Peoria — Rantoul Post 287 Senior American Legion baseball team had a long break after going 2-0 in the previous week.  

The team had a game with Ford-Iroquois cancelled Friday due to bad weather, which led to having more than a week off between games, but lost a lopsided 15-5 game to Lincoln Saturday.

Post 287 head coach Garry Smith said the loss could have stemmed from having a week off.

“It probably had to do with rust from not playing for a week,” he said.

Rantoul came out a little rusty and gave up 11 runs in the top of the first. Smith said games like this happen. 

“You just have to mark it off the schedule and forget about it,” he said.

Only six of the Lincoln Post 263 runs were earned because of three Rantoul errors.

The result may have come as a surprise after Post 287 swept Lincoln in a doubleheader to open up the year. Rantoul defeated Lincoln Post 263 in those games 11-3 and 11-2.  

Nate Garard started the game on the mound, and gave up three earned runs on seven hits and only lasted 2/3rds of an inning. Jed Chow was brought in to relieve Garard. Chow pitched the final 4 and 1/3rd innings of the run rule-shortened game, only surrendering three earned runs on six hits and three strike uts, two of which were swinging.  

Post 287 finally got out of the nightmare half inning on a ground out to first and only surrendered four more runs the rest of the game. 

Smith said the team really responded well after the first frame.

“I really thought we played well all day after the first inning. Overall it was a good day for us,” he said. 

The Rantoul squad got on the board in the bottom of the 2nd on a Chad Vermillion double, which drove in Adam Crites. Vermillion came around to score on an Eli Remington sacrifice fly. 

Jed Chow helped himself out by driving in Miklo Strader on an RBI single, which cut Post 263’s lead to 11-3. 

Lincoln pulled back ahead to a double-digit lead on an RBI triple and sacrifice fly, respectively. 

Post 287 continued to battle in the bottom of third, cutting the lead to 13-5 on Brendon Yocius’ two RBI double that drove in Dakota Matthews and Vermillion. 

Smith said there were positives to the game despite the score. 

“Attitudes stayed postive even after the top of first,” he said

The scoring held off in the 4th inning for both teams before Lincoln scored the final two runs of the game in the top of the 5th on an RBI double and sacrifice fly that made the score 15-5. 

Smith said even with the errors his team committed, Lincoln played a great game 

“You just have to tip your hats to them,” he said 

Post 287 did threaten to keep the game alive in the bottom of the frame. Rob Pulliam reached on an error,  and Strader walked to get runners in scoring position. The rally ended with Remington striking out looking to end the game. 

Rantoul was led offensively by Brendan Yocius, who had two RBIs. Jed Chow, Chad Vermillion and Eli Remington each contributed an RBI. 

Post 287 bounced back later in the day to win against Peoria. 

Contact Ryan Birch at Rbirch@rantoulpress.com