National rule changes for prep baseball, softball


INDIANAPOLIS, IN - Rules changes for the 2016 baseball and softball seasons were made at rules committee meetings last month in Indianapolis. Those changes were subsequently approved by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Board of Directors.

Aces Win on Walk-Off SAC Fly


MT. CARMEL – Brandon Stringfellow hit a sacrifice fly that scored Devan Rich with the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning as Mt. Carmel defeated Washington, 7-6, Monday afternoon at Dee White Field.

The Golden Aces, who led 6-1 after five innings, won their first Big 8 Conference game since 2013, and averted a second league meltdown of the season, after letting a late 3-1 lead slip away against Vincennes Lincoln earlier.

“Our kids never hung their heads,” said first-year coach Kevin Smith. “We had a great positive attitude and we were able to get the win.”

Perfect timing for Yellow Jackets

ALLENDALE - The timing of Allendale’s first-ever fall baseball win as a coop team with St. Mary’s couldn’t have been better.
The Yellow Jackets 17-11 win over Clay City came Tuesday in the first-round of the SIJHSAA Class S Regional tournament.
Advancing on to the tourney’s quarterfinal round. Allendale lost to top-seed West Salem, 15-0, to conclude the season.

Kevin Smith hired as new Aces baseball coach

MT. CARMEL - Kevin Smith was hired as head coach of the Mt. Carmel baseball team Monday by the District 348 Board of Education.
Smith, a long-time assistant football coach at the Hilltop, had served as assistant baseball coach in previous years. He replaces John Copeland, who resigned at the end of last season.
For Smith, the starting center on Mt. Carmel’s 1981 Class 3A state championship football team, it is unique chance to join his son, Shea, in the prep baseball coaching ranks. Shea Smith is the head coach at Norris City-Omaha-Enfield.
In other sports-related personnel moves, the school board hired Jake Shiever as assistant football coach, replacing Mike Mandrell, who resigned. And, Kelsey Beckerman was approved to serve as a volunteer assistant volleyball coach for the Lady Aces.

Olney rallies to 11U District title

BRIDGEPORT, Ill. — In a District 1 tournament that turned into a 3-game series between Mt. Carmel and Olney, dramatic rallies decided all three matchups between the 11-year-old teams.
Tuesday, Olney rallied from a 5-4 deficit by scoring three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to overtake the Aces 11s, 7-5.
After a 19-0 win over Lawrence Co. Thursday that finished off the hosts after Olney recorded a 29-1 win one day earlier, it was Mt. Carmel’s turn to rally, scoring five runs in its’ final two at-bats to overcome a 4-1 deficit and even the series with Olney, 6-4.
Saturday’s winner-take-all final seemed headed in favor of the Aces, who led 6-1 heading into the bottom of the fifth.
Olney, aided by a grand slam by Gage Stevens, scored six times to take a 7-6 lead, then held off the Aces to steal away the title and a berth in the Section 1 tourney this week, also in Bridgeport.
The Aces sent three hurlers to the mound in the fifth to try and stem the tide, but Olney was able to benefit from four walks and three Aces errors.
Even a unique 1-2-5-6-5 triple play turned by the Aces in the third inning wasn’t enough.

11s stay alive in district tourney

BRIDGEPORT, Ill. — Mt. Carmel’s 11-year-old all-star baseball team gets a second shot at Olney tonight in District 1 tournament play here.
If they can win, they would be the first local Little League team to beat their Richland Co. rivals this month.
If they don’t, they are through for the season.
Mt. Carmel routed Lawrence Co., 19-0, in a shortened four-inning game Thursday night, setting the stage for a rematch against Olney tonight at 7 p.m. The Tiger 11s won the first matchup, 7-5, Tuesday, by scoring three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Because he was able to manage the pitch count well in the runaway, Mt. Carmel coach Tony Calverley said “we should have plenty of arms” available for the game tonight.
The Aces 11s must win to force a winner-take-all game against Olney, which would be played Saturday at 7 p.m.
Mt. Carmel scored two runs in the first inning, then added six in the second, three in the third and five in the fourth.
Thomas Stringfellow started on the mound for the Aces 11s and earned the victory.
• The Mt. Carmel 10-year-olds lost to Lawrence Co. 9-6 Thursday, and were eliminated from the district tourney in Olney.

Mt. Carmel 11s, 10s face must-win situations

BRIDGEPORT, Ill. — Mt. Carmel’s 11-year-old all-star baseball team dropped its District 1 tournament opener Tuesday night.
Olney scored three runs in the bottom of the fifth to overtake the Aces 11s and win, 7-5.
Mt. Carmel plays Lawrence Co. tonight at 7 p.m. in an elimination game. Olney routed the hosts, 29-1, Wednesday night in a four-inning game.

Lewis turns down the money

Pitcher Zach Lewis has decided to stay in school, and will return to Wabash Valley for his sophomore season after turning down some big money from the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Lewis, who was 11-0 for a nationally-ranked Warrior team which lost to eventual national champion Iowa Western, was drafted in the 33rd round by the Pirates in the recent Major League Draft.
But, WVC coach Rob Fournier said Lewis did not sign and “is coming back. His dad wants him to stay in school.”

Olney finishes off 12s early

MT. CARMEL — Olney scored 10 runs in the fourth inning to turn a close game into a rout, recording a 16-4 win over Mt. Carmel in a 12-year-old District 1 championship game shortened to four innings via the 10-run rule.
The Tiger 12s led 6-4 before breaking away in the final frame to eliminate the hosts and advance to this week’s Section 1 tourney in Tuscola, Ill.
Olney jumped to a 4-0 lead in the first, taking advantage of the first two of six Mt. Carmel errors in the game. The Aces 12s chipped away, closing to within two runs, 6-4, after three innings.
• The Mt. Carmel 11-year-olds open District 1 play tonight in Bridgeport against Olney.
• The Aces 10s also begin District 1 play tonight in Olney vs. Lawrence Co.
Game times in both tourneys are listed at 6 p.m.
They are both three-team affairs after Salem withdrew teams at the 10, 11 and 12-year-old levels on July 7.

WVC's Diehl named to juco national team

Wabash Valley College graduated sophomore pitcher Phillip Diehl has been named to the NJCAA Baseball National Team. The juco squad will compete in an international competition this summer.
Diehl will be joined by 25 other players from 23 different NJCAA teams. Players selected are all graduated sophomores with a GPA of at least 2.5. They will represent the U.S. in the 80th National Baseball Congress World Series, which runs from Aug. 1-9 in Wichita, Kan.
Diehl is a 6-foot-3 lefthander from Cincinnati, Ohio. Last season he was 8-2 in 15 games with an ERA of 2.27 in 95 innings of work. He had 95 strikeouts with 27 walks and gave up 78 hits with 30 runs (24 of those earned).
The Warriors finished 48-13 and lost to eventual NJCAA national champion Iowa Central in the Midwest Regional tournament.


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