GIBSON CITY - The GCMS Middle School baseball team enters the postseason with possibly the best regular season they’ve ever had. One of Jim Lewis' teams was 14-5, and Monday, Dustin White's team won their 15th game of the season.
Boasting a 15-3 record this year, GCMS is the second seed in the Class 2A Hoopeston Area Regional that begins Saturday and should look to do some damage.
The huge difference between this squad and ones from the past, according to White, is the team’s size and strength, coupled with their overall baseball IQ.
“We finally have a large number of big eighth graders, and we now have some power at the plate and better velocity with our pitching staff,” White said. “Those two things are the biggest change over years past.”
White said a large majority of the kids played a bunch of summer ball, including some with a resume of over 70 games.
“This has moved our overall team baseball IQ up a notch, and we have a better understanding of the game and how to play it,” he said.
That IQ and skill shown brightest last Thursday, when the squad defeated Paxton 6-4 behind a complete game from Wade Burton that also included a solid offensive output.
Burton also managed two of the team’s three home runs in the game and was 3-4 from the plate, with three RBIs and three runs scored, while Jordan Blake notched a two run blast in the seventh inning for some insurance.
“The team played really well defensively as well,” White said. “It was just a good overall win, and the kids were very excited about it.”
The Falcons will face the winner of Tuesday’s game between Watseka Glenn Raymond and Bismarck-Henning at 12:30 in the semifinals.
If GCMS wins, the squad would play again at 4:15 p.m. Monday for the regional championship.