MATTOON — Bouncing back has been a theme for the Rantoul Senior Legion baseball team all year. This weekend in Mattoon was no different.
Post 287 dropped game one before winning its final three games of the four-day wooden bat tournament that was hosted at Lake Land College, Mattoon High School and Grimes Field, all located in Mattoon.
Rantoul lost game one 5-0 to Moline. “We just couldn’t get the bats going in the first game with the wooden bats,” Rantoul coach Garry Smith said.
Adam Crites started and finished on the mound for Post 287. Crites gave up five runs, three of which were earned, on nine hits. Crites also struck out four Moline batters.
After a 1-2-3 top half of the first, Rantoul gave up three runs in the bottom of the frame. All three of the runs were earned by Moline. They came on a 2-RBI double and an RBI bunt single.
The offense only mustered two hits all game.
“Obviously you’re not going to win a whole lot of games with only two hits,” Smith said
Moline added its fourth run of the game in the bottom of the third on an error by Rantoul second baseman Dakota Matthews.
Post 287 threatened in the top half of the fifth. Rantoul had the bases loaded with two outs when Moline’s third baseman climbed the ladder to rob Chad Vermillion of at least a base hit.
Moline got its final run of the game on an RBI ground out that was set up by an error on Post 287 third baseman Nathan Garard.
Rantoul put up a fight in the seventh inning. Miklo Strader singled to lead off the inning. Matthews then walked to put runners on first and second with nobody out. A Lane Harden strike out and Luke Jones hitting into a double play ended the game for Rantoul.
Chow tosses three-hit shutout against Piatt County
Jed Chow led the way for Rantoul on the mound in the 8-0 victory against Piatt County.
Chow pitched a complete game three-hitter while striking out five Piatt County hitters.
The offense found its groove early in the contest. Hayden Cargo started it with a double to left field in the first inning. After stealing third, Cargo was driven in by Luke Jones via RBI ground out.
A Crites triple got the second inning started for Rantoul. Vermillion then doubled in Crites and scored himself on a Brendan Yocius single.
Chow pitched around a walk in the bottom of the second.
The offense continued to help out Chow with a Vermillion RBI single and sac fly by Joe Welbes.
“I really thought we just hit better and played better,” said Smith
Chow really found his groove in the third inning, setting down Piatt County on 10 pitches,including a double play to end the inning.
Harden and Cargo had an RBI triple and double, respectively, to bring the Rantoul lead to 7-0.
Neither team scored in the fifth inning before Luke Jones ended the scoring in the sixth on an RBI single.
Chow induced a game-ending double play in the run rule-shortened game.
Eli Remington plays hero in 10 inning thriller over T-Town
Joe Welbes went nine innings against Teutopolis to set up the save for Nate Garard in the 3-2 win.
The first four and a half innings were rather quiet on both sides. T-town got on the board first in the bottom of the fifth on a sacrifice bunt.
An RBI single in the bottom of the sixth gave Teutopolis a 2-0 lead going into the final frame.
Harden and Cargo got Post 287 going in the top of the 7th inning before Jones had a huge 2-RBI double to drive them both in.
“The Luke Jones double really got us going late and helped us get a huge win.” Smith said
Garard and Vermillion both popped out to end the inning.
Welbes was able to throw a 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the seventh to move the game into extra innings.
Both teams got a runner to second base in their respective eighth inning at bat but were unable to push across a run.
Both teams then singled in the ninth but couldn’t do anything with it, which advanced the game to the 10th inning.
Vermillion led off the 10th inning with a hit by pitch. Welbes then singled to move Vermillion to second base.
That is where Remington’s heroics come into play. Remington ripped an RBI single to left field, which scored Vermillion.
“That was just a huge hit by Eli.” Smith said
Miklo Strader grounded into a double play that ended the Post 287 half of the inning.
Garard came on in relief of Welbes, who pitched nine innings, only giving up two runs on seven hits.
Garard gave up a lead-off single, but Jones threw out the runner at second base. Garard then induced a ground ball out before giving up one more single.
Cargo ended the game with a catch in center field that gave Post 287 a huge win over T-town 3-2.
Jake Schlueter pitches a gem to lead Post 287 over Decatur
Schlueter only gave up one hit over a complete game that included nine strike outs, which led his team to a 3-1 victory against Decatur.
Cargo, Jones and Crites gave Rantoul the three RBIs they needed to win.
In similar fashion to the T-town game, both offenses were quiet in the early innings.
A hit by pitch and error by Vermillion at second base gave Decatur its only run of the game in the top of the 4th inning.
Post 287 got the run right back in the bottom of the frame on an error, a pair of fielder’s choices and a Crites RBI ground out.
Schlueter continued his dominance on the mound with a three strikeout fifth inning.
“Schleuter just threw strike’s for us and had great game,” Said Smith
Cargo drove in the would-be winning run on an RBI double that scored Remington in the bottom of the fifth. Jones then singled in Cargo. That would be the final run for both teams.
Schlueter had his no-hitter taken away with one out in the seventh inning.
Schlueter struck out the final two batters of the game to give Rantoul its third win of the Firecracker Classic. Post 287 did not play on Sunday due to the weather and field conditions moving back the rest of the
Round Robin awaits over Fourth of July weekend
Post 287 will head to Tilton on the 4th to take on Lincoln Post 263 for the fourth time this year and Charleston Post 93. Rantoul will head back to Tilton on Friday, July 5, to take on the Ford-Iroquois Indians.
Contact Ryan Birch at Rbirch@rantoulpress.com or on twitter @RyanBirchrp