At Knoxville Sectional (2A)
Pairings: Wednesday - Game 1: (5) Macomb (18-11) vs. (2) Sherrard (24-6), 4:30 p.m. Thursday - Game 2: (3) Hall (21-8) vs. (3) Cuba Spoon River Valley (20-5), 4:30 p.m.
Worthy of note: Veteran Hall coach Tom Keegan said in the preseason that the Red Devils wanted to become relevant again in the postseason. They accomplished that with a thrilling, down to the final play of the game, 6-5 win over Riverdale to capture the Orion Regional title. It was Hall’s first regional crown since 2019. ... Hall will face Spoon River Valley (20-5), a first-year co-op that was North Fulton and Lewistown last year. The Miners blanked host Farmington, 4-0, for its regional title, and are riding a 10-game win streak. They are strong on juniors (9) with only one senior. The Miners sport a 1.81 team ERA with two complete game shutouts at regional. They have a .304 team batting average, but can be a bit streaky offensively, coach Brad Schaefer said. Both coaches say the matchup is a hard read having not played or having any common opponents. “When teams don’t play the same teams it can be hard to tell that sometimes,” Schaefer said, “and also it is baseball and anything can happen and anyone can have a good or bad day at any time.” Keegan said, “Like most 2A teams, it looks like they have a couple decent arms and some guys who can swing the bats.” ... Hall has weapons at bat in Mac Resetich (.615, 5 HR, 38 RBIs), Ashton Pecher (.481, 41 RBIs), Kyler Lapp (.444, 31 RBIs) and Joe Koch (6 HRs, 26 RBIs) and a formidable pitching staff in Max Bryant (4-0, 2.11 ERA), Payton Dye (4-2, 5.03), Koch (3-0, 1.48) and Pecher (4-3, 4.33). ... Sherrard, which has three more wins than anyone in the field, had a come-from-behind 3-2 win over host Princeton to win its second regional in a row. The Tigers lost to Brimfield in last year’s sectional finals. .... Macomb beat last year’s sectional champ, Brimfield, 3-2, to win its own regional. The Bombers were Prairieland Conference champs (7-1). ... Spoon River Valley beat Macomb, 6-4, in a Prairieland crossover this season.
Last year’s sectional finals: Brimfield 6, Sherrard 3
Next: Winner advances to the Geneseo Supersectional vs. the Winner Joliet Catholic Sectional at 1 p.m., Monday, May 29
Other area sectionals
At Elgin (1A)
Wednesday: Game 1 - (1) Elgin Harvest Christian Academy (22-5) vs. (2) Aurora Christian (21-9), 5 p.m. Thursday: Game 2 - (1) Ottawa Marquette (27-2) vs. (2) Chicago Hope Academy (24-8), 5 p.m. Saturday: Championship - Winners 1-2, 1 p.m.
At Pearl City (1A)
Wednesday: Game 1 - (1) Fulton (17-7) vs. (3) Dakota (15-8), 4:30 p.m. Game 2 - (4) Pearl City (18-9) vs. (3) Sterling Newman (18-8), 7 p.m. Saturday: Championship - Winners 1-2, 1 p.m.
At Bloomington (1A)
Wednesday: Game 1 - (1) Annawan/Wethersfield (18-9) vs. (2) Heyworth (14-20), 4:30 p.m. Thursday: Game 2 - (1) Delavan (16-9) vs. (3) Henry-Senachwine (20-6), 4:30 p.m. Saturday: Championship - Winners 1-2, 11 a.m. Saturday, May 27: Championship - Winners 1-2, 1 p.m.