' 2016 World Series championship team, gave up a one-out single to Seiya Suzuki, who was was caught stealing. Nelson Velazquez then walked before Nico Hoerner struck out looking at a 3-2 pitch.

 

Paolo Espino went five innings for Washington, allowing one run and six hits. Finnegan (3-2) got the win.'

 

Suzuki homered leading off the second against Espino. He had three hits and scored two runs.

 

Rafael Ortega and Willson Contreras had RBI singles in the seventh. Ortega was also thrown out in the inning trying to score on Ian Happ's line drive by center fielder Lane Thomas, who fired a one-hop strike to the plate.

 

Stroman labored through five innings, allowing four runs and five hits. The right-hander threw 90 pitches, struck out six and walked two following a string of strong starts. Stroman posted a 1.67 ERA in his previous five outings after missing a month because of inflammation in his right shoulder.

 

Reyes went 1 for 4 in his Chicago debut, a day after he was claimed off waivers from Cleveland.

 

The three-game series wraps up with Cubs LHP Justin Steele (4-7, 3.67 ERA) opposing Nationals RHP Josiah Gray (7-8, 4.92). Steele matched a career high with 10 strikeouts in just 4 2/3 innings in Chicago's 2-1 win over Miami last week. Gray is 0-3 with an 8.53 in his past four starts.

Mahomet-Seymour Football Embracing High Expectations

The Mahomet-Seymour Bulldogs football team flew under the radar for most of the 2021 fall football season, advancing to the 5A quarterfinal round of the playoffs.

 

No one is sleeping on Jon Adkins' team in 2022 as expectations are high. That's OK with the third year coach who indicates his team is embracing the fact they will get everyone's best shot on their schedule.

 

 

With expectations high, Coach Adkins took a very different approach to the summer and indicates he will probably take a different approach to the season. He calls it a less is more approach because he wants to keep his kids healthy.

 

 

Coach Adkins is very excited for the core players he has returning from last year's team. His senior quarterback, Wyatt Bohm, led the state in passing yards last season with a dynamic wide receiver, Quenton Rogers, to throw to and a stout middle linebacker, Nick Golden, that leads the defense. While those three get a lot of the attention, Coach Adkins says he'll let other players that will be impactful make their statements on the field this fall.

 

 

With the season right around the corner and practices opening on Monday, Coach Adkins says the focus for the preseason practice schedule is going to be focusing on the little things that will allow them to get better week after week.

 

Coach Adkins is also focusing on enjoying the accomplishments of his team, something he says he did not do a good job of last year.

 

The Bulldogs open the season taking on Morton, who knocked them out of the 5A playoffs last year. Coach Adkins notes that was somewhat of a fluke circumstance that developed this offseason.

Decatur Eisenhower Football Hoping to Show They Are Ready to Compete

DaJuan Johnson has been around the Decatur Eisenhower football program for many years and understands what it takes to build the program.

 

Coming into the 2022 fall football season, Coach Johnson is very encouraged by the fall 2021 season and then the offseason. He explains they were young in almost every aspect from the coaches on down. 

 

 

For Coach Johnson, this summer was about teaching kids about football and helping them understand the game, what it takes to be successful, and working with individuals in a one-on-one capacity. While many teams filled up the summer with a 7-on-7 schedule, Coach Johnson says they did most everything internally.

 

 

Coach Johnson says the summer taught him that his team is much better than he thought. He also found out that his team is very close and hopes that will be something that other student-athletes gravitate towards.

 

 

As the season gets started this week, he is hoping more kids will come out as he continues to work to build the program but while a lot of teams will dive right into the workouts and X's and O's, he will take time the first few days to connect with the families of his players and let everyone know about the football schedule and expectations. 

 

Coach Johnson says his players have a high motor. He notes his emphasis this year will be about allowing his kids to fly around the field, hit, and have fun. He is aiming to have a well balanced team this year and hopes to send the message that his team is ready to compete. 

Cardinals Outlast Yankees for Series Sweep

Nolan Arenado and Paul DeJong both homered and drove in four runs to help the St. Louis Cardinals outlast the New York Yankees 12-9 on Sunday, completing a three-game sweep.

St. Louis won its season-high seventh straight in a slugfest that took 4 hours, 25 minutes - the longest nine-inning game in the majors this season.

DJ LeMahieu homered for the Yankees, who have lost five in a row. It's their worst skid since a seven-game slide last September.

St. Louis (60-48) moved a season-best 12 games over .500 with its first regular-season series sweep of the Yankees. The surging Cardinals moved two games ahead of second-place Milwaukee in the NL Central.

 

New York still has the best record in the American League but its lead in the AL East is down to 9 1/2 games over Toronto, the first time it's been single digits since June 15.

 

St. Louis became the first team to sweep the Yankees in a series of at least three games this year. Atlanta and the New York Mets are the only clubs in the majors to avoid that fate so far.

 

Arenado, who launched a three-run homer in the second inning, had three hits and leads the majors with 18 RBIs in interleague games this season.

 

DeJong, who broke a 6-all tie with a fifth-inning double, added a three-run drive in the eighth inning - his 100th career home run.

 

Aaron Judge drove in four runs for New York, pushing his AL-leading total to 97 RBIs.

 

Frankie Montas struggled in his Yankees debut. Acquired from Oakland on Monday, the right-hander allowed six earned runs and five hits over three innings. He struck out two and walked three.

 

New York manager Aaron Boone was ejected by plate umpire Ed Hickox in the fifth for apparently arguing balls and strikes. It was the 23rd ejection for Boone and his sixth this season. Pitching coach Matt Blake was also tossed. He was ejected by third base umpire Vic Carapazza.

 

Judge gave his team a 4-1 lead with a two-run single in the second. St. Louis responded with five runs in the bottom half. Arenado's 22nd homer put St. Louis up 6-4.

 

The Cardinals scored three times in the fifth to break a 6-all tie. Tommy Edman followed DeJong's double with a run-scoring hit. DeJong was originally called out at the plate on the play, but the call was reversed after a replay review.

 

St. Louis starter Adam Wainwright gave up four runs and eight hits over four-plus innings. He struck out five and walked four.

 

Aaron Hicks had three hits and reached base four times for the Yankees.

 

St. Louis completed a 6-0 homestand, its first homestand sweep of six games or more since September 2013.

 

Chris Stratton (6-4) picked up the win, allowing two runs over 1 2/3 innings of relief. He struck out four and did not walk a batter.

 

Ryan Helsley earned his 11th save in 14 chances.

 

Albert Abreu (2-1) took the loss.

 

Miles Mikolas (8-8, 2.92 ERA) takes on Colorado RHP Ryan Feltner (1-3, 5.75) in the first of a three-game series Tuesday in Denver. Mikolas has allowed five home runs in three career starts at Coors Field.

White Sox Get By Rangers

In a game heard on WHOW, Andrew Vaughn had a two-run home run among his three hits, Luis Robert hit a two-run double, and AJ Pollock had two doubles in a three-hit game as the Chicago White Sox beat the Texas Rangers 8-2 on Sunday to split a four-game series.

 

Leury Garcia had three hits and scored twice and Jose Abreu had three singles as the White Sox broke out offensively. They had 15 hits, five for extra bases, after being limited to four runs and 13 hits in the previous three games.

 

The White Sox pulled within two games of first-place Minnesota in the AL Central and remained three games behind in the wild-card race.

 

Lucas Giolito allowed one run in five innings on six singles and three walks to earn his second consecutive win. Giolito (8-6) struck out five and threw 103 pitches, four short of his season high.

 

Nathaniel Lowe hit a solo homer in the seventh inning and delivered an RBI single in the third among his three hits for the Rangers. The 452-foot homer, a lefty-on-lefty shot, was the longest by a Rangers player this season.

 

Texas completed a 2-5 homestand and dropped 12 games below .500, matching its season low.

 

Spencer Howard (2-4) gave up six runs, five earned, in 3 1/3 innings.

 

Vaughn hit his 11th homer of the season in the third inning to give Chicago a 3-1 lead.

 

Robert's two-run double came in the three-run fourth, making the score 6-1 and chasing Howard.

 

Pollock's RBI single in the second inning scored the game's first run. Pollock doubled in the fourth and the sixth for his third three-hit game of the season.

 

Howard struggled for a second consecutive start - he allowed six runs in four innings last Tuesday in an 8-2 loss to Baltimore - after his best outing of the season, when he outpitched Shohei Ohtani in a 2-0 road win over the Los Angeles Angels.

 

Garcia scored from first base in the seventh inning when Texas third baseman Ezequiel Duran's throw to first went wide. 

 

Lance Lynn (2-4, 5.87 ERA) will start one game on Tuesday at Kansas City. Royals RHP Brady Singer (4-4, 3.67) will start one game.

Marlins Blank Cubs

Jesus Luzardo allowed one hit over seven innings for his first win since April, and Jacob Stallings and Peyton Burdick hit back-to-back home runs as the Miami Marlins beat the Chicago Cubs 3-0 on Sunday to prevent a three-game sweep.

 

Yan Gomes singled with two outs in the fifth off Luzardo (3-4). Nick Madrigal's leadoff single in the ninth against Tanner Scott was Chicago's only other hit. Scott then got a groundout and two strikeouts for his 15th save.

 

Charles Leblanc opened the fifth with a double off Adrian Sampson (0-3) before Stallings put Miami on the board with his third homer of the year, a two-run drive just over the left-field fence.

 

Burdick connected on the next pitch for his first major league home run. He got his first career hit Saturday.

 

After a 56-minute rain delay at the start, Luzardo struck out six and walked one in his first win since April 30. It was only Miami's second victory in nine games.

 

The 24-year-old lefty from Peru stymied Chicago with four-seam fastballs inside, two-seam fastballs away and changeups low in the zone.

 

Sampson allowed six hits in six innings while striking out four and walking one.

 

Chicago had its five-game home winning streak snapped and was shut out for the seventh time this season.

 

Keegan Thompson (8-5, 3.48 ERA) gets the start Monday night against RHP Anibal Sanchez (0-4, 7.65) as Chicago hosts Washington to start a three-game series.

Bears WR Harry To Have Tests on Injured Ankle

The Chicago Bears suffered a blow this weekend, as wide receiver N'Keal Harry went down with what was reported to be a severe ankle injury on Saturday. Harry suffered a high-ankle sprain, per NFL Media, and he will see a specialist to determine how much time he could miss. 

 

Harry was traded from the New England Patriots to the Bears just under a month ago in exchange for a 2024 seventh-round pick. The Arizona State product was selected by the Patriots with the final pick of the first round back in 2019, and was seen as one of the top wideouts in the class. However, he struggled to carve out a role for himself under Bill Belichick.

 

In 33 career games, Harry has caught 57 passes for 598 yards and four touchdowns. He suffered through multiple injuries in his first three seasons, and trade rumors quickly abounded. That trade finally came this offseason, and many were interested to see if a change of scenery could unlock his potential.

 

If Harry were to miss significant time, it would certainly be a blow to the Bears. The wide receiving corps is seen as a weakness on this team, as it's headlined by Darnell Mooney, Byron Pringle, Equanimeous St. Brown and rookie Velus Jones Jr. It's very possible Chicago could once again be in the market for a free-agent wide receiver.

Harvick Takes Home Win at Michigan

Kevin Harvick ended a 65- race winless drought that lasted nearly two years with his sixth victory at Michigan International Speedway on Sunday.

 

Harvick’s win shakes up the playoff race with just three races remaining in the regular season, leaving little time for drivers to earn a spot in the 16-car postseason, and gives a boost for a veteran that entered the weekend No. 17 in points.

 

NASCAR has had 15 different Cup winners this season. If there are two new winners over the last three races, a driver with one win will be eliminated from the 16-car playoff with a tiebreaker based on points. Ryan Blaney and Martin Truex Jr. are top-10 drivers in points, but they have not finished first to put their postseason positioning in peril.

 

Harvick’s No. 4 Ford pulled away from Bubba Wallace and the rest the field following a restart with 35 laps to go at the FireKeepers Casino 400. The Stewart-Haas Racing driver took advantage of clean air, helping him coast to his 59th victory, including five wins since 2018 on the two-mile oval in the Irish Hills region of southern Michigan.

 

Harvick had not won since claiming a NASCAR Cup Series postseason race on Sept. 19, 2020, at Bristol Motor Speedway.

 

Wallace finished second in his No. 23 Toyota — 2.9 seconds behind Harvick — followed by Denny Hamlin in his No. 11 Toyota.

 

Austin Cindric, who won the Daytona 500 for his first career victory, started the day No. 15 in points and finished last in the 37-car race after his No. 2 Ford hit the wall head-on in a nine-car crash that knocked Kyle Busch out of the competition.

 

Wallace won his first career pole Saturday, becoming the only driver to break 190 mph in the Next Gen car during qualifying this season and went even faster early in the race after a 90-minute rain delay.

 

Wallace, driving for 23XI Racing formed by Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin in 2020, stayed out front until he made a pit stop after 21 laps — two shy of his career high — and the decision that cost him track position due to a crash soon thereafter that included one-fourth of the field.

 

Busch had another frustrating day, getting knocked out of the race on lap 25 due to the multi-car crash following a restart that also ended Cindric’s day.

 

Busch has failed to finish in the top 10 in eight straight races, the longest streak of the two-time champion’s career, and he does not have a contract for next year.

Three days before racing at Michigan, he and his wife and their two young children escaped the Mall of America in Minnesota after shots were fired.

 

Austin Hill made his Cup debut for Richard Childress Racing and finished 18th. 

 

Kurt Busch missed his third straight race with concussion-like symptoms. Ty Gibbs, the 19-year-old grandson of team owner Joe Gibbs, filled in and was a Cup career-high 10th in the No. 45 Toyota for 23XI Racing. 

 

Cole Custer’s No. 41 Ford had its front left tire engulfed in flames, ending his day midway through the race a week after Chris Buescher’s No. 17 Ford caught fire.

NASCAR shifts to Richmond Raceway in Virginia, one of the last three races of the regular season. Hamlin won at Richmond in April.

Rangers Edge White Sox

In a game heard on WHOW, Meibrys Viloria had a tiebreaking pinch-hit single in the seventh inning and Texas beat the Chicago White Sox 3-2 on Thursday night, when the Rangers became the first team since 1986 to have two of its first-round picks make their big league debuts as starters in the same game.

 

Left-hander Cole Ragans, who twice had Tommy John surgery after being their first-round pick in 2016, allowed one unearned run over five innings in his debut. Bubba Thompson, the team's first pick in 2017, was 1 for 3 with

a bunt single in his first big league game.

Brock Burke (5-2) struck out four in two scoreless innings after taking over for Ragans, who struck out three, walked four and allowed three singles in a 93-pitch debut. Jonathan Hernandez pitched the ninth for his second save in two chances.

 

Leody Taveras had an RBI single for the Rangers, who ended a seven-game home losing streak. That hit in the second inning came after Nathaniel Lowe extended his hitting streak to 11 games with the first of his two doubles.

 

White Sox starter Johnny Cueto (4-5), unbeaten in his last six starts, gave up three runs and 11 hits. He struck out four without a walk while pitching the entire game.

 

Texas had two on with one out in the seventh when Viloria singled up the middle to make it 2-1 when hitting for struggling third baseman Ezequiel Duran, in a 3-for-30 slide after striking out in both of his at-bats. Thompson's bunt loaded the bases before Marcus Semien's sacrifice fly.

 

Yoan Moncada had an RBI triple for the White Sox in the eighth before Thompson, who was in left field, made a running catch of a liner in the gap to end that inning.

The debuts by Ragans and Thompson came after the Rangers formally introduced 2022 first-round pick Kumar Rocker at the ballpark earlier in the day.

 

Ragans started after Texas put Jon Gray on the injured list with a left oblique strain. The 24-year-old lefty was 8-5 with a 3.04 ERA in 18 starts combined at Triple-A Round Rock and Double-A Frisco.

 

Chicago did load the bases in the first on a walk and two singles that sandwiched Ragans' first big league strikeout. But right after a mound visit, Ragans induced an inning-ending infield popout on his 26th pitch.

 

Ragans settled down, but before the game saw the water shaking when he picked up a bottle and held it in his hand.

 

Thompson hit .303 with 13 homers, 48 RBIs and 49 stolen bases in 80 games at Round Rock. He showed his speed on the bunt single, and Woodward isn't convinced that Thompson shouldn't have already had a hit from a play in the fifth, when third baseman Moncada was given an error when trying to field a tough chopper on the run.

 

The last time two former first-round picks drafted by the same club made their MLB debuts in the same game was April 8, 1986, when first baseman Will Clark and second baseman Robby Thompson debuted together for the San Francisco Giants at Houston.

 

Chicago got its run in the third, when Luis Robert had a leadoff walk before going to third after right fielder Adolis Garcia's error on a dropped flyball that initially was ruled a catch before the White Sox challenged. Replay showed that Garcia never had control, and that the drop wasn't caused by him trying to transfer the ball from the glove to his hand. Robert scored on Andrew Vaughn's fielder's choice comebacker.

 

White Sox right-hander Dylan Cease (11-4, 2.01 ERA) makes his first start in August after being the American League's pitcher of the month in June and July. He has won his last four starts, not given up more than one run in his last nine. Rangers right-hander Glenn Otto (4-7) is 0-5 with a 7.11 ERA in seven starts since his return from the COVID-19 related IL.

Cardinals Take Two From Cubs

Lars Nootbaar hit a tying sacrifice fly in the seventh inning and a game-ending RBI single in the ninth, sending the St. Louis Cardinals to a 4-3 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Thursday in the opener of a split doubleheader.

 

St. Louis trailed 3-0 before rallying in the seventh against Marcus Stroman. Nolan Gorman and Paul Goldschmidt hit back-to-back homers before Nolan Arenado doubled and scored on Nootbaar's flyball to center.

 

Arenado and Paul DeJong walked with one out in the ninth against rookie Erich Uelmen (0-1). Nootbaar then drove in Arenado with a liner to right on a 2-2 pitch.

 

Nootbaar said he thought Arenado would be able to score the winning run. Arenado's slide beat the tag by catcher Willson Contreras.

 

Ryan Helsley (6-1) got three outs for the win, helping the Cardinals pull within a half-game of Milwaukee for the NL Central lead.

 

Contreras homered for Chicago, which dropped its fourth straight game. Stroman was charged with three runs and five hits in 6 2/3 innings.

 

The doubleheader was scheduled after Wednesday night's game was postponed by rain. St. Louis improved to 5-2 in its four doubleheaders this season, and Chicago dropped to 1-8 in its five doubleheaders.

 

Contreras, who was the subject of trade rumors ahead of Tuesday's deadline, hit a solo drive in the first for his 15th homer.

 

The Cubs added two more in the sixth against Miles Mikolas. Contreras doubled and scored on Seiya Suzuki's single, and Patrick Wisdom added a sacrifice fly.

 

Mikolas allowed seven hits, struck out six and waked one in 6 1/3 innings.

 

Rafael Ortega had three hits for Chicago, and Nico Hoerner went 2 for 4.

 

Newly acquired Jose Quintana won in his debut with St. Louis, Tyler O'Neill and Nolan Arenado homered and the Cardinals beat Chicago 7-2, completing a doubleheader sweep of the Cubs on Thursday night.

 

The Cardinals won the opener 4-3 as Lars Nootbaar hit a tying sacrifice fly in the seventh inning and a game-ending RBI single in the ninth.

 

Quintana, traded from the Pittsburgh Pirates to St. Louis on Monday, surrendered one run, one hit and two walks and struck out seven batters in six innings in a no-decision debut with the Cardinals, who have won four straight and are tied for first place in the NL Central with Milwaukee.

 

Jordan Hicks (3-5) allowed a run on a hit and two walks, and Genesis Cabrera and Chris Stratton each tossed a scoreless inning in relief in the combined two-hitter.

 

Sean Newcomb allowed two runs on five hits in three innings serving as an opener in his first major league start since Aug. 10, 2020, at Philadelphia as a member of the Braves.

 

O'Neill hit a three-run home run, his sixth of the season, off Kervin Castro (0-1) in the bottom of the seventh inning to break a 2-all tie.

 

Nelson Velazquez tied the game when he drove in Patrick Wisdom on an infield single that ricocheted off Hicks' glove in the top of the seventh.

 

Arenado hit his 21st home run of the season into the third deck in left field to give the Cardinals a 2-1 lead.

 

Wisdom hit his 20th home run of the season in the first inning against his former team.

 

Cubs lefty Justin Steele (4-7, 3.86 ERA) will make his 20th start of the season in the opener of a three-game series against Miami. Miami has not announced a starting pitcher.

 

Cardinals RHP Dakota Hudson (6-6, 4.10 ERA) will square off against Yankees LHP Nestor Cortes (9-3, 2.53 ERA) in the opener of a three-game set.

Cubs, Cardinals to Play in London in 2023

Major League Baseball plans to return to London next year for the first time since 2019.

 

The league announced Thursday that the St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs will play a two-game series on June 24-25, 2023, at London Stadium. The NL Central rivals were supposed to play in London in 2020, but the games were canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

 

MLB last played in London in 2019, when the New York Yankees swept a two-game set against the Boston Red Sox in June at London Stadium. Those were also MLB’s first regular-season games played in Europe.

 

Chicago and St. Louis have played international games before. The Cubs opened the 2000 season in Tokyo against the New York Mets, and played a three-game series against the Montreal Expos in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in 2003. The Cardinals played a two-game set against Cincinnati in Mexico in 2019.

 

The 2023 London Series is part of an international slate that was approved in the March labor agreement between MLB and the players’ association. It also calls for London games in 2024 and 2026, the first France games in 2025, annual Mexico City games from 2023-26, an Asian opener in 2024 and a Tokyo opener in 2025.

NASCAR Heads to Michigan

Tyler Reddick survived an intense overtime battle with Ross Chastain to win on the road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway last week as the Cup series heads to Michigan this weekend for the Casino 400.

 

Reddick’s victory was his second this month, both on road courses, his second this season and the second of his career. 

 

Chastain was later penalized for taking a shortcut through a turn on the course and finished 27th. 

 

Reddick is the sixth multiple winner this season. He’s leaving Richard Childress Racing after the 2023 season to join Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan at 23XI Racing. 

 

Ryan Blaney and Martin Truex Jr. are the non-winners that would qualify for the playoffs now on points, with four more chances to ensure their spot. Kevin Harvick would be the first one out of the 16-driver playoffs field without a victory of his. 

 

Chase Elliott’s string of five top-two finishes ended, but he still leads Blaney by 125 points and Chastain by 129.

 

Blaney won after starting third last year.

 

Practice and qualifying is at 12:30 on Saturday with the green flag dropping shortly after 2 pm on Sunday.

 

AJ Allmendinger overcame an early 25-second pit stop and won on the road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, his third victory this season last week in the XFinity Series as the circuit also heads to Michigan.

 

All three of Allmendinger’s victories this year have come on road courses. He led 42 of 62 laps despite the long pit stop that dropped him from first to 13th on lap 19. 

Allmendinger has 17 top-10 finishes in 20 races and remains the points leader, by 17 over Justin Allgaier and 30 over Ty Gibbs. 

 

The top six in the standings have all won more than once, and the top seven are the only series regulars to have taken a checkered flag this season.

 

Allmendinger will look defend his win last year after starting second.

 

Practice and qualifying is at 8 am on Saturday morning with the green flag dropping shortly after 2:30 pm on Saturday. 

 

The Camping World Truck Series returns next weekend at Richmond. 

White Sox Get By Royals

Lance Lynn threw four-hit ball over six innings, Jose Abreu homered for the second consecutive game and Eloy Jimenez hit three singles as the Chicago White Sox beat the Kansas City Royals 4-1 Wednesday.

 

Lynn (2-4) struck out eight for the third time this season while not walking a batter for the third time in his last four starts. Rookie Bobby Witt Jr. snapped Lynn's shutout bid by hitting a home run with one out in the sixth.

 

The White Sox (53-51) won for the third time in four games while remaining two games behind the Twins (55-49) and one behind the Guardians (54-50) in the AL Central. The Royals fell for the seventh time in nine games.

 

Michael Massey, who was promoted from Triple-A Omaha before the game, collected two hits off Lynn. Matheny said Massey, who attended Brother Rice High School - 25 minutes from Guaranteed Rate Field - and the University of Illinois would be given an extended look at second base.

 

The game was delayed because of rain for 1 hour, 5 minutes with two outs in the bottom of the second.

 

The Sox will start RHP Johnny Cueto (4-4, 2.86) Thursday at Texas. Cueto allowed two runs in seven innings Saturday in a 3-2 win over the Athletics.

Normal West Football Looking To Take Step Forward This Season

After finishing 6-3 and making the 6A postseason, the Normal West Wildcats football team is looking to build on what a young team did in the fall of 2021.

 

Head Coach Nathan Fincham says it was a steep learning curve for a young team competing in the Big 12 and says the vibes around the program coming into this season are very positive.

 

 

According to Coach Fincham, they pushed their team a little more than they usually would in hopes of moving the kids farther along. He hopes to be able to throw the ball a little more this fall and use their team speed.

 

 

Monday opens the new season for the fall of 2022 and Coach Fincham is hoping his team comes to practice every day with consistency and keeps their edge in the weeks leading up to the season.

 

 

Coach Fincham says the Big 12 should be very balanced, maybe more balanced than normal. He hopes the balance of the conference will pave the way for the teams of the conference to succeed in the postseason. 

 

You can follow the Normal West Wildcats football program on Twitter at the handle @ncwhs_football. You follow the Normal West athletics department at the handle @ncwhsathletics. Or you can follow them on Facebook by searching 'Normal West football'.

Cubs, Cardinals Postponed

Wednesday's game between the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals was postponed by rain, allowing the Cardinals to line up their newly fortified starting rotation.

 

St. Louis added four pitchers in deals over the last several days, including left-hander Jose Quintana, who will make his Cardinals debut in the second game of Thursday's day-night doubleheader. The twinbill was scheduled because of the rainout.

 

Then, on Saturday, left-hander Jordan Montgomery will make his first start for St. Louis against his former team, the New York Yankees, who dealt him to the Cardinals on Tuesday for outfielder Harrison Bader.

 

Entering Wednesday, St. Louis trailed first-place Milwaukee by two games in the NL Central. The Cardinals were one-half game outside the final NL wild-card spot.

 

Miles Mikolas (8-8, 2.86 ERA) will start the first game of the doubleheader, followed by Quintana (3-5, 3.50), who is 0-4 with a 3.40 ERA in seven starts against the Cubs. Chicago will start RHP Marcus Stroman (3-5, 3.99) and LHP Justin Steele (4-7, 3.86), but the team did not say who will pitch which game. Stroman has allowed two earned runs over a combined 20 1/3 innings in his last four starts.

Washington Football Excited About Young Players In Transition Year

When a high school football team sees a large senior class graduate that experienced a lot of success, a lot of uncertainty is left for what the next year will look like.

 

Washington High School football Coach Darrell Crouch is hoping a young group he has that will largely fill those spots from last year's 6A playoff quarterfinal team will be able to tap into experiences of the last few seasons and will lead to success this fall.

 

 

Coach Crouch indicates this summer he took a little different approach with his team because of having to bring kids along with limited experience. He credits this group for working hard in the weight room all summer.

 

 

For Coach Crouch and his Panthers football program, they like to get to the power run. He says in that power run, they'll go to several formations to give a different look.

 

 

With practices starting up next week, Coach Crouch says his goal is to just get his young players reps and get better at the things they want to do. No matter how young his team is, its their goal to compete for the Mid-Illini Conference title and peak at the end of the season. 

 

You can follow the Washington football program on Twitter at the handle, @wchsfootball201. 

White Sox Slam Royals

Eloy Jimenez set season highs with three hits and four RBIs, Jose Abreu homered and Chicago pounded the Kansas City Royals 9-2 on Tuesday night.

 

The White Sox made no major moves before the trade deadline and will bank on improvement from within as they try to overtake Minnesota and Cleveland to win their second straight AL Central championship. This one wasn't exactly pristine, but they'll take the lopsided win.

 

The White Sox have been getting a big boost lately from Jimenez following a slow start and a right knee injury that caused him to miss six weeks. He has been on a tear since the All-Star break, going 14 for 33 with three homers in 10 games. That's sent his batting average soaring from .197 to .273.

 

Jimenez singled and scored in a three-run first inning and smacked a two-run double in the fourth to bump Chicago's lead to 5-2. He added a long sacrifice fly in the sixth before Abreu chased Royals starter Brad Keller (5-12) with a two-run homer off the left-field foul pole, making it 8-2.

 

Gavin Sheets hit a solo homer in the seventh. Andrew Vaughn added three hits and scored twice, helping Chicago move back above .500 at 52-51. The White Sox are 24-29 at home.

 

Lucas Giolito (7-6) went five innings, allowing two runs and five hits in his first win at home since beating Boston on May 25. The right-hander struck out seven and walked three after posting a 6.75 ERA in his previous nine outings.

 

Keller got tagged for eight runs and 13 hits - both career highs - in 5 2/3 innings.= The right-hander lost his third straight start.

 

White Sox CF Luis Robert was activated from the 10-day injured list after the slugger and Gold Glove winner was sidelined because of blurred vision and lightheadedness. Robert exited Chicago's win at Minnesota on July 15. He was having trouble seeing from a distance and getting jumps on balls. 

 

The three-game series wraps up with the White Sox sending RHP Lance Lynn (1-4, 6.42 ERA) to the mound and the Royals going with RHP Brady Singer (4-3, 3.51). Lynn is coming off a loss to Oakland. Singer went seven innings, striking out 10, in Kansas City's 1-0 loss Thursday at Yankee Stadium that ended with Aaron Judge's homer off Scott Barlow.

Cardinals Blank Cubs

Adam Wainwright pitched seven spotless innings with longtime catcher Yadier Molina back behind the plate, and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Chicago Cubs 6-0 on Tuesday night.

 

Paul Goldschmidt homered and drove in three runs to lead the St. Louis offense. Dylan Carlson, the subject of trade speculation before Tuesday's deadline, hit a two-run shot and made a nice catch in center field. Nolan Arenado also went deep.

 

Molina returned from knee inflammation that had sidelined him since June 16. Paired once again with Wainwright, the two 40-year-olds teamed up to shut down Chicago.

 

Wainwright (8-8) allowed six hits and struck out four in his 192nd career win.

 

Molina flashed his Gold Glove form by throwing out Rafael Ortega attempting to steal second in the first inning.

 

Goldschmidt drove in two runs in the third with a single.

 

A three-run fifth put St. Louis up 5-0. Carlson's homer came after Tommy Edman led off with a walk. With one out, Goldschmidt hit his 25th homer.

 

Arenado added his 20th home run with two outs in the seventh.

 

Cubs starter Keegan Thompson (8-5) gave up five runs and 10 hits in 4 2/3 innings.

 

Justin Steele (4-7, 3.86 ERA) lasted only 3 2/3 innings last time out in San Francisco. He will be making his third career start against the Cardinals. He took a no-decision in his first start against them this season, tossing seven innings and allowing one earned run.

 

Miles Mikolas (8-8, 2.86) went seven innings last Friday, allowing two runs and six hits in the Cardinals' 6-2 win over the Nationals.

Cardinals, Cubs Make Deadline Moves

The Cardinals and Yankees have agreed to a trade that will send left-hander Jordan Montgomery to St. Louis in exchange for center fielder Harrison Bader, the teams announced. 

 

Montgomery, 29, posted a 3.69 ERA (104 ERA+) and a 4.22 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 114 innings this season in pinstripes. He's scheduled to hit free agency after the 2023 season. Montgomery does most of his work behind a three-pitch mix: a 93-mph fastball and low-80s changeup and curveball. He throws strikes and has generated a career-high 46 percent ground balls this season, making him a good fit in front of St. Louis' top-notch defensive infield. 

 

Bader, 28, will also qualify for free agency after next season. He's currently on the injured list with plantar fasciitis in his right foot. He's expected to return before the regular season ends, albeit not anytime soon. MLB.com's Bryan Hoch tweeted that Bader will be shut down for a week or two and placed in a walking boot. 

 

Prior to going on the shelf, Bader had hit .256/.303/.370 (93 OPS+) with five home runs and 15 stolen bases (on 17 tries). He's regarded as one of the best-fielding outfielders in the majors, having amassed 47 career Defensive Runs Saved, according to Baseball-Reference. In other words, the Yankees would be justified if they use Bader as their center fielder, moving Aaron Judge back to a corner.

 

The Cardinals on Monday also acquired veteran left-handed starting pitcher Jose Quintana from the Pittsburgh Pirates as part of a four-player trade. Both teams have announced the deal. 

 

Quintana, 33, has pitched to a 3.50 ERA/119 ERA+ and a 2.87 K/BB ratio across 20 starts and 103 innings this season for the Pirates. Those outputs constitute a rebound for Quintana, who in 2021 had an ERA north of 6.00 in a mix of rotation and bullpen work for the Angels and Giants. Early in his career with the White Sox, Quintana was a regular purveyor of 200-inning seasons and better-than-average run-prevention numbers, but following a trade to the Cubs he seemed to enter a premature decline phase. This season he's regained effectiveness, in part because of increased use of his changeup. 

 

Quintana is on a one-year contract worth $2 million, so he's a "rental" acquisition by the Cardinals. 

 

Right-hander Chris Stratton is also going to the Cardinals in the trade. Stratton, who turns 32 later in August, has worked almost exclusively out of the bullpen for the Pirates since they acquired him in 2019. Over that span, he's put up a 3.98 ERA in 162 relief appearances and one start. 

 

Right-hander Johan Oviedo and third base prospect Malcom Nunez are going to the Pirates in the trade. Oviedo, 24, has put up a 3.20 ERA in 13 relief appearances and one start for the Cardinals this season. For his career, he owns an ERA+ of 86 in 19 starts and 14 relief appearances spread across three big-league seasons for St. Louis. Nunez, 21, owns a slash line of .280/.366/.465 with 41 home runs in 276 minor-league games. This season, he's put up an OPS of .823 at Double-A Springfield. MLB.com ranked Nunez as the No. 10 prospect in a deep Cardinals system. 

 

Mets prospect Saul Gonzalez was traded from New York to the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday in exchange for Mychal Givens, Andy Martinez of Marquee Sports Network reports.

 

A 22-year-old righty, Gonzalez has never pitched above Single-A, where he sports a 2.81 ERA and 1.21 WHIP in 25.2 innings this season. It seems likely that the 6-foot-7 hurler will eventually end up in the bullpen.

 

Phillies propsect Ben Brown was traded from Philadelphia to the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday in exchange for David Robertson, Matt Gelb of The Athletic reports.

 

Brown broke out this year and emerged as one of the Phillies' better pitching prospects. The 6-foot-6 righty logged a 3.08 ERA, 1.04 WHIP and 105 strikeouts in 73 innings at High-A. He turns 23 in September.

Normal Community High School Football Eyes 26th Straight Playoff Appearance

26 is the magic number for Jason Drengwitz and his Ironmen football team from Normal Community High School.

 

Last year, the Ironmen finished the regular season 9-0 but had a disappointing exit in its 25th straight playoff appereance. Coach Drengwitz explains his team got great experience between the COVID spring season and the return to a regual fall schedule last year.

 

 

 

 

Going through summer workouts and getting ready for the start of the fall season, Coach Drengwitz indicates the focus is always getting bigger, faster and stronger. Sometimes he may mix up the summer routine but for the most part it usually stays the same.

 

 

For those unfamiliar with Ironmen football, Coach Drengwitz says they try to take a balanced offensive approach with a balanced run and throwing the ball around. He feels the approach of the program has been consistent the last decade-plus.

 

 

Practices for the high school football season commence next Monday, Aug. 8 and then kickoff is Friday night, Aug. 26. Coach Drengwitz is looking forward to the strength of the special teams. He feels they have two of the better skill position players in the area.

 

 

The Ironmen play in the Big 12 Conference and will look to defend the conference title this year. Coach Drengwitz says it is going to be a very balanced conference that is going to offer a challenge each week. 

 

You can follow the Ironmen on Twitter at the handle @ironfootball and Coach Drengwitz notes the program is also working on establishing an Instagram account. 

White Sox Topple A's

In a game heard on WHOW, Jose Abreu and Eloy Jimenez homered, Dylan Cease threw six strong innings and the Chicago White Sox beat the Oakland Athletics 4-1 on Sunday.

 

Abreu and Leury Garcia had two hits apiece for the White Sox, who have won 10 of 15 and returned to above .500. Chicago, the preseason favorite to win the AL Central, trailed first-place Minnesota by three games entering the day.

 

Liam Hendriks pitched around Ramon Laureano's double in the ninth for his 20th save in 23 opportunities.

 

Cease (11-4) allowed a run and four hits, striking out seven and walking one. The right-hander has won four straight starts and allowed no more than one earned run in each of his last 12 outings.

 

Laureano homered for the A's, who have the second-worst record in the majors but are 7-4 since the All-Star break.

 

Jimenez hit his fifth homer off Adam Oller (1-4) in the seventh. Oller allowed four runs, seven hits and no walks, setting career highs for innings (6 1/3) and strikeouts (six).

 

Chicago scored three in the second inning to take the lead. Abreu led off with his 12th homer before Josh Harrison doubled and scored on Garcia's single. Seby Zavala followed with a double for a 3-1 lead.

 

Laureano homered on the first pitch in the second inning, ending Cease's career-high 22-inning scoreless streak. Seth Brown and Stephen Piscotty just missed connecting, hitting foul balls down the right-field line. A review confirmed a long Piscotty fly ball was foul. Brown had hit three homers in his last two games.

 

Laureano's 11th homer gave Oakland 36 homers in July, ahead of just 15 in May and 21 in June.

 

Michael Kopech (4-6, 3.16) is slated to pitch Monday to open a home series against Kansas City, which will start RHP Brad Keller (5-11, 4.18).

Cardinals Blank Nationals

Paul DeJong homered for the second straight day after ending a minor league demotion, Andre Pallante pitched into the ninth inning and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Washington Nationals 5-0 Sunday.

 

Corey Dickerson also homered for the Cardinals, who broke the game open in the fourth inning against starter Josiah Gray (7-7).

 

Washington star Juan Soto was 0 for 3 with a walk. Soto is one of several Nationals who could be dealt before Tuesday's trade deadline. Washington has the worst record in the majors at 35-68 and went 6-19 in July.

 

An All-Star in 2019, DeJong was demoted to Triple-A Memphis in May after hitting .130 with one home run in 24 games. He seemed to rediscover his power stroke with the Redbirds, slugging 17 homers in 51 games, including one in each of his final three games.

 

DeJong homered in his return Saturday, then connected again in the sixth inning Sunday against Jordan Weems.

 

Pallante (4-4) allowed five hits in eight-plus innings and earned his first road victory for St. Louis, which ends July a game behind Philadelphia for the NL's third wild card. The Cardinals went 4-4 on their three-city, eight-game trip coming out of the All-Star break.

 

Pallante struck out a career-high eight and walked one. The Nationals didn't get a runner to third base until chasing Pallante with a single and a double to begin the ninth. Ryan Helsley then retired the next three hitters to end it.

 

Gray issued two four-pitch walks with one out in the fourth inning before retiring DeJong. Dickerson then poked a curveball down the right-field line for his fourth homer of the season.

 

Gray allowed four runs on five hits in five innings while striking out six.

 

Dickerson doubled, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on Dylan Carlson's groundout in the third to account for the Cardinals' first run.

 

Adam Wainwright (7-8, 3.28 ERA) starts the opener of a three-game series at home Tuesday against the Chicago Cubs.

Giants Blank Cubs

Carlos Rodon struck out 10 over seven dominant innings amid speculation he could be traded, and the San Francisco Giants beat the Chicago Cubs 4-0 Sunday night.

 

Rodon (9-6) got help from his defense early. Left fielder Luis Gonzalez reached over the outfield wall to snare Christopher Morel's leadoff drive.

 

The Giants won three of four from the Cubs after bring swept by the Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks following the All-Star break. The subject of widespread rumors that he could be headed elsewhere by Tuesday's trade deadline, Rodon admitted that the Giants are hoping to stay together to make another postseason run.

 

Cubs first baseman P.J. Higgins slammed his right hip into the railing of an oddly-shaped photo well in foul territory chasing a foul ball in the seventh inning. He was shaken up and consulted with a team trainer before remaining in the game. He made a diving stop on Slater's grounder an inning later.

 

Following Monday's scheduled off-day, the Cubs will play a three-game series at St. Louis. Chiccago's Keegan Thompson and St. Louis' Adam Wainwright will meet in a matchup of right-handers.

Bears Notes: C Patrick Sidelined; DE Quinn Ready For Practice

Robert Quinn wanted nothing more than to remain with the Chicago Bears after setting a franchise record with 18 1/2 sacks last year.

 

The defensive end has his wish — for now.

 

Quinn joined the rest of the team on the practice field Wednesday for the first time under new coach Matt Eberflus after missing all of the offseason voluntary and mandatory work.

 

Quinn said he doesn’t expect or want to be traded, as the rumors suggested all offseason.

 

Linebacker Roquan Smith, who wants an extension as he enters the fifth and final season of his rookie contract, was placed on the physically unable to perform list Wednesday.

 

Smith was at practice, just not taking part. Eberflus doesn’t want to reveal the injury that landed Smith on the PUP list, assuming there is one. Smith was at all the offseason practices — voluntary and mandatory — and did not have an injury then. The last offseason workout was in mid-June.

 

Eberflus had no problem talking about what he sees ahead for Quinn, even if the 2021 Pro Bowl player did miss all the offseason practices and mandatory minicamp.

 

Quinn had to accept a fine for his absence at minicamp, but said he didn’t mind because he was getting his “body right.”

 

Still, Quinn acknowledged he could easily be traded. The Rams and Dolphins both dealt him in the past.

 

Quinn had only two sacks two years ago in his first season with the Bears, then bounced back by breaking Richard Dent’s franchise record. So he anticipated he would be someone the new coaching staff wanted to keep.

 

Besides, while he was with Dallas, he had played in a similar style defense to the 4-3 scheme the Bears are using. So it made sense he would be comfortable.

 

Center Lucas Patrick is out indefinitely because of a right hand injury, leaving a retooled offensive line without an important piece.

 

Eberflus confirmed Friday that Patrick injured his right hand and said there is no timetable for his return.

Offensive tackle Teven Jenkins missed his second straight practice and defensive back Thomas Graham Jr. sat out Friday’s practice.

 

Eberflus declined to say if they were injured or sick. He said Jenkins — who had back surgery last August after former general manager Ryan Pace traded up to draft him in the second round — was “working through something with the trainers,” and so was Graham.

 

Patrick, who turns 29 on Saturday, left Thursday’s practice. The Bears signed him in March to a two-year deal to be their starting center.

 

Patrick made 34 starts and played in 73 games with Green Bay after joining the Packers as an undrafted free agent in 2016. He started 11 games at center, one at left guard and one at right guard last year after spending most of his time at right guard in 2020. New Bears offensive coordinator Luke Getsy was the Packers’ quarterbacks coach the past three seasons.

 

Rookie Doug Kramer has been taking snaps with Patrick hurt. Sam Mustipher has experience at center, though he’s been working out at right guard.

 

Kramer is from suburban Hinsdale and played for former Bears coach Lovie Smith at Illinois before getting drafted by Chicago in the sixth round.

 

The Bears added two veterans to their line this week when they signed guard Michael Schofield and tackle Riley Reiff.

 

Chicago opens the season against San Francisco on Sept. 11. The Bears hired general manager Ryan Poles and Eberflus to replace the fired Pace and Matt Nagy after going 6-11 and missing the playoffs for the ninth time in 11 years.

 

DL Sam Kamara was added to the PUP list with Smith. S Dane Cruikshank, DB Michael Joseph and WR Tajae Sharpe went on the non-football injury list. 

 

The Bears experimented with rookie CB Kyler Gordon playing some downs at nickel cornerback along with Tavon Young.

Tyler Reddick Collects Second Road Course Win of '22

Tyler Reddick this month already grabbed his first Cup career victory, qualified for NASCAR’s playoffs and signed a big contract with a new team.

 

Now he’s got a victory at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

 

Reddick closed the best month of his career with an overtime win Sunday on the road course at Indy to give him two victories in the last five Cup races.

 

Reddick broke through for his first career victory on July 3 at Road America in Wisconsin, then announced nine days later he was leaving Richard Childress Racing in 2024 to drive for 23XI, the team owned by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan.

 

Win No. 2 seemed to be easily within reach as Reddick was comfortably out front for 15 late laps when debris from Christopher Bell’s car brought out the fourth caution of the race with only six to go.

 

It set up a restart with three laps remaining and Reddick lined up alongside road course ace Chase Elliott, who briefly got past Reddick for the lead until he was spun for another caution that sent the race into overtime.

 

Reddick on the next restart had to hold off defending race winner AJ Allmendinger, who also won Saturday in the Xfinity Series. But Allmendinger was physically exhausted and struggling because his cooling device had not worked the entire race, and he hardly challenged Reddick at all.

 

Allmendinger collapsed when he climbed from his car. His wife and team personnel were seen draping his head in wet towels and dumping water over him before Allmendinger was taken to the care center.

 

So it was Ross Chastain who made Reddick claw his way to the Yard of Bricks.

 

Chastain missed the first turn completely and used the access road to return to the racing course ahead of Reddick and the apparent new leader. Reddick chased him for an entire lap around the 2.439-mile course and finally reclaimed the lead in time to lead the entire final lap.

 

NASCAR after the race penalized Chastain for using the access road, which dropped him to 27th.

 

Reddick’s win made him the first RCR driver since Kevin Harvick in 2013 to win multiple races in a season, and multiple victories for RCR in a season for the first time since 2017.

 

It was RCR’s fourth win at Indianapolis as Reddick joined Dale Earnhardt, Kevin Harvick and Paul Menard as Indy winners for Richard Childress. The previous three wins were on the Brickyard’s oval.

 

Austin Cindric, who drives for track owner Roger Penske, finished second in a Ford and was followed by fellow rookie Harrison Burton, who was a career-best third for Wood Brothers Racing. The No. 21 Ford that Burton drives is an offshoot of Team Penske.

 

Todd Gilliland was next in fourth for his career-best finish, and the rookie led his first career Cup laps when he was out front for four laps in the final stage.

 

Bubba Wallace in a Toyota for 23XI was fifth and followed by Joey Logano of Penske and finally Allmendinger, who dropped to seventh on the overtime restart. Michael McDowell was eighth and followed by Cole Custer of Stewart-Haas Racing and Chris Buescher of RFK Racing as Ford drivers took seven of the top-10 spots in a race won by a Chevy.

 

Chevrolet has now won 10 straight Cup races on road courses win since the manufacturer’s 2021 milestone 800th win at Circuit of The Americas.

 

Kyle Larson had a lousy 30th birthday with a long Sunday at Indianapolis that ended with a frightening crash in which the brakes on his Chevrolet appeared to fail.

 

The reigning NASCAR champion was already five laps down because of an early flat tire. His day ended early when Larson seemed to have no ability to slow his car as he sailed into a turn and directly into the side of Ty Dillon’s car at full speed.

 

The hit destroyed Dillon’s car. Once Larson was out of his own car, he jogged over to Dillon to check on him.

 

NASCAR races Sunday at Michigan International Speedway, the opener for the final four-week stretch to finalize the playoff field. Ryan Blaney is the defending race winner.

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