Grey Ghost baseball season reviewed

Drew Veskauf TimesNewspapers
The IVC varsity baseball team sends Mitch McIntyre out to the plate during its Regional game against Rock Island Alleman. The Grey Ghosts finished the season 11-18.

Highs and lows were the story for the IVC varsity baseball team in the 2014 season. There were ups and downs throughout the regular season but the Grey Ghosts finished strong.

“I thought we really responded well at the end of the year and that’s hard to do after you had a bit of a rough spell. At the end of the year we were really competitive,” coach Jerry Rashid said. 

“From that stand point, I thought our kids did really well with sticking to it.”

The team was independent from a conference this season but a trip to Memphis to play top-notch teams helped make up for it coach, Jerry Rashid said.

During the trip, the Grey Ghosts and their families traveled to see the sights and even visited the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and presented a check for donation.

In the 2015 season, IVC baseball will enter the Corn Belt Conference to face Rantoul, Bloomington Central Catholic, Eureka, Fairbury, Mahomet-Seymour, Normal University, Pontiac and Olympia.

“That’s kind of a tough deal,” Rashid said. “They’re playing on and we’re playing off. Whenever you don’t have a conference, there’s no real intensity. You’re playing for the (State) tournament and I’m excited for next year to have a conference. It’s a really good baseball conference.”

IVC already challenged Olympia, Pontiac, Eureka, U-High, Fairbury and Central Catholic but was only able to pull out a win over Fairbury, 11-7, this year.

Throughout the 29-game season, IVC was able to earn 11 wins with help from its senior class and from the juniors and underclassmen.

From the mound, senior left-hand pitcher Ben Rashid went 6-3 with a 1.36 ERA after 56.67 innings pitched. Ben Rashid threw for 75 strikeouts and gave up just 11 earned runs.

Ben Rashid had 12 strikeouts against Limestone April 19 and against Tremont April 26 for his season-high games.

Junior Jarod McElyea finished with a 2.63 ERA in 53.33 innings. McElyea closed out the year with 42 strikeouts and gave up 45 hits.

McElyea’s season-high game was against Richwoods April 17 for 10 strikeouts.

Senior Jacob Dismang threw 34 innings for 15 strikeouts and a 6.18 ERA.

At the plate, the Grey Ghosts had four hitters break the 20-hit mark. 

Senior Mitch McIntyre led with 24 hits and a .320 average in his 28 games played. McIntyre wrapped up with 19 singles and four doubles.

Senior shortstop Spencer Youngman finished with 22 hits and a .247 average in his 29 games. 

Dismang hit 20 with a .247 average and junior Seth Smith also was at 20 in 24 games with a .317 average.

Dismang and senior Derek Meeks were the lone Ghosts to get a home run this year.

McIntyre led in RBIs with 16 and Rashid followed with 13. Dismang was in the double digits with 12 RBIs and junior Andy Culbertson put in 11.

In the field, Rashid had 116 putouts with senior Blake Strebel behind the plate for 112.

Graduating this year was McIntyre, Meeks, Youngman, Dismang, Strebel, Riley Owens and Ben Rashid.

“The senior class were good guys and good people and helped lead throughout the year. I thought the success and experience that they had, and with going to Memphis and those types of things, gave us opportunities to make it a memorable year for us,” Jerry Rashid said. “From that stand point, not in wins-losses but from what we did as a group, I’m really appreciative for our seniors and they represented us pretty darn well.”

The IVC varsity baseball team will have several underclassmen return to the varsity level and give aid where it’s needed in the 2015 season.

“We’re looking forward to the camp and the future of the program. They’re all going to be there to help continue our baseball tradition,” Rashid said.

“I think our future’s bright with the young kids. The young kids are going to be outstanding for us as long as they keep working towards it.”