Rice delivers in clutch for Rockets
TOLONO – Caleb Rice drove in Austin Fender from second base with two outs in the seventh inning to lift Unity to a 5-4 victory against Oakwood on Saturday in a Class 2A regional semifinal baseball game.
The Rockets trailed 4-3 entering the bottom of the seventh before mounting a rally. Fender singled off Comets pitcher Casey Fletcher (9-2) with two outs to drive in Ryan Spears with the tying run.
"We hoped to be in this position," Unity coach Dan Cunningham said of reaching the title game. "We were fortunate to win today. There were two evenly matched teams out there today and Fletcher kept us off balance."
Tyler Bialeschki (11-1) went the distance to earn the victory.
Logan Cronk went 2 for 3 and drove in two runs for the Comets.
Prairie Central 4, Clifton Central 2. Jeremy Peters held Clifton Central to three hits and struck out 10 to lead the host Hawks to a regional semifinal victory.
"Peters did an outstanding job," Prairie Central coach Alan Dunahee said. "Clifton is a good hitting team and he kept them off balance."
Colin Doran drove in two runs for Prairie Central.
B-H 4, Paris 2. Bismarck-Henning rallied from an early 2-0 deficit to win a semifinal at Georgetown. Stephen Krout went 2 for 4 with two RBI for the Blue Devils. Jordan Ellis and Todd Ellis drove in one run apiece for B-H. Winning pitcher Michael Grant threw a five-hitter and struck out six.
In Class 1A regionals:
East Central 3, Tuscola 2. Devon Biggs hit a walkoff RBI single to lift East Central to the regional title. Host Tuscola scored twice in the top of the seventh to tie the game, but East Central loaded the bases in the bottom of the inning before Biggs' game-winning hit.
Winning pitcher Hunter Tweedy did not allow an earned run and struck out five in a complete-game performance. Tweedy and Biggs each homered.
Dillon Hoel drove in both Warriors runs, while teammate Cody Shelmadine went 2 for 4.
Sullivan 4, Meridian 2. Grant Kidwell hit two home runs and Josiah Davidson pitched a three-hitter to lead host Sullivan to a regional title. Chad Frerichs had a run-scoring double for the Redskins (19-12-1), who played errorless defense.
"Kidwell came up with two big hits for us and the team played great defense," Sullivan coach Troy Rogers said. "Davidson was in control from start to finish. They were able to scratch out a couple runs against him."
Fisher 7, Schlarman 3. Matt Elkins belted a two-run homer and Trey Rogers struck out eight and did not walk a batter to lead Fisher to a semifinal victory at Sidell.
Zane Dillon had three hits and Zach Miller added two hits for the Hilltoppers.
Tri-Valley 6, LeRoy 4. Eric Steffen and Trent Moberly had two hits apiece for LeRoy, which lost in the semifinals at Downs. Tri-Valley broke a 4-4 tie with two runs in the sixth inning.
Milford 5, Donovan 1. Milford took a 3-0 lead in the first inning on a solo home run by Dylan Price and a two-run homer by Kristopher Evans en route to a semifinal victory at Gilman. Kristopher Evans and Kyle Evans combined to hold Donovan to four hits.
A-O 8, Blue Ridge 3. Taylor Ferguson drove in three runs and Dylan Sunderland held Blue Ridge to two earned runs, leading Argenta-Oreana to a semifinal victory at Warrensburg. Sunderland, Austin Harris and Derek Hodges had two hits apiece for the Bombers.
Jack Plunk went 2 for 3 with a double for Blue Ridge.
In regular season action:
MacArthur 5-5, Rantoul 3-3. Chris Broadway went 2 for 3 for host Rantoul in the first game, while teammate Tyler Myers was 2 for 3 in the nightcap.
In boys' tennis:
Urbana Sectional. Champaign Central won the team title on a tiebreaker with Danville, and the Urbana University High freshman tandem of Ido Roth and Alex Mestre captured the doubles crown at Atkins Tennis Center.
The Maroons and Vikings each scored 18 points, but Central was awarded the team championship based on more state qualifiers.
Three area players qualified for state in singles: runner-up Mauricio Gonzalez of Centennial, third-place Kendrish Rowlands of Centennial and fourth-place Timo Rohrig of St. Thomas More.
All four doubles teams advancing to state were from area schools. Besides the sectional champion Illinek duo, other tandems moving on were runner-up Ryan Dyar and Tyler Ellis of Danville, third-place Sam Wampler and Ryan Smith of Central, and fourth-place Jake Schilling and Akshay Krishnamani of Centennial.