WENONA – Very little has gone right for the Ridgeview baseball team lately.
It did not get any better April 8 in an 11-1 defeat to Heart of Illinois Conference rival Fieldcrest at the middle school. The 10-run rule went into effect in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Coming in, Ridgeview’s last victory was May 14 of last year in the postseason when they defeated the Bloomington Cornerstone Christian/Normal Calvary Christian co-op 3-1.
According to Knights’ coach Mark Brown, he wanted his club to get on top as soon as possible.
“We talked about scoring early, capitalizing on chances,” he said. “Try to put up crooked numbers. In the past, we’ve let these guys (Ridgeview) hang around.”
Fieldcrest (7-3, 3-1) sent nine batters to the plate in the bottom of the second, which resulted in four runs. One of Koy Allen’s three hits was a two-out, two-run single to center field. Ryan Naas led off the inning with a triple, while Hayden Carls drove in a run with a single.
The Knights got two more in the third, two in the fifth and three in the sixth. Carls and Landon Cook each had run-scoring singles in the sixth.
In all, Fieldcrest battered Ridgeview (0-11, 0-5) pitching to the tune of 12 hits.
“Since the Eureka game, we’ve been struggling,” said Brown of the offense. “At this point, we’ve told them to go back to the basics. Today was about just swinging away.”
Seven of the nine starters contributed a hit, while six scored at least a run.
Cook took a no-hitter into the fourth before a Tucker Maupin double broke it up. He scored on Jalen Duncan’s single. Cook threw only 67 pitches over six, 46 of which were in the strike zone. The sophomore walked one and struck out seven, including five of the first six hitters he faced.
“It’s pretty simple pitching…throw strikes,” Brown commented. “Landon is good pounding the strike zone. He was able to get his curve over,”
Duncan allowed eight runs, only two earned, on nine hits over four and suffered the loss.