Grey Ghosts roll over Princeton, Illini Bluffs

Drew Veskauf TimesNewspapers
Jake Dismang picks up a grounder while playing first base in the top of the sixth.

The IVC varsity baseball team added two wins to its record with victories over Princeton and Illini Bluffs.

The Grey Ghosts received a loss to Streator in the home opener to set the record at 2-5. 

IVC 5, Princeton 2

The Grey Ghosts earned its first win of the season from a road game at Princeton April 8.

IVC went up 3-1 just after the first inning and was able to post another run in the second while keeping Princeton to zero. 

“Any time you start out that way you have a chance to have a good ball game, which we did,” coach Jerry Rashid said.

In the fourth, IVC had its final run.

“It started out well. After that the key is we kept battling. We got shut out after the fourth but we did enough damage early,” Rashid said.

Senior Jacob Dismang pitched the seven innings for one strikeout.

“Dismang pitched a nice ball game and got us out of trouble throughout the whole thing,” Rashid said. “He only gave up one run and did a really good job.”

Senior Reilly Owens lead IVC with two RBIs. 

Streator 11, IVC 10

At the home opener with Streator April 9, the Grey Ghosts and the Bulldogs went back and forth on leads but IVC fell short in the final innings.

“Defensively, we did not play well. We had six errors. Any time you have six errors, your not going to do well,” Rashid said.

Starting pitcher Josh Lingenfelter struck out his first opponent and allowed one hit in the first.

On IVC’s first at bat, Spencer Youngman grounded to third for a Streator error to get him on second base.

The next two struck out swinging but on Dismang’s at bat, Youngman took the opportunity to steal third to set up for a run.

Dismang knocked a line drive to center field to get Youngman across the plate.

In the second, Streator had an opportunity to score with a man on third but a caught fly ball by senior Ben Rashid halted the chance.

IVC had its big inning in the second by posting three runs on the board.

Senior Mitch McIntyre, courtesy runner junior Jack Mellen and senior Derek Meeks filled the bases. Youngman grounded out at first but was able to get McIntyre in for a run.

The next at bat, Rashid sacrificed a bunt to get Mellen in and junior Andy Culbertson followed with a single to center for an RBI off Meeks making it home.

The Bulldogs came back in the third to take the lead, 5-4 and kept IVC scoreless until the fourth.

Lead-off hitter Rashid grounded to first but Streator made an error to secure his position on the bag.

Culbertson was up next and smacked a fly ball to the right fence for an inside-the-park home run. Streator was caught on two errors on the play to get IVC the two runs and the lead at 6-5.

Streator came back in the fifth with another two runs. In the bottom, IVC was able to add four more runs.

With Owens and McIntyre on base, senior Blake Strebel singled to center to get the two in for runs.

Mellen’s bunt down the third-base line set up the field with bases loaded. 

Up next, Rashid singled to second on a 2-2 count for junior Andrew McMorrow to get a run in.

Culbertson, then, struck out swinging and Dismang followed with a grounder to second for Mellen to get home and to end the rally and earn a 10-7 lead.

“When we went ahead 10-7 going into the sixth, I thought we finally got over the hump and had a good shot at this,” Rashid said.

In the top of the sixth, Streator put in an additional three runs to make 

it a tie ball game.

 IVC was held in its final at bats while Streator was able to get the winning run in at the top of the seventh.

Lingenfelter pitched four innings for one strikeout. Junior Seth Smith saw the mound for one inning for a strike out and Jarod McElyea finished up the game in the last two innings for three strike outs.

“We don’t have the lights-out pitchers that can strike a guy out after an error, so, we have to depend on our defense so when that doesn’t come through, we’re really hurting,” Rashid said.

Culbertson led the Grey Ghosts in RBIs with three. Dismang and Streble finished with two apiece.

IVC 16, Illini Bluffs 6

Against Illini-Bluffs Friday at home, IVC was held throughout the ball game but came through in the sixth for an 11-run rally to take the lead.

IVC was down 5-2 heading into the fifth inning. After three runs were posted by the Grey Ghosts, the deficit lessened to 6-5.

“Their pitcher ran out of steam and we started to put the ball over the plate a little bit more,” Rashid said.

The Tigers were held in scoring in the sixth before IVC went on its run to secure the win.

“We were struggling. I give our kids a lot of credit. They didn’t stop playing and they played hard. They didn’t have any effort issues,” Rashid said.

“They were able to come back from a pretty big hole. It’s a good sign because there’s a pretty big post on our team.”

Rashid was the powerhouse hitter to finish with two hits and racked up five RBIs. Culbertson followed with two hits and four RBIs.