The Illinois Valley Central baseball team snuck by Rock Island Alleman March 27 at home, 5-4, thanks to some big cracks of the bat.
“It was a good ballgame,” coach Jerry Rashid said. “They did a good job of coming out and jumping out to a lead.”
Ryan Wargo grabbed his second win of the season by tossing four strikeouts.
“We had a good pitching effort from Ryan,” Rashid said.
Kyle Kentzel went three-for-four at the plate, as did Mitch Meyers.
Both had one RBI.
Meyers, Sam Reuter and Wargo each crushed a homerun.
The team took down Dunlap March 28 on the road, 9-5.
“That’s always a great rivalry game and it wasn’t any different this time,” Rashid said. “It’s always a big game when we play them.
“We were tied at one going into the third inning and then, in that inning, we got four runs and never lost the lead from there.”
Meyers led the charge on offense with three hits and four RBIs.
Alec Janes batted in two runs for the Ghosts and Jordan Johnson had one RBI.
Reuter, who started for IVC, dominated on the mound to earn the win behind two strikeouts.
“That was a good win for us,” Rashid said. “We didn’t play well defensively but we picked the defense up with our offense.”
The Ghosts shut down Pontiac on the road Thursday, 9-2.
IVC jumped out to a big league, 6-0, in the first inning and added three runs in the second for all the offense the Ghosts would need.
“In that game, they had a sophomore pitcher and we jumped on him early,” Rashid said. “Our bats were on fire that day.”
Jordan Johnson crushed four hits during his four at-bats, as well as having a double and four RBIs.
Reuter had three RBIs for the game.
The Ghosts played two games Saturday at the Washington Showcase.
The team started the day by beating Kaneland, 1-0.
“That was a team that won the State championship in 3A last season,” Rashid said. “They graduated a lot of players but they are still really good.
“The team knows they played in a really tough game and there was a lot of pressure on the defense. It was a really exciting game.”
Caleb Magee pitched a gem with five strikeouts and no walks.
Keegan Gauwitz batted in the Ghosts’ run.
The team lost the second game to the host school, 7-1.
“Washington has a really good team and are favored in the Mid-Illini,” Rashid said. “We had the bases loaded in the fourth inning with no outs and we hit into a double play that killed our rally.
Page 2 of 2 - “It’s tough to come back on a team that good. We couldn’t get it done against them but we did some good things.”
Wargo started the game and threw five strikeouts.
Pollack batted two-for-three and Johnson batted in the game’s only run.
“We are 7-1, and I honestly probably wouldn’t have guessed that,” Rashid said. “With a not very experienced team, you expect to have good and bad stretches.
“Baseball is a long season. You have to ride out the wave and grind it out through the season. We can’t get too up or too down on ourselves. I’m happy with the results so far.”
The team next plays at 4:30 p.m. Thursday at St. Bede.
IVC then plays at 6:45 p.m. Friday at Morton.
The Ghosts will finish the tough week with a doubleheader at 11 a.m. Saturday at Putnam County.
“We have to get better defensively,” Rashid said. “You have to not make errors and make good defensive plays. We also need to keep hitting. We have good competition in the next two weeks so we’ll need to play our best.”