With the game tied up, 6-6, April 13 Washington just needed to keep the Dunlap baseball team from scoring in the bottom of the sixth inning.



With Blake Abbott getting on base after a walk, Daniel Clements hit a shot down the left field line. The fielder dove for the ball, missing it by about a glove-length. This allowed Abbott to score from first and gave Clements a double.



The Eagles eventually scored two more in the sixth to go on to win, 9-7.


With the game tied up, 6-6, April 13 Washington just needed to keep the Dunlap baseball team from scoring in the bottom of the sixth inning.

With Blake Abbott getting on base after a walk, Daniel Clements hit a shot down the left field line. The fielder dove for the ball, missing it by about a glove-length. This allowed Abbott to score from first and gave Clements a double.

The Eagles eventually scored two more in the sixth to go on to win, 9-7.

“You can’t do that in that situation,” Washington head coach Kyle Wisher said about the dive. “You just got to play it into a single and keep it at first and second. As soon as that ball gets by you, it allows the runner on first to score. That’s just a bad baseball play. You have to know the situation of when to dive and when not to dive.”

The Panthers started off the scoring in the third inning after a bunt advanced two runners to second and third, and a fielder’s choice scored the first run.

Catcher Zach Little hit a two-run home run to give Washington a three-run lead.

After Washington got one more run in the fourth, the Eagles came alive in the bottom of the inning.

After getting two men on with two outs, a single by Abbott and double by Clements helped score three runs. It was the home run by Brandon Drum that changed the momentum of the game, though.

“We had a few guys break out today and it paid off for us,” Dunlap head coach Rod Hatch said.

By the time the dust settled and the Eagles batted around the line-up, the team had a 6-4 lead.

The Panthers managed to get two runs off a double and sacrifice fly to tie the game in the top of the fifth.

After holding Dunlap scoreless in the bottom of the inning, Washington had another chance to score in the sixth.

Mason McCoy got on with a single and went to second on a wild throw. While Wisher waved him around, he stayed at second base. Eventually, he was caught while trying to steal third.

“He just didn’t pick me up on the way to second, like a baserunner should, and he just didn’t see me wave him over,” Wisher said.

In the bottom of the inning, the Eagles scored the three runs they needed to go ahead for the win, including the RBI off the missed dive.

“I think any time you can take advantage of a situation like that it definitely helps morale,” Hatch said. “But, I’ll be honest, these guys are hard-headed. They don’t give up, no matter what the situation.”

Nick Mangieri picked up the win for the Eagles, getting two strikeouts and a walk. Clements earned a save in the seventh with two strikeouts and a walk.

Getting the loss for the Panthers was Ryan Grebner, who gave up the home run to Drum in the fourth and faced just one more batter before being taken out. Nick Finney started the game and pitched 3 2/3 innings.

“Washington’s a good team,” Hatch said. “Obviously, to get a win like that was huge for us. We needed it.”

WCHS 9, Pekin 2
The Panthers got just the lift they needed Monday.

Washington (10-4, 2-3) handed the Dragons their first conference loss of the spring by knocking around Beau Barnes.

Finney was brilliant, throwing a five-hit complete game. He struck out three, walked one and gave up one earned run for the victory.

Trailing 2-0, the Panthers scored six runs in the fifth inning. Three more tallies in the seventh delivered a knockout punch.

Isaac Fisher doubled and drove in four runs in a 2-for-4 performance.

McCoy, Charlie Ludolph and Grebner also had RBI. Nick Dalfonso and Little chipped in doubles, while Dakota Bullard went 2-for-3.

Only two Mid-Illini teams have winning records. Washington, Limestone, Morton and Dunlap are in a four-way tie for third place, a half-game in front of Canton and Metamora, who still have a game to make up.

Just the stats: Through Sunday, Washington was hitting .311 as a team.

Among players with at least 30 at-bats, Fisher (.442), Little (.395), McCoy (.348) and Bullard (.342) all were batting better than .340.

Little leads the ball club with two homers and 16 RBI. Fisher also is in double figures with 11 RBI. Three others besides Little have homered.

McCoy and Sam Best have two victories apiece to lead the pitching staff. Charlie Ludolph has posted a team-best 0.66 ERA in 10 2/3 innings.

McCoy (2.23) and Best (3.00) also have worked at least eight innings with ERAs of 3.50 or lower.

Washington, which has gotten three saves from Finney, sports a team ERA of 3.97.

— Bryan Veginski contributed to this story