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.
Cardinals fly by Blackhawks 16-0
The frustrations from a tough 7-6 loss by North Clay to South Central Tuesday were relieved on the field Wednesday, as the Cardinals blasted the Sandoval Blackhawks 16-0 in five innings.
Czachorski: My own field of dreams
A few weeks ago, I sat behind the backstop at Evergreen Park, watching St. Anthony and South Central play baseball and taking photos when I overheard a conversation.
It was a few seven- or eight-year-old kids, just talking about the game in front of them, nearly gushing over some of their favorite players on St. Anthony.
Green settling into Whitecaps rotation
Since inking his pro deal, Effingham and University of Louisville alum Chad Green has donned a number of different jerseys.
In just over a year, Green's played for the Gulf Coast League Tigers, the Lakeland Flying Tigers, the West Michigan Whitecaps and, even just for a day or two, the Detroit Tigers.
Windsor/Stew-Stras combines for five-inning no-hitter
The second inning was good to Windsor/Stew-Stras again.
The Blue Devils scored 17 runs in the second inning of their 19-7 win against Cumberland on Tuesday, then scored 10 more in the same frame of a 16-0 rout of Ramsey on Wednesday, all while being shut out in the first inning of both games.
Altamont downs Charleston 6-2
At least it’s the last year of the Ohnesorges for Altamont’s opponents.
That’s the sister duo of Madison and Lauren that have been top athletes at Altamont High School. The pair produced once again in a 6-2 win over Charleston at Karch Field.
Pitcher's duel: Gardewine leads St. Anthony over Teutopolis 1-0
Zach Gardewine gripped the game ball tightly in his right hand and smiled.
It’s not every day a pitcher shuts out the loaded Teutopolis lineup and he knew it. Gardewine became the first player to blank the Wooden Shoes, in St. Anthony’s 1-0 win on Tuesday, since Dieterich duo Tanner Traub and Jake Bohnhoff on March 22, 2013.
Ziegler's choice an easy one
Lake Land College’s Grace Ziegler had a choice after her two years playing were up.
The Altamont alumna basically whittled her options down to this: continue to play basketball collegiately at a four-year institution, or transfer to a four-year institution to have a traditional college student experience.
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.
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