The Illinois Valley Central baseball team ran into trouble April 16 with a 5-3 loss to Pontiac on the road but still won four games for the week.

The Illinois Valley Central baseball team ran into trouble April 16 with a 5-3 loss to Pontiac on the road but still won four games for the week.

“We started the game with a 2-0 lead and were up 3-1 going into the bottom of the fourth and we just fell apart,” coach Jerry Rashid said. “We didn’t finish like we wanted to. You have to make plays, and we just didn’t in that game.”

Tyler Myers took the mound for the Ghosts’ and struck out eight batters.

Ryan Wargo pitched in relief and racked up one strikeout.

Mitch Meyers was the Ghost top hitter with two hits.

“We have played some very tough teams and still have tough teams left on our schedule,” Rashid said. “We still have some very good teams to play and will need to play our best to have success.
“With the level of competition we have played, nothing is going to surprise us when we get to the tournament.”

The team then destroyed North Central Illinois Conference rival Princeton, 10-5, April 17 at home.

“We were in complete control the entire game, and then they scored five-runs in the sixth to go up 5-2 and we had to fight back,” Rashid said. “We fired back quickly and scored eight in the bottom of the sixth. That was a great comeback for us.”

Sam Reuter grabbed his fourth win of the season behind 12 strikeouts.

“We had a great performance from Sam,” Rashid said. “He was in control of the game all the way until the sixth.”

Myers smacked a double and drove in two runs for the game.

In the first night game April 18, the Ghosts lost to Canton, 5-2.

“That was another up and down game for us,” Rashid said. “Offensively, we struggled a little bit and couldn’t get hits when we needed to.”

Alec Janes was the Ghost starter and struck out six batters.

Both Meyers and Reuter cracked doubles during the game, with Reuter having the only Ghost RBI.

“We are trying to get better as a team,” Rashid said. “Canton is a good team and will be a force in the tournament.”

The Ghosts headed to Princeton Thursday and came home with a 7-1 victory.

Caleb Magee pitched for IVC and struck out eight batters for his fifth win.

“We jumped on them early,” Rashid said. “The key to that game was Magee’s pitching performance. He had a perfect game going into the sixth inning.”

Kentzel was two-for-four from the plate for IVC and both Tommy Jenkins and Alan Parr had three hits.

“We played pretty well in that game,” Rashid said. “We were a lot more confident and came ready to play.”

The Ghosts played a doubleheader Saturday and won the first game, 6-4 over Prophetstown.

Keegan Gauwitz batted two-for-three and Ben Rashid went two-for-two.

Jordan Johnson had a clutch day for the Ghosts with three RBIs.

Reuter earned the win on the mound with five strikeouts.

The team then beat Dee-Mack, 3-2.

“They are a very good 1A team and have a shot to get to the State tournament with the pitching talent that they have,” Rashid said. “I was very happy with that game.”
Magee had two hits and two RBIs.
“I like the fact that we have come back in the end and have won games near the end,” Rashid said. “We have been in some close games and won them. Our ability to come through in tough games is our biggest improvement so far.”

The team next plays at 4:30 p.m. Friday at Roanoke-Benson.

“We still need to get better defensively and offensively,” Rashid said. “We have to be able to get bunts and be able to move runners better.”