Former Ghosts meet for college game

Justin Miller
Former Illinois Valley Central baseball players met April 5 at O’Brien Field as Illinois took on Bradley. Former IVC players are, from left: Josh Parr, Derek Sprout, Cody Kentzel, Drasen Johnson and Justin Parr.

Bradley University and Illinois University met April 5 at O’Brien field for what felt like a scrimmage between former Illinois Valley Central players.

“I’m really proud of the kids that have gone on to play at the college level,” Illinois Valley Central baseball coach Jerry Rashid said. “It takes a lot of time and practice to be competitive at such a high level. I think everyone in Chillicothe, and especially the baseball program, can stick their chest out a little further after seeing how the kids performed in that game.”

Former Illinois Valley Central baseball players Derek Sprout and Cody Kentzel are on the Braves’ squad and Drasen Johnson and Josh and Jordan Parr play for the Illini.

The Braves entered the game on a three-game losing streak, which was snapped as Sprout led the team to a 7-4 victory.

The Illini grabbed a 3-0 lead after the first inning that was spurred on by Josh Parr’s solo-homerun.

The Braves took a 4-3 lead in the fifth when Sprout crushed a solo homerun, his first collegiate homer.

After Bradley took the lead in the fifth inning, the Illini tied the game in the eighth when Justin Parr crushed a double that sent one runner around to score.

Bradley closer Justin Ziegler recorded his school-record eighth save for the game.

The Braves regained the lead in the bottom of the inning when one runner scored on a wild pitch and two more reached home on a throwing error.

This marks the first time Bradley had beaten three Big 10 teams in the same season since 1984.