RANTOUL — It has been a 50/50 start for the Rantoul Post 287 American Legion baseball team this summer.
On Saturday, the club split a doubleheader against Lincoln before splitting a second doubleheader on Sunday against Eureka.
In game one against Lincoln, Post 287 won 8-3 behind a 2-for-4 day by Jake Welbes, who drove in two runs and scored three times. Collin Klein and Layne Harden each tallied a pair of hits and an RBI. Welbes’ two-RBI double in the second inning gave Rantoul a 4-0 lead.
Adam Crites earned the victory, allowing two runs (one earned) on three hits with six strikeouts and six walks across four innings. Harden tossed three innings, allowing one earned run on two hits with four strikeouts and one walk.
In game two, Lincoln edged Rantoul 8-1. Joe Stilger was saddled with the loss, allowing five runs (four earned) on four hits with seven strikeouts and five walks across 4 1/3 innings. Brendan Yocius allowed three earned runs with four strikeouts and one walk across 1 2/3 innings.
Dylan Baker recorded two hits, and Chad Vermillion plated Rantoul’s lone run.
In game one against Eureka, Post 287 won 8-2 behind a 3-for-4 day at the plate by Eli Place, who doubled and homered and scored twice. Yocius and Welbes each tallied two RBI, with Welbes tallying two hits.
Place’s second-inning home run tied the game, and after Eureka took a 2-1 lead, Rantoul’s JT Jones’ RBI single tied the contest in the fourth, and Rantoul scored six more runs to break the game open.
In game two, Rantoul fell 22-9 despite two RBI apiece by Crites, Rob Pulliam and Trae King.
Vermillion allowed eight earned runs on six hits with three walks in one inning pitched. Lane Short allowed four earned runs across one inning, Griffin Sullivan gave up four earned runs in one inning, and Ethan Smith surrendered six runs (five earned) across 3 1/3 innings pitched.