No. 1 Eagles post 14 runs at Eastern
Picking up its third win in four tries, the Class 1A No. 1 Lanesville baseball team posted 15 hits and 14 runs on a sunny but chilly Friday at Eastern Pekin, defeating the Musketeers 14-3.
In the three wins, the Eagles have scored at least 10 runs.
‘We are swinging the bats well,’ Lanesville coach Zach Payne said. ‘Last year, when we would run-rule teams, it would be because other teams didn’t play good defense. This year, we are actually putting the ball in play with good contact. It’s leading to extra base hits. They guys are having good at bats.’
The six-inning run-rule game versus Eastern saw players up and down the lineup reach base. Big numbers went on the board in the first (four runs) and third (six runs) innings for Lanesville.
Cameron Harvey and Ryan McCubbins were credited with extra-base hits at two apiece.
Harvey kicked off the first inning with a home run, driving in three.
Lanesville starting pitcher Mitchell Bailey rolled through the first inning, retiring the Musketeers in order.
The quick work allowed the Lanesville bats to get back to work. Evan Peele reached on an infield error with one out. Courtesy runner Owen Kerr easily scored when McCubbins lofted a shot to center for a triple and a 5-0 lead.
Eastern managed to get on the board in the second inning when Jacob Stewart’s lead-off single set up Clayton Purlee’s RBI hit. The Musketeers stranded two runners in the inning when Bailey struck out Dawson Petro.
Opening up the game, Lanesville saw seven consecutive batters reach base in the third. Tommy Tidstrom began by reaching on an infield error. Zach Fink, Aaron Lockman, Greg Daly and Peele strung together singles. Peele had two RBIs, while Lockman brought in another.
McCubbins added to the scoring, reaching on an Eastern fielding error. Bailey helped his cause with an RBI single, prompting an 11-1 lead.
On the mound, Bailey gave up three singles over the third and fourth innings. Each time, he worked out of trouble with strikeouts. For the game, Bailey threw four frames, striking out nine.
‘He didn’t have his best stuff, but it was good that he was able to give us a chance to win,’ Payne said of Bailey. ‘It’s a good sign for him as a pitcher that he gives us a good outing even when he feels he didn’t have his best. He’s still early in the season for him, coming out after basketball. I see him getting better as the year goes on.’
Fink, who went 2 for 3 at the dish, gave up one run in two innings of relief. He struck out three, including one punch-out to end the game.
‘We’re excited about Fink,’ Payne said. ‘He’s a nice player.’
Fink is playing shortstop, filling the void left by Brenden Bube, who is out while recovering from ACL surgery. Payne said Bube’s rehab is ahead of schedule and he could return by season’s end.
Eastern’s Payton Miller was handed the loss on the mound, giving up 12 runs in five innings of work.
Having multi-hit performances for the Eagles were Harvey, Peele, Bailey, McCubbins and Fink.
‘A lot of high school guys, even the good ones, have a tough time hitting off speed,’ Payne said. ‘The more fastballs we are hitting, the more successful we will be. Our guys know they won’t always hit well every day, but today we did.’
Payne said the Eagles have handled the No. 1 ranking well thus far.
‘The guys are confident,’ Payne said. ‘It helps when we are hitting the ball.’
The Eagles will hit the field Saturday when they host a tri-event featuring Austin and Providence starting at 10 a.m.
Lanesville 416 102 ‘ 14 15 0
Eastern (Pekin) 011 010 ‘ 3 7 4
W ‘ Bailey, L ‘ Miller.
2B ‘ Harvey (L), McCubbins (L); 3B ‘ McCubbins (L); HR ‘ Harvey (L).