Local Sports

Monticello wins 32-27

As heard on WEZC, The Sages defeated BCC 32-27.


COVID Forces Cancellation of Clinton Football Game at Central A&M

COVID protocols within the Clinton High School football program have caused Saturday afternoon's game at Central A&M to be canceled.


Athletic Director Matt Koeppel told Regional Radio News after they conducted contact tracing, they did not feel they had an appropriate number of varsity players to move forward in playing their game Saturday.



Koeppel says there is some frustration in how COVID protocols around sports change but credits the district for having kids in school and doing the things they need to do to have kids in school.



While Saturday's game is canceled, Koeppel notes the remaining kids not in quarantine due to contact tracing will continue to practice. He hopes to be able to play next Friday night against Decatur St. Teresa.



Clinton is searching for a week 9 matchup as well after Sullivan announced last week it would be canceling the remainder of its varsity season due to participation. Koeppel expressed his appreciation to the Central A&M administration for their understanding during this time. 


Monticello Outlasts Bloomington Central Catholic in Thriller

Tristan Foran wrestled away an interception from his defender in the end zone for a go-ahead score as Monticello outlasted Bloomington Central Catholic in a 32-27 thriller Friday night from Monticello High School in Illini Prairie Conference football action.


From the 8-yard line, Joey Sprinkle’s pass sailed high, Foran wrestled the pass away from his defender. Initially ruled an incomplete pass, the officials overturned the call after about a minute of deliberation.


The touchdown was set up by a 47-yard reception by Tylor Bundy on a 3rd and 25 after Monticello had a first down called back because of a questionable block in the back. With pressure in his face, Sprinkle lofted a floater up the junior had to sky for to snag out of the air and tumbled another 10-yards for a momentum-changing first down. 


The Sages got down quickly 10-0 after BCC used an 8-plus minute drive to strike first on the opening possession of the game.


After an early field goal in the second quarter, the Sages answered with 12 straight points on a Sprinkle one-yard touchdown pass to Foran and then Sprinkle ran another score in from 4-yards out. 


The Sages held a 19-18 advantage at the break. 


Out of the half, Monticello went three-and-out but on the Saints' first possession, a deep pass over the middle was tipped and picked by Peyton Scott, setting up an 18-yard touchdown pass to Blake McDuffie on a screen pass. 


The Sages withstood a fourth-quarter safety after a punt by Sprinkle was blocked and stayed poised when the Saints took a late 27-26 lead. 


Sprinkle finished with 163 yards through the air and four touchdowns and 81 yards on the ground with a touchdown.


Foran finished with eight catches for 91 yards and two touchdowns. Jacob Tackett finished with 81 total yards and a touchdown. 


Monticello improves to 4-0 overall and will travel to Pontiac next Friday night.


BCC is 3-1. 


Hear next week’s action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.



Week 4 HS Football Scores

Illini Prairie:

Illinois Valley 0, St. Joseph-Ogden 48, F

Pontiac 8, Paxton-Buckley-Loda 48, F

Rantoul 14, Prairie Central 48, F

Olympia 14, Tolono Unity 42, F


8-Man Football:

Galva 0, Champaign St. Thomas More 70, F



Lincoln 22, Mahomet-Seymour 53, F

Mattoon 20, Effingham 14, F

Taylorville 14, Mt. Zion 55, F


Big Twelve:

Bloomington 10, Normal West 14, F

Peoria Manual 0, Peoria 1, forfeit

Urbana 0, Champaign Central 1, forfeit


Heart of Illinois:

Tri-Valley 35, Tremont 0, F

Eureka 41, Fieldcrest 0, F

Fisher 0, Ridgeview 42, F

LeRoy 7, GCMS 14, F


Lincoln Prairie:

Arcola 20, Toledo-Cumberland 14, F

Argenta-Oreana 0, Villa Grove 1, forfeit

Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond 41, Oakland Tri-County 14, F

Cerro Gordo Bement 48, Sangamon Valley 0, F



Maroa-Forsyth 70, Pittsfield 0, F



Champaign Centennial 0, Kankakee 40, F


Monticello Prepares for Tough Matchup With Bloomington Central Catholic

It'll be a matchup of undefeated Illini Prairie Conference teams tonight in Monticello when the Sages host Bloomington Central Catholic.


Coach Cully Welter says the Saints are among a host of teams that are very strong and competitive in the Illini Prairie Conference this season. Monticello beat the run-first Olympia Spartans 46-22 last week but this week face a BCC team that will mix up their offensive looks.



Several aspects of last year's team were surprising, perhaps one of the most obvious was the play of an undersized defense. Coach Welter says while this year's unit isn't last year's, he feels the kids that are stepping into new roles are taking what they learned last year and adding it to the experience they are getting.



BCC rallied to beat Paxton-Buckley-Loda 13-12 on the final play of the game last week. Coach Welter was complimentary of the Saints and how hard they play. He feels this will be a good challenge for his team.


Game time tonight from Monticello is 7 pm. Hear all the action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com. 


Illini Prairie Action Tonight


Illinois Valley Central at St. Joseph-Ogden

Pontiac at Paxton-Buckley-Loda

Rantoul at Prairie Central

Olympia at Tolono Unity


8-Man Football


Galva at Champaign St. Thomas More (Sat.)




Lincoln at Mahomet-Seymour

Mattoon at Effingham 

Taylorville at Mt. Zion


Big Twelve


Bloomington at Normal West

Danville at Peoria Richwoods

Normal Community at Peoria Notre Dame (Sat.)

Peoria Manual at Peoria

Urbana at Champaign Central


Heart of Illinois 


Tri-Valley at Tremont

El Paso-Gridley at Dee-Mack

Eureka at Fieldcrest

Fisher vs. Ridgeview

LeRoy at G.CM.S


Lincoln Prairie


Arcola at Toledo-Cumberland

Argenta-Oreana at Villa Grove

Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond at Oakland Tri-County 

Cerro Gordo-Bement at Sangamon Valley




Canton at East Peoria

Metamora at Limestone

Pekin at Morton

Washington at Dunlap



Maroa-Forsyth at Pittsfield


Non-Conference action tonight:


Champaign Centennial at Kankakee 

Decatur LSA at Polo (Sat.)

Fithian-Oakwood at Dwight

Milford vs. Flanagan.-Cornell-Woodland 

Milledgeville at Blue Ridge

Ottawa Marquette at Heyworth


Illinois Hosts Maryland Tonight

After a season-opening win against Big Ten foe Nebraska, Illinois has lost two straight at the hands of UTSA and Virginia and is looking for a something to help right the ship.


Next up on Friday night is a tough, balanced Maryland team that has won its first two games.


Illinois (1-2, 1-0 Big Ten) has looked bad on offense, defense and special teams in its last two games, losses to UTSA (37-30) and Virginia (42-14).


Maryland opens conference play on the road after defeating Howard 62-0 and West Virginia 30-24. The Terrapins are getting votes in the AP Top 25.


Maryland quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa is the younger brother of Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, but he’s looking to make his own way on the field.


Tagovailoa has thrown for 606 yards and six touchdowns in two games, many to his favorite receiving tandem of Dontay Demus Jr. and Rakim Jarrett. The two wideouts are tied for the team lead with 12 receptions apiece, with Demus topping all pass catchers with 261 receiving yards.


Tagovailoa completed 22 of 27 for 274 yards with three touchdowns against Howard and sat out most of the second half.


Illinois State, Eastern Illinois Renew In-State Rivalry

Eastern Illinois hosts Illinois State for the 109th Mid-America Classic for the Panthers 2021 home opener.   The rivalry game dates back to 1901 and is the longest FCS rivalry game in the state of Illinois.  The rivalry ranks as the 15th longest among FCS schools and is the eighth longest among non-Ivy League members.  


Punter Logen Neidhardt was named the Ohio Valley Conference Special Teams Player of the Week following his efforts at Dayton.  Neidhardt averaged 52 yards per punt against the Flyers with six total punts.  He had a long punt of 72 yards with one punt pinned inside the 20 and three others going for touchbacks.  On the season Neidhardt, a graduate transfer from Ohio Dominican, ranks 23rd in the FCS in punting at 45.9 yards per punt.  He has five punts over 50 yards and six of sixteen punts have been downed inside the 20-yard line.


Jordan Vincent finished with his second big tackle game on Saturday at Dayton as the second year safety had 12 tackles.   Ten of his twelve tackles were solo stops as Vincent currently ranks 37th in the FCS in solo tackles with 17.   Vincent currently leads the Panthers with 24 tackles and his 8 tackles per game ranks third in the OVC.


Eastern Illinois opens the home season this Saturday after playing three straight on the road to open a season for the first time since 1993.


Eastern Illinois limited Dayton to just 134 yards passing on Saturday as the Panthers have held all three opponents this season to under 175 yards passing.  On the season EIU ranks 10th in the FCS in pass defense allowing 135.3 yards per contest including a low of 87 by Indiana State in the Week Zero contest.  

Redbirds senior punter JT Bohlken was one of the Redbirds' biggest weapons at Western Michigan, as he consistently flipped the field and kept the Broncos at bay with his right leg. Bohlken averaged nearly 50 yards per punt (49.8) and had six punts over 50 yards. 


The Redbird defense had to come up with big plays at Western Michigan, and two of the biggest of the night came on big hits that caused turnovers by the Broncos. 


Phillies Blast Cubs

Bryce Harper doubled to start a seven-run, game-tying rally in the fourth inning, doubled in the go-ahead run in the sixth and sealed the Philadelphia Phillies' 17-8 win over the Chicago Cubs on Thursday night with a three-run homer in the seventh.


The Phillies are three games behind first-place Atlanta - rained out Thursday - in the NL East with 16 games left this season, and 2 1/2 games behind St. Louis for the second wild card. San Diego and Cincinnati also lead Philadelphia in the wild-card chase.


Harper doubled and scored in the fourth, extending his hitting streak to 12 games. He's batting .436 (17 for 39) with four doubles, seven homers, 14 RBIs and 11 walks over that stretch. He has a hit in 21 of his last 22 games and is batting .314 with a 1.055 OPS and 77 RBIs this season.


Patrick Wisdom had a two-run double and Matt Duffy hit a three-run homer off JD Hammer in the third for a 7-0 lead. The Cubs had five hits, walked three times, Ian Happ was hit by a pitch, and they sent 12 batters to the plate in the inning.


Willson Contreras hit a solo homer to center off Hector Neris in the seventh and it was 10-8.


The Cubs did not name a starter for the first of a three-game set at Milwaukee. RHP Adrian Houser (9-6, 3.25 ERA) takes the mound for the Brewers.


Angels Roll White Sox

Alex Cobb pitched five scoreless innings, Luis Rengifo and Jose Rojas hit home runs, and the Los Angeles Angels coasted to a 9-3 win over the Chicago White Sox on Thursday.


Cobb was activated from the 10-day injured list after suffering right wrist inflammation and allowed two hits in his first start since July 23.


The Angels (72-74) won their second consecutive game. The White Sox (83-63) lost for the fifth time in eight games. The AL Central-leading White Sox have dropped six consecutive series against the Angels dating to 2016, and they're 4-15 in their last 19 games against them.


Cobb (8-3) allowed only two baserunners to advance as far as second base, and he induced inning-ending double plays in the second and fourth innings.


Chicago starter Reynaldo Lopez (3-3) allowed a season-high seven runs in his seventh start of the season. Lopez had allowed two home runs in his previous 30 innings prior to surrendering homers to Rengifo and Rojas.


The White Sox committed three errors, including two during a five-run fourth capped by Rojas' two-run homer. Shortstop Tim Anderson bobbled a grounder but was assessed an error even after second baseman Cesar Hernandez was late in covering second base for a potential force play.


That led to a three-run double by Jack Mayfield.


Jose Abreu drove in two runs, increasing his season total to 109.


White Sox catcher Yasmani Grandal, who has a personal-best streak of reaching base safely in 30 consecutive games, received a rest.


Dylan Cease (11-7, 4.22) will take the mound Friday night when Chicago opens a three-game series at Texas. Cease allowed seven runs in 2 2/3 innings in the Sox's 9-8 loss to Boston on Sept. 11. Hear tonight's action on WHOW. 


Chandler Smith Punches Ticket to Round 2 of Truck Series Playoffs; Cup Series at Bristol Saturday Night

Chandler Smith bumped past Sheldon Creed on a late restart Thursday night at Bristol Motor Speedway and held on for his first NASCAR Trucks Series victory and a spot in the second round of the playoffs.


The 19-year-old Georgia driver challenged Creed on the inside off a restart with five laps left, with the No. 18 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota making contact with Creed that left the defending series champion with a cut left rear tire.


Smith advanced to the second round of eight drivers, with Todd Gilliland and Austin Hill eliminated. Creed and John Hunter Nemechek had already qualified for the next round. Matt Crafton, Stewart Friesen, Carson Hocevar, Ben Rhodes and Zane Smith also advanced.


Grant Enfinger was second, followed by Nemechek, Friesen and Johnny Sauter.


Creed was looking to become the first series driver to sweep a playoff round. He opened the 10-driver playoffs with a victory Aug. 20 at Gateway and won his second in a row at Darlington on Sept. 5.




The NASCAR Cup Series takes to Bristol, Tennessee for the Bass Pro Shops Night Race. 


The 500 lap, 266.5 mile race will be the second of the season after Bristol hosted the Cups first dirt race in March. 


Kevin Harvick won after starting fourth. Last week at Richmond, Martin Truex Jr. led a 1-2-3 Joe Gibbs Racing finish with Denny Hamlin second and Christopher Bell third.


Regular-season champion Kyle Larson was sixth at Richmond and his points lead was cut to 34 over Hamlin and 38 over Truex. All three have qualified for the next round of the playoffs. 


Three Team Penske drivers — Joey Logano, finished fifth; Ryan Blaney, sixth; and Brad Keselowski, ninth — were all running in the top five together at one point at Richmond. 


Defending series champion Chase Elliott is seventh in points, 79 behind. ... Kevin Harvick is sixth, 73 back.


Cardinals Pound Mets

Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado each hit one of St. Louis' four homers, and the Cardinals flashed some fantastic outfield defense in beating the New York Mets 11-4 on Wednesday for their fifth straight victory.


Harrison Bader homered, drove in three runs and made a timely grab at the center-field fence in his New York homecoming to help Jon Lester improve to 9-1 against the Mets. Edmundo Sosa also went deep and Goldschmidt had three hits for the Cardinals, who totaled 25 runs in a three-game sweep.


St. Louis, which jumped into playoff position Tuesday night for the first time since May 30, has won seven of eight to move a game ahead of San Diego for the second NL wild card heading into a pivotal series against the Padres this weekend.


Pete Alonso and Kevin Pillar homered for the fading Mets, who appear finished in the pennant race with 15 games to go. They went 1 for 14 with runners in scoring position and dropped five games behind St. Louis, with three teams in between.


Tyler O'Neill laced a two-run double in a five-run first inning against rookie Tylor Megill (3-5), who was coming off an outstanding start against the Yankees.


Running on an 0-2 pitch, Sosa scored all the way from first base when Bader blooped a two-run single to center.


New York had a couple of chances to get back in it, but Bader and substitute right fielder Lars Nootbaar came through with clutch catches.


The speedy Bader sprinted to the wall near the 408-foot sign and left his feet to snag Javier Baez's long drive with two on to end the fifth.


Nootbaar, moments after entering on defense in a double switch, got pumped up when he robbed Alonso of a three-run homer to keep it 8-4 in the seventh.


Lester (6-6) allowed three runs - two earned - and six hits in six innings. The 37-year-old lefty struck out seven and walked none, boosting his record to 3-1 in nine outings for St. Louis since his July 30 trade from Washington.


The Cardinals are off on Thursday before opening a three-game home set Friday night versus San Diego. Miles Mikolas (0-2, 5.47 ERA) starts against his former team, seeking his first major league victory in two years. St. Louis also will celebrate the 10th anniversary of its 2011 World Series championship this weekend.


Angels Hold Off White Sox

As heard on WHOW, Brandon Marsh hit a tiebreaking solo homer off Michael Kopech in the eighth inning, and Los Angeles beat the Chicago White Sox 3-2 on Wednesday night.


Mike Mayers (5-5) struck out the side in the seventh for the win. Steve Cishek worked out of a jam in the eighth before Raisel Iglesias finished for his 32nd save.


The White Sox put runners on the corners with one out in the ninth, but Brian Goodwin struck out swinging and Cesar Hernandez flied out to deep left.


The Angels played without Jo Adell after the young outfielder was placed on the 10-day injured list with a left abdominal strain, likely ending his season. Maddon also said he would be very surprised if star outfielder Mike Trout played again this year.


Trout injured his right calf running the bases May 17 and had a setback last month, but the three-time AL MVP has left open the possibility of returning in 2021.


Yoan Moncada homered for AL Central-leading Chicago, which had won three of four.

The game was tied at 2 after each team pushed across a run in the sixth. Luis Rengifo hit a sacrifice fly against Dallas Keuchel, and Yasmani Grandal responded with an RBI single for the White Sox.


Keuchel issued a season-high five walks in six innings, but he worked his way out of trouble in his best performance in a month. The veteran left-hander went 0-3 with a 12.89 ERA in his previous four starts.


Reynaldo Lopez (3-2, 2.05 ERA) pitches for Chicago in the series finale Thursday afternoon. The right-hander committed a key throwing error in his last start, a 3-1 loss at Oakland last week. Alex Cobb (7-3, 3.82 ERA) comes off the IL to start for Los Angeles. He had been sidelined by right wrist inflammation.


Phillies Down Cubs

Andrew Knapp scored when the ball knocked off Robinson Chirinos' mitt in the ninth inning to bolster Philadelphia's tenuous playoff push with a 6-5 win over the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday night.


The Phillies bullpen blew the lead in the eighth and ninth innings. Chirinos hit a two-run homer off Jose Alvarado that tied it 4-all in the eighth. Matt Duffy hit a solo shot off Ian Kennedy (2-1) in the ninth and tied it at 5.


The Phillies have 32 blown saves this season.


J.T. Realmuto, the All-Star game catcher playing first because of a sore right shoulder, led off the eighth inning with his 15th homer of the season in a topsy-turvy final two innings for a club clinging to playoff aspirations.


Knapp led off the ninth with a single off Trevor Megill (1-2) and advanced to third on a sacrifice and a groundout. Chirinos couldn't get a handle on Megill's knuckle-curve and Knapp scooted home with the winning run.


The Phillies entered 4 1/2 games behind first-place Atlanta in the NL East and remained three games behind St. Louis in the wild-card race. San Diego and Cincinnati are ahead of the Phillies for the second wild card with 17 games left this season.


Jose Alvarado wasted another solid outing by righty Ranger Suarez. He struck out a career-high eight over six innings. He made his 10th start of the season out of 37 appearances and has a 1.50 ERA over 90 innings.


The Phillies have leaned more on Bryce Harper to keep them in the race.


He led off the fourth with a double off Cubs starter Alec Mills and scored when Didi Gregorious hit into a double play. Freddy Galvis added a two-run homer, his 13th, later in the inning for a 3-0 lead.


Suarez gave two back in the fifth when New Jersey native Frank Schwindel - who had a hefty cheering section behind the Cubs dugout - hit a two-run homer that made it 3-2.

Suarez even helped himself when he doubled off Mills in the fifth and scored on Realmuto's single for a 4-2 lead in the fifth.


The Phillies had lost six of seven and eight of 11 overall as part of a late-summer swoon that knocked them out of a short run in first place in the NL East.


The Phillies are expected to throw a bullpen game in the series finale against Cubs RHP Kyle Hendricks (14-6, 4.54 ERA).


NASCAR Notes: Bristol Weekend; Cup Series Coming to St. Louis

>>Bristol Weekend for NASCAR


The Camping World NASCAR Truck Series resumes it's playoff schedule tonight with the UNOH 200 at Bristol Motor Speedway from Bristol, Tennessee.


Defending series champion Sheldon Creed led 104 of the 147 laps and has won three consecutive playoff races dating to last season. He leads John Hunter Nemechek by two points in the standings through one race in the postseason. Three-time champion Matt Crafton is third, 34 points behind. Canadian racer Stewart Friesen is 36 back and Ben Rhodes is 54 behind.


Sam Mayer won last year's race after starting 17th. Creed won at Darlington two weeks for his second straight victory.


The race under lights tonight is a 200 lap race at 106.6 miles. Race time is 8 pm central time. 


The XFinity Series runs Friday night from Bristol at 6:30 pm local time and the Cup Series takes to 'The Last Great Colosseum' Saturday for the Bass Pro Shops Night Race. 


>>NASCAR Releases 2022 Schedule; Cup Series Coming to St. Louis


Homestead-Miami Speedway will return to the playoff portion of the season in 2022, while St. Louis was awarded a Cup Series race and NASCAR will race on Easter Sunday for the first time in more than three decades in schedule changes released Wednesday.


Homestead hosted the season finale from 2002 through 2019 but was bumped to an early-season race date last year as NASCAR began experimenting with long-overdue schedule changes. Phoenix Raceway was awarded the finale in 2020 and is slated to host it for a third consecutive season next year.


Homestead was given a second chance for 2022 with an Oct. 23 race date that makes it the middle race of the third round of the playoffs. The track located 40 miles south of Miami Beach is beloved by drivers but lost its cache after 17 years of hosting the finale.


World Wide Technology Raceway in Illinois across the Mississippi River from St. Louis will make its Cup debut on June 5. The 1.25-mile oval has held NASCAR national series races since 1997 and IndyCar the past six seasons. It is the only new track added to the 2022 Cup schedule.


The Cup Series will be 36 races as always, but Pocono Raceway lost one of its two dates to get the race near St. Louis. Pocono hosted two races a year from 1982 through 2021, but the last two years the events were doubleheaders held on the same weekend.

The 2022 season will officially open Feb. 20 with the Daytona 500, but NASCAR on Tuesday said its exhibition, made-for-television Clash that typically opens Speedweeks in Daytona will instead be held Feb. 6 on a temporary quarter-mile oval inside the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.


It is the first time the Clash has not been held at Daytona International Speedway since its 1979 inception. NASCAR this year ran the race on Daytona’s road course.


NASCAR will race on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course for the second year in a row as part of a shared weekend with the IndyCar Series on July 31. But NASCAR wants the race back on the oval and IMS officials said Wednesday it will consider moving the race — potentially on a rotating basis with the road course — as fans and drivers are attracted to the prestige of the famous speedway.


The Brickyard 400 was held on the 2.5-mile Indy oval for 27 years before it moved to the road course this year.


NASCAR will also return to the dirt at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 17, its first Easter Sunday race since 1989. Bristol this year experimented by covering its 0.533-mile track in dirt as part of radical NASCAR changes to the 2021 schedule.


The Tennessee track announced during its March race that it would be on dirt again next year, but it moves a month later to avoid weather concerns that have plagued the track for years.


3A Top Remains Same, Monticello Stays at No. 3

The Top-5 of the latest Class 3A AP state high school football rankings remained the same as the Monticello Sages football team stays at No. 3 this week.


Wilmington, Princeton, Monticello, Tolono Unity and Williamsville make up the top-5 again this week. Byron, Farmington and Mt. Carmel move up a spot at 6-8 while Montini drops to No. 9 and Durand is new to this week's rankings at No. 10.


Decatur St. Teresa and IC Catholic are 1-2 respectively in 2A. Maroa-Forsyth stays put at No.3. Breese Mater Dei and Rockridge are 4-5, respectively. Tri-Valley drops a spot to No. 6 and Bismark-Henning, Pana, Sterling Newman and Rushville-Industry round out the top-10.


Central A&M dropped out of the top spot in 1A after its week 3 loss. Lena-Winslow takes over No. 1 but the Raiders still received a first-place vote to tie with Brown County for No. 2. Cumberland and Aurora Christian round out the top-5. 


Joliet Catholic takes over the top spot in the 4A poll after Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin lost to Rochest in Week 3. After a week 3 loss, Mt. Zion slips into a tie for tenth in the latest poll with Dixon.


Rochester is the unanimous No. 1 in this week's 5A poll. Peoria stays put at No. 7 this week and Metamora moves up a spot to No. 9.


In 6A, Cary-Grove stays at No. 1. Springfield High comes in at No. 6. while Washington stayed put at No. 8. 


Normal Community cracked the top-10 in 7A, tying with St. Charles North for tenth. Pekin moved up a spot to No. 9. 


Cardinals Outlast Mets

Edmundo Sosa hit the go-ahead single in a three-run 11th inning and the hard-charging Cardinals climbed all the way back into postseason position Tuesday night with a 7-6 victory over the New York Mets.


New York scored twice in the bottom of the 11th and had two runners aboard when Kwang Hyun Kim retired pinch-hitter Albert Almora Jr. on a grounder for his second career save - at last closing out a mentally grueling game that took 4 hours, 34 minutes.


Tyler O'Neill homered and drove in three runs for the streaking Cardinals. They've won four straight and six of seven to vault into the second NL wild-card slot by a half-game over Cincinnati, which lost 6-5 in Pittsburgh.


Demoted closer Alex Reyes (8-8) got Francisco Lindor to ground into an inning-ending double play with runners at the corners in the 10th, firing up the Cardinals. First baseman Paul Goldschmidt stepped on the bag and threw home, trapping Kevin Pillar in a rundown.


Then the Cardinals got three singles in the 11th off rookie Jake Reed (0-1), just activated from the injured list.


Both teams used eight pitchers. O'Neill put St. Louis ahead 4-3 with a two-run homer in the eighth against reliever Jeurys Familia, who was booed off the mound.


Baez tied it with a leadoff drive in the ninth, sending the first pitch from Giovanny Gallegos to left field beyond a leaping O'Neill and over the orange home run line on the blue wall.


It was the first time Baez tied a big-league game with a homer in the ninth inning or later. He came out of the dugout for a curtain call as the Citi Field crowd of 21,825 chanted his name.


Jon Lester (5-6, 4.75 ERA) pitches Wednesday night in the series finale. The 37-year-old lefty has won six straight decisions versus the Mets and is 8-1 with a 3.18 ERA in 11 career regular-season starts against them. He is 2-1 with a 4.30 ERA in eight outings for St. Louis since his July 30 trade from Washington. Last time out, Lester allowed two runs and three hits over seven innings in a no-decision against Cincinnati.


Tylor Megill (3-4, 4.06) struck out 10 over seven innings, both career bests, in a 10-3 win last Friday against the Yankees.


White Sox Overpower Angels

Rookie Gavin Sheets hit a long three-run homer and had four RBIs in his first three-hit game, and the White Sox beat the Los Angeles Angels 9-3 on Tuesday night.


Sheets hit a go-ahead single in the second inning off Packy Naughton (0-2) and made it 6-1 with a three-run homer in the third. He narrowly missed a second home run when he doubled to the right-field wall in the fifth.


Luis Robert had a solo homer and a double as the AL Central-leading White Sox expanded their margin over second-place Cleveland to 12 1/2 games.


Leury Garcia and Cesar Hernandez each had two hits and an RBI for the White Sox (83-61), who reduced their magic number for clinching the division to seven.


Chicago starter Lucas Giolito lasted four innings in his return from a strained left hamstring. He allowed three runs, on homers by Phil Gosselin in the first and Jared Walsh, in the fourth, Giolito walked two and struck out eight, including five in a row swinging.


All-Star shortstop Tim Anderson went 1 for 5 in his return from a strained left hamstring after missing 12 games.


Janson Junk (0-1, 2.45 ERA) faces struggling White Sox LHP Dallas Keuchel (8-9, 5.33 ERA) on Wednesday night. Keuchel is 0-3 with a 12.89 ERA in his last four starts.


NASCAR To Host Exhibition At LA Coliseum

NASCAR will open the 2022 season inside Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in one of the biggest shakeups to its schedule in years.


The annual exhibition Clash, held at Daytona International Speedway since 1979, will shift to Los Angeles next year. The invitation-only race was always the kickoff to competitive NASCAR racing and held the week before the season-opening Daytona 500.


The 2022 race will be held Feb. 6, one week before the Super Bowl and two weeks before the Daytona 500. The race will be inside the stadium on a temporary, quarter-mile, asphalt track. The historic Coliseum is home of the University of Southern California football team and seats 77,500.


The announcement made Tuesday night on Fox Sports precedes the release of the full 2022 schedule.


NASCAR has run inside stadiums before, including regional events at Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem and a Cup race at Soldier Field in Chicago in 1956.

Eligibility for The Clash has not been announced, but the drivers will be using the Next Gen cars that are set to debut in 2022.


NASCAR will return to the Los Angeles area after The Clash for its traditional stop at Auto Club Speedway. NASCAR did not race in Los Angeles in 2021 because of the pandemic.


Cubs Double Up Phils

Patrick Wisdom and Alfonso Rivas hit back-to-back homers for the Chicago Cubs in a 6-3 win over a Philadelphia team running out of time to make a serious run in the NL playoff race.


The Phillies lost again to another team long out of the postseason hunt. The Phillies just dropped three of four at home to Colorado, which is 21-51 on the road.


The Phillies remained 4 1/2 games behind first-place Atlanta in the NL East and 2 1/2 games behind Cincinnati in the wild-card race. San Diego and St. Louis are ahead of the Phillies for the second wild card.


Bryce Harper had an RBI double in the sixth, continuing continued his torrid pace, and scored in the inning to make it 4-3. He entered with an MLB-best 1.032 OPS, which would have made the star outfielder a more serious MVP candidate had the Phillies truly been in a pennant race. Harper may see his chances wane with each September loss.


Wilson Contreras led off the fifth with a single, Wisdom hit his 26th homer of the season and Rivas followed with the first of his big-league career. It was 3-1 in 12 pitches.


Rafael Ortega added an RBI double for a 4-1 lead. He added an RBI double in the seventh to make it 5-3 and scored on Ian Happ's double.


Adrian Sampson (1-2) gave up two runs in five innings.


The Phillies send LHP Ranger Suarez (6-4, 1.38 ERA) to the mound against Chicago RHP Alec Mills (6-6, 4.35).


Clinton Football Coach Offers Word of Caution to Players as Area Games Fall Week By Week

Football teams across Illinois are dealing with the challenges of COVID as the season has now passed the one-third mark heading into week 4.


Clinton High School football Coach Ron Bass recently offered a word of caution to his players and the community as the Maroons get set for a match-up at Central A&M Saturday afternoon.



Friday night, Warrensburg-Latham will be looking for a game, however, it will be one of the few that is not due to COVID. The Sullivan Redskins recently announced they are canceling their varsity schedule due to participation. 


Argenta-Oreana, Maroa-Forsyth, and Rochester among other central Illinois schools have seen games forfeited due to COVID issues. 


Cardinals Blank Mets

Adam Wainwright won his fifth straight start in a rare matchup of 40-year-old pitchers, and the St. Louis Cardinals blanked the New York Mets 7-0 on Monday night.


Paul Goldschmidt homered and had two RBIs for the surging Cardinals, who have won five of six. St. Louis is tied with San Diego at 74-69, a half-game behind Cincinnati for the second NL wild card.


New York is 3 1/2 games behind the Reds, with three teams in between.


The 40-year-old Wainwright, a thorn in the Mets' side since he saved Game 7 of the 2006 NL Championship Series by freezing Carlos Beltran with a curveball to escape a bases-loaded jam, allowed four hits in six innings. He walked three and struck out four as he outpitched Hill.


Wainwright (16-7) had just one 1-2-3 inning but worked out of trouble by stranding seven runners - including the bases loaded in the first, when he struck out Jeff McNeil on three pitches.


Dylan Carlson laced an RBI double in the second and Goldschmidt delivered a run-scoring single in the third before homering leading off the fifth.


The Mets threatened against Alex Reyes in the eighth before he struck out Pete Alonso, Javier Baez and McNeil - the 4-5-6 hitters.


Nolan Arenado, Yadier Molina, Edmundo Sosa and Harrison Bader all had RBI singles in the ninth.


Hill (6-7) allowed three runs and six hits in five innings.


Jake Woodford (2-3, 4.38 ERA) gave up one run in four innings against the Dodgers last Thursday in his return to the rotation.


Marcus Stroman (9-12, 2.87) is slated to make his major league-leading 31st start.


White Sox Edge Red Sox

As heard on WHOW, Leury Garcia hit a game-ending home run with two outs in the ninth inning to lift the Chicago White Sox over the Boston Red Sox 2-1 Sunday.


After Boston reliever Garrett Whitlock (8-4) struck out Eloy Jimenez and Yasmani Grandal to begin the inning, Garcia fell behind 0-2 before hitting a 98 mph fastball over the center-field fence. It was the fifth homer of the season for Garcia, who is filling in at shortstop with starter Tim Anderson on the injured list.


Chicago took a 1-0 lead and a three-hit shutout into the ninth before Craig Kimbrel (4-4) struggled with his control and blew the save.


Kike Hernandez led off with a double to center. After Kyle Schwarber struck out, Kimbrel walked Hunter Renfroe and Rafael Devers to load the bases. Alex Verdugo followed with a tying sacrifice fly to left.


The teams combined for just eight hits, and the game developed into a pitcher's duel despite the fact both starters were making their first appearances since August.


Chicago's Lance Lynn allowed two hits over five scoreless innings in his return from a stint on the 10-day IL with right knee inflammation. The veteran right-hander walked none, struck out nine and lowered his ERA to 2.50 in his first outing since Aug. 28.


Boston's Nick Pivetta allowed one unearned on three hits in 5 1/3 innings after being activated from the COVID-19 IL. Pivetta entered having allowed 12 runs in 10 2/3 innings over his previous three starts.


Pivetta, who started Sunday after Chris Sale went on the COVID-19 list at the start of the series, said he was asymptomatic but struggled to keep prepared during his absence.


The White Sox broke through against Pivetta in the sixth inning with an unearned run. Cesar Hernandez led off and reached on a throwing error by second baseman Kike Hernandez. Cesar Hernandez was sacrificed to second and scored on a single by Luis Robert to make it 1-0.


The White Sox haven't named a starter for Tuesday night in the opener of a three-game series with the Angels. LHP Packy Naughton (0-1, 2.57 ERA) will pitch for Los Angeles.


Bears, Packers Blown Out in Season Openers

Jameis Winston passed for five touchdowns, New Orleans intercepted reigning NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers twice, and the Saints kicked off the post-Drew Brees era with a strikingly dominant 38-3 victory over the Green Bay Packers on Sunday.

Winston, who led the NFL with 30 interceptions in his last season as a starter with Tampa Bay in 2019, was largely judicious and accurate in going an efficient 14 of 20 for 148 yards without an interception. New Orleans also rushed for 171 yards.


Aaron Rodgers finished 15 of 28 for 133 yards and no TDs.


Packers host Detroit in next Monday night.



Matthew Stafford passed for 321 yards and three touchdowns in one of the most prolific quarterback debuts with a new team in NFL history, leading the Rams past Andy Dalton and the Bears for a 34-14 victory on Sunday night.


Stafford found Jefferson for a 67-yard touchdown on his second pass for the Rams, who swung a blockbuster offseason trade to acquire the 13-year veteran from Detroit.

Stafford then hit a wide-open Cooper Kupp for a 56-yard TD to open the third quarter, and he found Robert Woods for a clinching score with 3:17 to play.


The first regular season crowd at SoFi Stadium roared throughout the night for Stafford, who immediately looked comfortable in his new home.


Dalton passed for 206 yards in his Bears debut, and rookie quarterback Justin Fields rushed for a 3-yard score while getting a handful of snaps in his NFL debut. Chicago moved the ball steadily all night, but David Long Jr. intercepted a tipped pass in the end zone on the Bears' opening drive, leaving them playing from behind all night.


David Montgomery rushed for 108 yards and a touchdown for the Bears, who dropped to 1-3 in season openers under coach Matt Nagy.


Montgomery finally scored Chicago's first points 34 seconds before halftime, but Kupp - who finished with seven catches for 108 yards - put the Rams up 20-7 early in the third when Chicago's secondary left him completely unguarded 10 yards behind its safeties.

Chicago kept it close with a 16-play, 81-yard drive capped by Fields' TD run, but Darrell Henderson punched in another TD for the Rams late in the third.


The Bears home opener will be against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.


Cardinals Blank Reds

JA Happ threw 5 1/3 shutout innings in the St. Louis Cardinals' 2-0 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday.


Nolan Arenado homered for the second game in a row and Happ combined with four other hurlers on a five-hit shutout.


St. Louis has won four of six. The Cardinals began the day two games behind Cincinnati and San Diego for the final NL wild-card spot. Cincinnati, which won the first game of the series, has lost five of seven.


Happ lasted just one inning and gave up seven runs on eight hits in a career-worst outing of a 12-2 loss at Cincinnati on Sept. 1.


Arenado hit a two-run homer in the first off Sonny Gray (7-7), who then retired the next 14 hitters. Arenado, who has 31 homers, also homered in the eighth inning of the Cardinals' 6-4 victory Saturday night.


Adam Wainwright (15-7, 2.98) will face New York Mets LHP Rich Hill (6-6, 3.82) on Monday in the first of a three game series in New York. Wainwright is 6-6 with a 4.95 ERA in 13 career starts against the Mets.


Giants Down Cubs

Wilmer Flores homered and drove in three runs, Kris Bryant scored two against his former team, and the San Francisco Giants hung on to beat the Chicago Cubs 6-5 on Sunday for their season-high seventh straight win.


Owners of the best record in the majors, the Giants matched their longest streak since a seven-game run in August 2020.


They were rolling along with a 6-3 lead in the seventh before the Cubs scored two while chasing Logan Webb (10-3). Chicago had the bases loaded with one out when submarining right-hander Tyler Rogers caught Willson Contreras looking at an 84 mph fastball on a 3-2 count. He then struck out Alfonso Rivas swinging at a 3-2 pitch with the crowd on its feet.


The Cubs had the tying run on in the ninth after Jake McGee gave up a one-out double to pinch hitter Patrick Wisdom. But Frank Schwindel and Ian Happ grounded to first to end the game.


Flores hit an RBI single in the second and singled and scored in the fourth as the Giants went up 3-0. He matched a career-high with his 18th homer when he launched a two-run shot to left against Justin Steele (3-3) in the fifth to stretch the lead to 5-2.


Bryant was 4 for 12 with five runs in an emotional first series against Chicago since being traded prior to the July 30 deadline.


Happ hit his eighth homer in 16 games, capping a two-run fourth with a solo shot. But Chicago lost for the fourth time in five games after winning seven in a row.


The Cubs open a three-game series at Philadelphia on Tuesday, with RHP Adrian Sampson (0-2, 2.20) starting for Chicago and RHP Kyle Gibson (10-6, 3.38) pitching for the Phillies.


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