Friday's prep highlights: Maroons tie baseball mark
■ Central 13, Danville 0. When a team starts a game with a composite ERA of 1.12 for 30 games, it’s difficult to lower that total. Zach Dorner and his Central Maroons found a way to improve their season total Friday.
Dorner pitched a two-hit shutout, walking one and striking out nine, as Central tied its school record for single-season wins (originally set in 2006 by a 30-7 team).
Coach John Staab’s current 30-1 team travels to Bloomington today in an attempt to secure at least a tie for the Big 12 Conference title.
“We’re still playing well, despite the elements,” Staab said. “Guys have stepped up on the mound.”
Volunteer pitching coaches Bob Weatherfield and Mike Ellsworth have been instrumental on a staff that has produced seven shutouts following the Friday win.
Dorner (5-0) has three of the shutouts and has not allowed an earned run this season in 271/3 innings.
Offensive leaders against the Vikings were Alec Barger (three hits), Luke Beesley (two hits) and Jake Snider (two hits). Beesley had three RBI for a Central team that didn’t commit an error.
Staab plans to pitch Phillip Swartz (7-0) today against the Purple Raiders.
■ Cerro Gordo/Bement 10, Villa Grove/Heritage 1. Cole Blickensderfer (4-1) struck out four in a three-hitter as the Broncos (18-7 overall) secured a co-championship in the Little Okaw Valley Conference with a decision against Villa Grove/Heritage. CG/Bement and Okaw Valley were each 11-1 in league play.
For the Broncos, the win completed a school-year trifecta. The football and boys’ basketball teams were also LOVC titlists.
Mason Neisslie, Chase McNamara and Ethan Morton all had two hits in the conference-clinching win. Neisslie drove in three runs. Morton scored two runs.
■ LeRoy 7, Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley 0. Brady Fritcher (3-2) pitched a two-hit shutout as the Panthers (15-11) advanced to the semifinals of the Heart of Illinois Conference tournament at Illinois Wesleyan University. Teddy Harms had three hits and drove in three runs. Teammates Joe Chastain and Ricky Vermaat each had two hits.
■ Georgetown-Ridge Farm/Chrisman 5, Oakwood 1. Rylee Goodwin had two hits to support the pitching of Dylan Cosat (five innings) and Tyler Lunger (two innings) in the Buffaloes’ Vermilion Valley Conference win. Garrett Martin scored two runs. Cosat has a 4-2 record for the Buffaloes (16-7). Oakwood’s Kyle Girton had two hits.
■ Milford 9, Hoopeston Area 3. Mindy Garrelts pitched a three-hitter and drove in four runs as the Bearcats (10-14) won on the road. Kylie Thrush also had two hits. Hoopeston’s Annie Goble drove in two runs.
■ Watseka 10, Grant Park 0. Taylor Bauer (17-4) pitched a two-hit shutout as the Warriors won a nonconference game at home. Teammates Devin Curry, Morgan Hotaling and Katie McTaggart all had two hits, including a double. Another highlight for the Warriors (22-5) was a third-inning triple play. Bauer walked two and struck out nine in the six-inning game.
■ Georgetown-Ridge Farm/Chrisman 18, Oakwood 5. Brittany Hay had three hits and stole five bases as the Buffaloes handed the Comets a Vermilion Valley Conference loss. Teammates Macey Alexander and Megan Burris each drove in three runs for G-RF/C (12-15). Lee Ann Conrad hit a home run. Oakwood’s Hannah Grubb hit a grand slam.
■ Villa Grove/Heritage 12, Paxton-Buckley-Loda 2. Micaela Childress (9-6) was the winning pitcher and contributed two hits in VG/Heritage’s nonconference triumph. Myranda Mayhall was 3 for 3 for a team that scored in all five innings. Miranda Pruitt and Cedar Richardson had two hits, and Alix Ezell drove in two runs. PBL’s Zayna Flahaut had both of her team’s hits.
In girls’ track and field
■ At Plano. Pole-vault winner Kassadee Ifft (10 feet, 3 inches) helped Prairie Central to a fourth-place finish in the 15-school Class 2A Plano Sectional. The sophomore is the Hawks’ lone state qualifier.