CJH Mustangs win Regional, appeal Sectional and advance to State

Justin Miller
Members of the Chillicothe Junior High baseball team who won the Regional Sept. 19 are, from left, front: Ty Wilson, Wyatt Schroeder, Logan VanOstrand, Jack Ressler, Trey Hammer, CJ Cokel and Carter Losey. Back: Drake Dietrich, Brady Hammer, coach Taylor Miller, Mason Stone, Max Evans, Cameron Conklin, Joey Culbertson, Cameron Owdom, Jordan Mercer, Hadyn Tisch and coach Alex Razo.

The Chillicothe Junior High baseball team advanced to the Mossville Sectional Saturday, fell to Illini Bluffs, but the story does not end there.

The Mustangs are state-bound after winning an appeal for the Sectional game, in which the opposing pitcher threw more innings than allowed.

“The rule states that a pitcher cannot pitch more than seven innings in a tournament." Their pitcher came out and threw a pitch in the start of the eighth. I talked to the umpire and Illini Bluffs took their pitcher out and the umpire started the inning again. That was the umpire’s mistake because it would have been hard to restart the inning had that first pitch been a home run. We are waiting to hear from the IHSA,” said coach Alex Razo on Monday.

The team now will play at 2:30 p.m. Friday at EastSide in East Peoria against Teutopolis.

The Mustangs quickly took a 3-0 lead in the first inning in the game vs. Illini Bluffs. CJ Cokel and Hadyn Tisch both had RBIs for CJH in the first inning.

In the bottom of the first, Illini Bluffs cut into the Mustang lead by sending in one run. Illini Bluffs scored another run in the fourth and one in the sixth to tie the game.

In the bottom of the eighth, the Mustangs lost the game when Illini Bluffs scored the final run on a hit.

To get to the Sectional, the Mustangs first beat Sparland Middle School, 3-0, to earn a berth against Mossville in the Chillicothe Regional championship game.

The Mustangs reached the championship behind terrific play from Hadyn Tisch, Jack Ressler and Cameron Owdom.

Mossville earned a spot in the championship by beating McNabb Putnam County, 3-2.

Mossville used great play from Jack Tolly, Spencer Davis and Isaac Cain to advance through the Regional to face the Mustangs.

In the championship game, both sides played all out.

Michael Leon and Tyler Thulean showed fans of the cross-town rivalry how the Warriors made it through the Regional.

For the Mustangs, Logan VanOstrand and Ty Wilson demonstrated the talent of the Mustang squad.

The Warriors built a 4-3 lead and were staring down a berth in the Sectional when the Mustangs came to bat in the bottom of the seventh.

Ressler scored on a wild pitch for the Mustangs and Cokel on an overthrown ball to win the game.

“We started the season 2-3 and we are now 19-8,” Razo said. “We pitched well to start the season, but our pitching has been really good down the stretch.”