With their sights set high, the Illinois Valley Central baseball team jumped out to a promising start to the season when they dominated East Peoria and Eureka in the opening week.


With their sights set high, the Illinois Valley Central baseball team jumped out to a promising start to the season when they dominated East Peoria and Eureka in the opening week.

“We have a lot of work to do, but knowing that we’ve started the season on the right foot helps to get the jitters out of the way,” coach Jerry Rashid said.

The Ghosts opened the season at East Peoria Wednesday when the beat the Raiders, 15-0.

Senior Drasen Johnson took the mound for IVC and struck out two on his way to his first win, and senior Cody Kentzel pitched in relief.

“Both pitchers did an excellent job and neither gave up a walk,” Rashid said.

Senior Nick Brenner led the charge for the Ghosts offensively when he went three-for-three from the plate.

Seniors Keegan Horack, Derek Sprout, Johnson, Brenner and junior Dan Semtner each had two RBIs for the game.

Semtner and Brenner led the team’s power hitting when each knocked in a double.

The Ghosts then played a doubleheader at Eureka Saturday.

Kentzel started the game for the Ghosts and racked up his first win with five strikeouts.

The Ghosts put up their first run in the second inning when junior Alex Bradley popped a sacrifice fly to score junior Brock Adcock, who reached on a single. Junior Matt Welch put two runs on the board for the Ghosts in the fifth when he blasted a homerun that also scored Horack.

IVC won, 9-3.

In the second game, junior Alex Koch took the mound and struck out nine on the way to the Ghosts’ third win, 7-0.

“The key for our pitchers is to throw strikes, because our infield is ready for the ball when it’s put into play,” Rashid said.

Junior Trever Black was the Grey Ghosts MVP for the second game when he went three-for-four from the plate with two RBIs, and a double and a triple. Senior Thomas Foley got in on the action when he smacked a double in the seventh inning that scored Black.

“We have a motto to never get too up or too down during the season because it’s like a long train ride,” Rashid said.

The Ghosts (3-0) next play at noon Saturday at Jacksonville against Meadville.