Champaign—Rantoul Post 287 American Legion baseball has been a comeback team all year, but not last Wednesday, scoring five runs in the first inning before defeating Champaign Post 24 9-4.
Lane Harden got the party started with a lead-off walk. Luke Jones moved Harden to third with a single to left field. Chad Vermillion then walked to load the bases with one out. Adam Crites walked, which scored Harden.
Joe Welbes singled to left field, scoring Jones. Brendan Yocius kept the line moving with a bases-loaded walk, giving Post 287 the third run of the inning. Miklo Strader drove in Crites with two outs before Harden came back up and walked with the bases loaded, which ended the scoring for Rantoul in the top of the first.
Jed Chow started the game on the bump for Post 287. Chow pitched a scoreless first after a one-out walk.
Neither team got on the board in the second inning before Rantoul increased its lead in the third.
Welbes and Yocius both singled to open up the frame. Rob Pulliam drove in both Welbes and Yocius on a double to center field. Strader traded places with Pulliam, driving him in on a double to left field. Strader advanced to third before being stranded there to end the inning.
Welbes got the fourth inning started with a single before Yocius followed him with a single.
Pulliam walked to load the bases for Post 287. Strader hit a sac fly to center field that drove in Welbes, which ended the scoring for Post 287.
The game then breezed to the fifth when Champaign had three singles to lead off the inning. A one-out single then drove in the first Post 24 run before a ground out for the second run. The game got a little tighter after a single made the score 9-4.
Neither team got on the board in the final two innings, giving Post 287 a much-needed win before next week’s district tournament. Post 287 opens up the district tournament at Shelby County on Wednesday at 6 O’clock. They will play again on Thursday at 6 with site yet to be determined.
Post 287 fell to Ford-Iroquois 4-2 on Thursday.
Contact Ryan Birch at Rbirch@rantoulpress.com or on Twitter @RyanBirchRP