RANTOUL — It was a tough day for the Rantoul Eagles baseball team on Saturday against the Illinois Valley Central Ghosts.

Offensively the Eagles (10-9) weren’t able to get anything going in seven innings and got shutout by the Ghosts, 8-0.

Brady King pitched seven innings for IVC — striking out nine and allowing just three Eagles hits.

“We wanted to see better offensive production, and that was lacking,” coach Jon Donovan said. “We had three hits on the day. We just didn’t get enough offense production or really anything going to create any momentum.”

Hunter Hoffman, Nolan Roseman and Adam Crites had Rantoul’s only hits — all singles. 

Donovan said the team needs to take a better approach when they step up to bat and not let the pitcher take control of the count.

“We are taking too many pitches early in counts that are fastballs, getting behind in counts and are in kind of a defensive mode,” Donovan said. “Usually that’s never a good situation to be in. They have to have more intent when they get in to the box. It’s nothing mechanical. It’s not like we are not taking enough pregame batting practice.”

Roseman was the starting pitcher for the Eagles and kept the Ghosts scoreless for the first four innings and struck out four.

“We were expecting Roseman to come out with a quality start, which he did,” Donovan said.

IVC got on board in the the fifth inning. King hit a two-out triple and scored on Gavin Pine’s base hit for a 1-0 lead. 

After walking Brandon Ward, Roseman was replaced by Chad Vermillion on the mound after walking Brandon Ward. 

After two more walks and a sacrifice bunt, the bases were loaded for the Ghosts. Kam Wollard did not let the opportunity go to waste and hit a single that scored three runs for IVC. The Ghosts scored another run to go up 5-0.

Two batters walked in the seventh inning, and a Rantoul error on a ball hit by Jacob Thomas loaded the bases. 

Jared Wisely hit a 2-RBI single, which was followed by another single and a walk, scoring the eighth run for the Ghosts.

The Eagles defense committed five errors and that’s something that the team will need to work on.

“Defensively we can definitely get better, Hoffman said. “If we can just clean that to maybe one or so. There are games where we just have zero errors, but then there are games where we stack up errors like today.”

Hoffman echoed Donovan on the need for the team to have more quality at-bats.

“I just think that our approach isn’t in the right spot,” Hoffman said. “We are taking too many pitches, and then when we get the fastball, we just don’t swing at it and we need to start driving it. If you miss the fastball then you are probably going to get something offspeed after that.”

 Next game for the Eagles

Next up for the Eagles will be a Thursday road conference game against Pontiac. First pitch is at 4:30 p.m. 

Contact Ben Theobald at btheobald@rantoulpress.com