Effingham at Mt. Zion, 7 p.m. FridayBoth teams' playoff hopes are on the line Friday night as Effingham heads to Mt. Zion in a showdown between 3-4 Apollo Conference teams. A loss would officially eliminate either team from playoff contention, and while neither team would automatically qualify with two wins, both the Flaming Hearts and the Braves would likely make the playoffs on the strength of their difficult non-conference schedules. Mt. Zion started the season 0-4 with losses to undefeated Mahomet-Seymour and Highland, as well as losses to 5-2 Jersey and Mattoon. Their three straight wins have come on the back of running back Austin Ray. Ray had a solid start to the season in the Braves' four losses, but has cleared 180 yards rushing in each of the last three games, all Mt. Zion wins. Effingham had a three-game win streak of its own snapped last week in a conference-clinching 46-28 win for Mattoon over Effingham. It was the big play the bit the Hearts late, as they allowed four touchdowns of 60 yards or more. Ray has shown breakaway ability, so shutting down the Mt. Zion back will be key. That is easier said than done, as Ray was averaging more than 100 yards per contest before the three-game win streak. A win would lock up second-place in the conference at worst for either team. Mt. Zion could still share the conference title with Mattoon if the Green Wave fall to 3-4 Paris. The Braves have not won a game this year where they have scored less than 42 points, and have only allowed less than 30 points in a game once. Effingham has shown a flair for the big play of its own, whether it be from Marcus Robinson, Zach Miller, Billy Arndt or Matt Wohltman. It should be an offensive showdown in Mt. Zion Friday.
Vonderheide, W/SS win at Charleston 12-0
Christian Vonderheide had the luxury of choosing which was better.
It was either the grand slam, or a complete game shutout thrown by the right hander.
“They are both pretty equal,” Vonderheide said. “Pitching is more of my thing. The grand slam I got lucky. I swung hard, and I was lucky enough for it to go over the fence."
The win could be more important as Windsor/Stew-Stras pounded a 12-0 win over Charleston at CHS Field.
Czachorski: Time to catch Cup fever
I woke up early Friday morning and did something I never do these days -- I flipped on SportsCenter.
It was the top of the 7 a.m. hour, and unshockingly, ESPN led with discussion of the playoffs.
What left me flabbergasted was they were leading with the NHL playoffs, as I was truly unaware ESPN remembered that hockey was a sport.
Indians' bats too much for Eagles
An 11 a.m. start on Good Friday wasn't too early for Altamont, as the Indians pushed 10 across in the first frame and bested Newton 16-1 in five innings.
Power surge: Homers help Shoes beat Comets 8-4
Teutopolis broke open a close game with four home runs and remained undefeated with an 8-4 win over Stew-Stras/Windsor Thursday afternoon.
Cutts carries Cumberland to 4-3 win
His first three hits were no doubters, but Blayke Cutts’ fourth hit on Thursday was a high bouncer over the glove of Olney third baseman Peyton Billington to win in a walk-off.
McNamee: Questions about EIU's Jimmy G
The typical phrase used in situations like this, I think, is: “He shows potential.” I may not have believed anything I was saying, but at least he was in line to be a four-year starter; at least, he had that.
Pirates push past Flaming Hearts 10-2
It took a bit for the bats to warm up, but Cumberland made the necessary adjustments at the plate and took down Effingham 10-2 Wednesday afternoon.
Newton walks off against Dieterich
For the second straight game, Newton earned a win via the walkoff, this time as Caleb Chesnut drove in the game-winning run with two outs to down Dieterich 5-4.
Walsh, Bulldogs fend off Newton 17-8
Makayla Walsh played the role of starter and stopper.
She relieved St. Anthony pitcher Jenna Woltman, who was struggling to locate her pitches, and stopped the bleeding during a four-run fourth inning.
Flaming Hearts handle Olney
Effingham cruised to its second dual win of the year, taking all nine matches from Olney Tuesday afternoon.
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- Vonderheide, W/SS win at Charleston 12-0