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RANTOUL — J.W. Eater coach Ryan Birch called Danville Northridge’s starting pitcher “lights out.”

That meant it was “fade to black” for the season for the Bulldogs, who lost 11-0 in the regional semifinal last Tuesday at Wabash Park.

Conner Smith had Eater’s only hit — a triple. Smith was thrown out at home on a bang-bang play.

Heading home

Conner Smith heads toward home after tripling for J.W. Eater in last week's junior high regional semifinal at Wabash Park. Smith was out in a bang-bang play.

Dayton Wilson started on the mound for Eater. Wilson kept the visitors off the scoreboard the first two innings.

“He threw a lot of strikes and let his defense make plays for him,” Birch said. “But in the third inning, he got wild.”

Northridge rapped out a couple of hits and things snowballed.

Northridge advanced to the regional championship game against PBL, which knocked off Westville 16-1.

Jordan Belcher

Eater's Jordan Belcher goes down to snag a low pitch in last week's regional semifinal game against Danville Northridge at Wabash Park.

The Bulldogs finished the season at 3-6.

“We were able to get some wins,” including one against Urbana, Birch said. “That win against Urbana was able to give them a lot of confidence.

“We beat St. Malachy, which is fun to beat a team in your town.”

Birch said the Bulldogs showed good effort during the season.

“There were times when we could have played a little bit better,” he said. “I think the kids that are coming back are excited about where the team could go.”

Eater will lose six eighth-graders, all of whom were starters.

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