Bouncing back had been a theme all year long for Rantoul Post 287. 

This past weekend was a little different after dropping the first three games, they had to wait until Saturday to get it’s first win of the week. Rantoul lost to Lincoln 6-1,Charleston 8-3 and Ford-Iroquois 2-1. Rantoul finished off the weekend by defeating Ford-Iroquois 4-3.

The first game of the weekend was against Lincoln Post 263. 

The trouble started early for Rantoul after striking out 1-2-3 to start off the game. 

Lincoln then put up three runs in the bottom of the first on an RBI single, wild pitch and a sacrifice fly. 

The game was then uneventful until the fourth inning when Post 287 got its first hit on a Chad Vermillion double. 

Rantoul could not get Vermillion across the plate but was able to get on the board in the fifth. 

Joe Welbes singled to center field to start the inning. An error moved him to third before Miklo Strader drove him in on an RBI single. Two strikeouts ended the threat for Rantoul. 

Post 287 head coach Garry Smith talked about the strikeouts as a reason for the loss.  

“Thirteen strikeouts out of 21 outs, we just didn’t put the ball in play,” Smith said. 

Lincoln got the run and more back on a two-run homerun in the bottom of the fifth. A sacrifice fly later in the inning ended the scoring at 6-1. 

Chad Vermillion pitched 4 1/3  innings, giving up five hits and five earned runs. Lane Harden finished off the game pitching the final 1 1/3 innings, giving up two hits and one unearned run. 

Post 287 falls to Charleston 8-3 

Rantoul fell behind early again in game two of the weekend before before the loss to Charleston. 

Charleston got half its runs on the board in the top of the first. The four runs came on only one hit. Errors were a problem all game. 

“Hit the ball better in game two. We just couldn’t make the routine plays,” Smith said. 

Post 287 got on the board in the bottom of the second on a Casey Dillman RBI single that drove in Adam Crites. That’s all Post 287 would get in the inning after a Rob Pulliam ground out ended the threat.

In the top of the fourth Charleston got two more runs on a double and another costly Post 287 error. 

Rantoul would make a game of it in the bottom of the fifth. Luke Jones drove in Dakota Matthews, and Adam Crites grounded into a fielder’s choice that led to the final run of the game for Rantoul. 

An error by Matthews in the top of the seventh gave Charleston its seventh run of the game. The scoring ended on a RBI double. Only three runs were earned by Charleston. Post 287 committed four errors in the game. 

Rantoul splits games with Ford-Iroquois Indians

Both games between Post 287 and the Indians were decided by one run. The first game went to Ford-Iroquois 2-1. 

Joe Welbes pitched the entire game for Post 287, giving up two hits and two runs, neither of which was earned. 

Rantoul couldn’t get the bats going until the top of the seventh inning. Brandon Yocius drove in Matthews via sacrifice fly. Game one ended on a Lane Harden backwards K. 

Game two against the Indians was the best game of the weekend for Rantoul — getting its first W of the weekend 4-3. 

Crites pitched for Rantoul, giving up three earned runs while giving up nine hits and striking out six. 

The offense got going early in the final game. Emmanuel Lutes was hit by a pitch to lead off the game. Lutes stole second and advanced to third on a Hayden Cargo pop out. Luke Jones then drove in Lutes. Vermillion drove in Strader to make the score 2-0 in the first inning. 

Smith talked about the team coming out with more pep. 

“Came out with more energy and just played better. The pitching was good all weekend, but the bats were alive in the last game,” Smith said. 

The game cruised along until the fourth inning when Dillman doubled to drive in Vermillion and Harden doubled in Dillman to give Rantoul a 4-0 lead. 

The game breezed until the bottom of the sixth when Ford-Iroquois got all three of its runs. 

The seventh inning was much smoother for Post 287, getting a 1-2-3 inning to end the game for the much-needed 4-3 win. 

Post 287 has a big week ahead

Rantoul will host Champaign Wednesday and Ford-Iroquois Thursday before hitting the road to face Decatur and Danville on Sunday. Rantoul heads into the four-game week with an 11-9 record. 

Contact Ryan Birch at rbirch@rantoulpress.com or on twitter @RyanBirchRP