Area baseball from Thursday
Ryan Rhoda was judicious in his pitch count and effective in his effort on the mound as he fired a two-hit shutout in leading Prairie Central to a 5-0 victory over Rantoul in an Illini Prairie Conference baseball contest at PCHS Thursday.
Rhoda registered 13 strikeouts in going the distance and walked just one as he faced 25 batters, just four more than the minimum in a seven-inning game, and threw just 98 pitches in the process.
Rhoda gave notice that his mojo was working as fanned the first three batters he faced. The second Rantoul batter reached on a dropped third strike, forcing one more batter before Rhoda got out of the inning. He added four more punchouts in the second and third frames.
Four batters came to bat in the fourth for the Eagles because that’s the inning Rhoda yielded his only free pass.
Although nothing was being said, Rhoda was working on a no-hitter through four innings. It went away when a leadoff double for the Eagles started the fifth inning. Rhoda responded with three straight strikeouts.
A one-out single in the sixth was the final Rantoul safety. Rhoda retired the final five batters he faced, including the last one on a strikeout.
Meanwhile, Rhoda got the offensive help he needed in the first inning when the Hawks put up two runs on the board.
Lito Macias led off with a walk and he moved to second on a Carter Nowak sacrifice. Macias used his speed to score on Billy Printz’s groundout to give Prairie Central a 1-0 lead.
Peyton Rigsby then walked ahead of Seth Reed’s ringing double to right-center. Rigsby scored on the play to make it 2-0.
Prairie Central added two runs in the fourth inning, this time without the benefit of a base hit and on a peculiar play with Reed at the plate.
The Hawks had runners on the corners with two outs. Billy Printz, who reached on a fielder’s choice, was on third while Rigsby, who walked, took a lead off first with two strikes to Reed.
Rigsby took off on an apparent steal attempt of second, but stopped midway through on the designed play. Printz then ambled his way down the line before coming to a stop as both runners were caught in a precarious situation, which had Rantoul’s defense confused.
It appeared Printz was going to get back to third safely when the throw from the Rantoul catcher went into left field, allowing Printz to score. Rigsby continued on around second to third. Another throwing error allowed Rigsby to score, as well, for a 4-0 lead.
Printz singled to lead off the fifth inning. He scored on Reed’s one-out single for the final tally.
Reed had two hits, including a double, and drove in two runs for the Hawks (3-7). Printz had a hit and RBI and Cooper Palmore singled.
WFC 19, Midland 1
SOUTH STREATOR — Chandler Hillebrenner provided offense and strong pitching for Woodland-Flanagan-Cornell as the Warriors whipped Midland 19-1 in a Tri-County Conference game Thursday.
Hillebrenner had a double, single and drove in four runs as WFC took control early. On the bump, Hillebrenner recorded two strikeouts and allowed one walk in three shutout innings.
Collin Hjerpe gave up an unearned run, a base hit and fanned three in two innings of relief. Hjerpe and Hillebrenner combined for just 67 pitches.
Three walks and a sacrifice fly from Hillebrenner gave WFC a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Jake Albertson followed with a base hit that drove in Hjerpe, and Kyle Voytko scored on a wild pitch for a 3-0 lead.
The Warriors went through the order two full times in the second inning in scoring 12 runs to take a 15-0 lead. WFC collected five hits in the frame.
WFC scored four more runs in the fourth inning and Midland got its run in the fifth.
Hjerpe had two hits and drove in a run as the Warriors collected eight hits and drew 12 walks. Albertson had a hit and three RBIs while Voytko and Tyler Jenkins contributed a hit and two runs batted in apiece. Cody Dodge had a hit and Brad Simpson, Mason Ewing, Aiden Boyles and Trevor Derossett each drove in a run.
Ridgeview 15, Cornerstone 8
COLFAX — Justin Givens allowed a run to Cornerstone Christian Academy in the top of the first inning, but then got a lot of support from his Ridgeview teammates over the next three frames as the Mustangs rolled to a 15-8 victory in a nonconference contest.
Ridgeview answered the Cyclones’ run with two in the bottom of the first to take the lead for good. Spencer Hopt, who reached on a one-out walk, scored on a wild pitch to tie the game. Matthew Nunamaker tallied the second marker on a wild pitch with two outs.
The Mustangs scored five runs in the second inning. Nunamaker had a two-run single after Hopt drove in a run with a hit. A double steal allowed Nunamaker to score and Jace Ballenger came home on a wild pitch for a 7-1 lead.
RHS added four runs in the third inning. Sean Nunamaker had the big hit, a two-run double.
Cornerstone scored a run in the fifth inning and six in the sixth to make it an 11-8 game, but the Mustangs put up four runs in the bottom of the sixth for a seven-run lead. Matthew Nunamaker shut down the Cyclones in the seventh to seal the win.
Givens struck out two and allowed a run on two hits in two innings. Sean Nunamaker walked two and fanned one in one inning. Spencer Hopt had four strikeouts and a walk in one inning. One of his punchouts reached on a dropped third strike. Tucker Maupin allowed seven runs on five hits and four walks while striking out two in 1 2-3 innings. Matthew Nunamaker had three Ks and gave up a hit in 1 1-3 innings.
Matthew Nunamaker had three hits and three runs batted in to pace the Ridgeview offense. Hopt had a hit and three RBIs, Sean Nunamaker doubled and drove in two runs and Jalen Duncan, Conner Robbins and Jakob Sutton each singled.
Tri-Valley 6, Lexington 0
DOWNS — In a makeup from Monday, Lexington was unable to overcome an early deficit in falling to Tri-Valley 6-0 in a Heart of Illinois Conference game.
The Vikings scored three times off Lexington starter Josh Hardman in the first inning. Hardman settled into a bit of a groove until Tri-Valley scored a run in the fifth inning and two more in the sixth. Hardman allowed six runs on six hits and five walks in 5 1-3 innings. He struck out six. Tate Walcott finished up, allowing a walk, a hit and had one punch out.
A lack of offense was the problem for the Minutemen, who had just three hits in the game. Lexington did draw six walks but had more than one runner on base in just two innings.
Walcott, Will White and Tyler Grimsley each singled for the Minutemen.