Canton never had a chance. Twice.
The Pekin baseball team scored six runs in the first inning Tuesday and five runs in the first inning Wednesday and went on to beat the Little Giants 11-5 and 8-0 in a pair of Mid-Illini Conference games.
The victories increased the Dragons’ winning streak to three games. Pekin (6-4, 3-3) has been on a roller-coaster ride this season, opening with three wins then losing four straight before again winning three in a row.
“It’s nice to get back on track,” said Pekin coach Larry Davis.
The first Pekin-Canton game was played Tuesday at Pekin’s Harry Anderson Field after it was postponed Monday following Sunday’s snowstorm.
The Dragons quickly buried the Little Giants in the bottom of the first inning with a flurry of runs.
Nathan Righi had a two-run homer, Cole Russell had a two-run single, Ethan Sullivan had an RBI double and Zach Peak walked with the bases loaded in the first for Pekin, which benefitted from five walks.
The Dragons led 10-3 after three innings.
Bailey Antonio picked up the victory with four innings of work on the mound in relief of starter Evan Pogioli, allowing two runs.
Russell and Pogioli each had two hits for the Dragons, who had 10 hits. Pogioli, Sullivan, Antonio, Jack Kuethe and Blake Thompson each had a double for Pekin.
Righi shut down host Canton on Wednesday, allowing just one hit — a fourth-inning single — and striking out nine in 6 2/3 innings of proficient pitching.
Only the pitch-count rule stopped Righi. He had to come out of the game in the bottom of the seventh after throwing 91 pitches (two over the limit). Max Jones got the final out.
Jones and Kuethe were the hitting stars for the Dragons.
Jones had three hits. Kuethe had a two-run single in the first and another two-run single in the sixth for a four RBI day.
Brady Grashoff had two hits including an RBI single for Pekin.
“It’s nice to see Jack (Kuethe) and Brady (Grashoff) hitting,” Davis said. “They’ve been struggling at the plate.”
Steve Stein can be reached at (248) 224-2616 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @SpartanSteve.