LINCOLN — Rantoul Post 287 Senior American Legion baseball team had little trouble with host Lincoln Post 263 on Saturday, winning 11-1 and 11-2 games. 

In game one, Post 287 jumped right out of the gate with its offense in the first inning. Luke Jones hit a two-run home run. Both Casey Dillman and Layne Harden hit RBI singles, and Brendan Yocious doubled home a run. Post 287 put up six runs in the first.

Lincoln Post 263 cut the lead in half in the third inning — scoring two runs with a double and a third with a sacrifice groundout.

Post 287 tacked on more runs in the sixth inning.

BASES-LOADED DOUBLE SCORES TWO

Jake Welbes’ bases-loaded double plated two, and Luke Jones’ single brought two more runs across. 

Hayden Cargo reached first on an infield error and then stole second to put himself in scoring position. Cargo scored on Adam Crites’ single. 

Starter Crites pitched five innings and allowed three runs (one earned), three walks and struck out three.

Jake Schlueter relieved Crites in the sixth inning. Schlueter allowed zero runs, zero hits, one walk and struck out one.

“Schlueter pitched the last two innings of the first game and did quite well,” general manager Garry Smith said. “Overall, we had a very good start.”

Post 287 didn’t waste any time getting on the board in game two either. 

Jones hit a three-run home run to give his team a 3-0 lead. 

In the second inning, Emanuel Lutes singled and advanced all the way to third after stealing second and a wild pitch.  Lutes scored on a sacrifice groundout by Dakota Matthews.

WELBES HOLDS LINCOLN TO TWO RUNS

Jake Welbes started on the hill for Post 287. 

In five innings, he gave upfive hits and two runs while striking out nine.

“Welbes could have pitched another inning,” Smith said. “He was about 80-some pitches, and we shut him down. He kind of got us out of the gate with a nice lead and we kinda cruised after that.” 

In the top of the fifth, Lincoln Post scored two runs off on a bases-loaded single. 

Post 287 went on another streak of offense in the bottom of the fifth, scoring six runs. A combination of four walks and two infield errors gave Post 287 two runs. Eli Remington then doubled to score three more runs.

“We got good defense yesterday,” Smith said. “We made a couple of errors, but that’s part of the game. We only gave up five hits in two games. Overall, I am very pleased with the defense.”

Post 287 scored 11 runs despite only having five hits.

Smith said he is excited with how the team performed in both games and what the rest of the season holds. 

“Gosh, it’s kinda hard for me to talk about this but overall we had a very good start,” Smith said. “I think we have the potential to be a very good American Legion baseball team.”

Next up for Post 287 will be a game against Champaign Post 24 at Wabash Park this Saturday. First pitch is scheduled for 10 a.m.

Contact Ben Theobald at btheobald@rantoulpress.com