Eagles swept by Potters

Bryan Veginski
Derrick Smith slides back to first on April 6 against Morton. Smith finished 1-for-3 with a single as the Potters won, 4-2.

The Dunlap baseball team could not avoid the sweep when it faced Morton April 6.

The Eagles’ seventh-inning rally was not enough to prevent a second Mid-Illini Conference loss to the Potters.

Morton held for a 4-2 home win, but not before Dunlap made the Potter faithful nervous.

An error on a groundball that would have ended the game gave the Eagles new life.

Connor Currier and Daniel Clements, who was 2-for-3, followed with back-to-back doubles to nearly the same spot down the left-field line, cutting the guests’ deficit in half.

“I’ll say one thing about these kids — they don’t give up,” first-year Dunlap head coach Rod Hatch said. “They fight to the end.”

Righthander Tyler Weber completed the game with a strikeout to send the Potters to their fourth straight victory.

Pickoffs by Weber in the first and third innings helped him navigate through a tough start, which included throwing six balls in a row to open the game.

“We put the bat on the ball,” said Hatch. “It’s hard to say what would have happened (without the Eagles being picked off).”

Shortstop Blake Abbott helped keep the Eagles trailing only 1-0 after two frames.

He made a diving stop for a 6-4 fielder’s choice for the second out with a baserunner aboard. Abbott then fired an accurate throw from the hole on another grounder to end it.

Morton produced three tallies combined in the third and fourth innings, with two coming with two outs.

Brandon Drum took the loss after working five innings. He walked two and struck out two. One of the four runs charged to him was unearned.

Nick Mangieri finished with a spotless sixth.

Dunlap has a challenging beginning to the league schedule with series to follow against Washington and Metamora.

“Every team in our conference is going to bring their ‘A’ game,” Hatch said.

On Saturday, the Eagles returned to the field to shut out Midwest Central, 9-0.

Grant Murphy went 2-for-4, while six Eagles had a RBI. Mangieri got the win by striking out four and walking just one in three innings of pitching. Clements also pitched three innings, finishing with two strikeouts and a walk.

Dunlap stranded two runners in the seventh inning Monday in a 2-1 road loss at Washington.

Drum gave the Eagles a 1-0 lead in the third with a solo home run to right field.

The Panthers came back in the bottom half of the inning with a pair of two-out RBI singles off Logan Schrader.

Currier also had an extea-base hit for Dunlap (5-6, 0-3).

Dunlap faces Washington at home today, before facing Olympia at home on Saturday and Metamora at home on Monday.