Grey Ghosts receive set of losses

Drew Veskauf TimesNewspapers
IVC senior Spencer Youngman waits to field a fly ball in the Canton game April 23.

The IVC varsity baseball team went 1-3 in week four of regular season action.

The Grey Ghosts earned a win over Tremont but suffered losses to Pontiac, Canton and Eureka.

“Our kids are playing hard and I like that in them, but we’re just not getting enough hits and we don’t have any room for errors defensively,”  coach Jerry Rashid said.

IVC will see Pontiac and Eureka in the Corn Belt Conference in the 2015 season.

Pontiac 9, IVC 1

IVC faced its first Corn Belt opponent April 21 on a road game at Pontiac.

The Grey Ghosts were defeated, 9-1.

The Indians gained an early lead on IVC with six runs scored in the bottom of the first.

“Against Pontiac, we didn’t hit the ball and when you fall 6-0 that’s trouble. It’s a pretty big hole to climb out of when you’re not hitting,” Rashid said.

IVC responded with its lone run in the second from junior Jack Mellen crossing the plate.

Junior Josh Lingenfelter took the mound in the second and was able to hold Pontiac in scoring until the fifth when another three runs were posted to the board.

Lingenfelter pitched the five innings for seven strikeouts.

At the plate, seniors Ben Rashid, Mitch McIntyre, Blake Strebel and junior Seth Smith had one hit apiece. 

Canton 3, IVC 1

Against Canton for IVC’s first game under the lights at home April 23, the Grey Ghosts battled but came up short to lose 3-1.

Both teams went 3-up-3-down in the first inning but Canton got the jump on IVC in the second to score its three runs.

Two errors by IVC allowed the bases to be loaded after the first three at bats.

A single to right field put the first run in for the Little Giants. The sixth Canton batter knocked one to right field for another two runs.

“We had one bad inning and no offense. Our pitchers, right now, are going to have to shut teams out to win and that’s tough to do,” Jerry Rashid said.

“That’s probably our biggest issue right now. We’re not putting any runs on the board and until we do put runs on the board, everything’s going to be challenging, everything’s going to be magnified. Every mistake could cost you the game.”

The Grey Ghosts were able to close the inning with two outs in the field and a strikeout by junior Jarod McElyea.

IVC’s lone run came in the bottom of the fourth.

Senior Jake Dismang, batting second, was hit by a pitch and put on first. Mellen was walked to advance Dismang to second and Strebel taking a beam to the arm loaded the bases with two outs.

With McIntyre swinging at the plate, a wild pitch was able to give Dismang enough time to steal home for the run.

Ben Rashid had a scoring opportunity in the bottom of the sixth after stealing second and advancing to third off senior Reilly Owens ground out to second.

Before Ben Rashid could get across the plate, junior Andy Culbertson grounded out to close the inning.

In the seventh, Canton grounded out its first three at bats and IVC, in the bottom,  was able to get a man on from being hit by a pitch but the 

next three grounded out as well.

IVC’s two hits came from seniors Derek Meeks and Spencer Youngman.

McElyea had five strikeouts for the seven innings.

“I thought Jarod McElyea threw a really good ball game. I thought he’s showing really nice improvement, and I’m really happy that he’s showing that because he’s moving up in the rotation to where we’re counting on him to throw some wins,” Jerry Rashid said.

IVC 3, Tremont 2

IVC earned a win at Eureka with a battle with Tremont, 3-2.

Ben Rashid had a big day to throw a perfect game from the mound up until the bottom of the seventh. He finished the game with 12 strikeouts.

“(Ben Rashid) pitched a great game. It’s really a great job,” Jerry Rashid said.

“He pitched well and the team played very well.”

The Grey Ghosts were able to take an early lead over the Turks with two runs scored in the second and one in the third.

In the bottom of the seventh, Tremont was able to get two runs off an IVC error, a batter being hit by a pitch and an infield hit.

Leading at the plate was Owens going 2-for-3. Ben Rashid had the lone RBI for IVC and McIntyre, Meeks and junior Andrew McMorrow all had one hit apiece.

“We have to manufacture some runs. We’re not hitting the ball well so we had to do some things,” Jerry Rashid said. “We got them with a couple hits and walks and stolen bases and that’s how we scored.” 

Eureka 4, IVC 3

In the second game Saturday at Eureka, the Grey Ghosts faced the host Hornets for a 4-3 loss.

“Offensively we got a little bit better. If we keep getting a little better then we’ll continue to compete,” Jerry Rashid said.

Eureka pounced on IVC early with two runs in the first and added another run in the fourth and fifth.

IVC’s first run was posted in the fifth and two more in the sixth but came up short in the seventh to tie or win.

Dismang was on the found for seven innings and had three strikeouts.

“Jake Dismang threw a much better game. He had a rough outing on Monday and came out well on Saturday,” Jerry Rashid said. “They’re going to hit the ball but he competed a lot better.”

 Ben Rashid, Dismang, Culbertson, Mellen and McElyea had one hit a piece.