Pistol Shrimp Notebook: Shrimp closing in on first half division title

Illinois Valley having success in close games, several Shrimp players among league leaders

Lucas Smith (15) celebrates after hitting a three-run home run during the first inning of the Illinois Valley Pistol Shrimp's 14-1 victory over the Lafayette Aviators on Wednesday, June 12, 2024 at Schweickert Stadium in Peru.

The Illinois Valley Pistol Shrimp are in position to win the Prospect League’s Northwest Division first half title to lock in a playoff berth.

Through Friday’s action, the Shrimp lead the division at 14-7 with the Clinton LumberKings in second place at 11-7.

The Pistol Shrimp have five games left before the first half of the season ends June 29.

The Shrimp play the LumberKings at 7:05 p.m. Tuesday at Schweickert Stadium in Peru before hitting the road for a three-game set at the Johnstown Mill Rats.

Illinois Valley is 2-2 against the LumberKings this season. Through Friday, the Mill Rats are 10-11 and in third place in the Northeast Division.

The Shrimp finish the first half Saturday at the Lafayette Aviators. The Shrimp are 2-0 against the Aviators this season, winning by a combined score of 32-1.

In the playoffs, the first half division winner hosts the second half winner in a one game division championship.

The two division winners in each conference then face off in a one game conference championship.

The two conference champions play in a three-game Prospect League championship series.


The Pistol Shrimp are in a strong position in part due to their success in close games.

Illinois Valley is 6-2 in one-run games and 2-1 in extra inning games.

The Pistol Shrimp have three walk-off wins on the season while only losing one via walk-off.

On June 5, Tyler Dorsch blasted a solo home run in the bottom of the 10th inning to give the Shrimp an 8-7 win over the Burlington Bees.

Just two days later, Jake Ferguson delivered a walk-off single in an 11-10 victory over the Clinton LumberKings.

Pambos Nicoloudes came through with a two-run single in the bottom of the ninth for a 12-11 walk-off win over the Bees on June 19.

The Shrimp also scored three runs in the top of the ninth to edge the Normal CornBelters 10-9 on the road May 29.

Illinois Valley Pistol Shrimp's Tyler Dorsch slides safely into home plate to score a run against the Normal Cornbelters during the Illinois Valley Pistol Shrimp baseball game at Schweickert Stadium on Tuesday, June 20, 2023 in Peru.


Several Pistol Shrimp players are among the league’s statistical leaders.

Through Friday, Dorsch led the league in RBIs with 26 with teammate Makana Olaso just behind him with 25.

Kyle Gibson leads the league in runs with 30 with Dorsch second on the list with 22.

Dorsch also is tied for fourth in the league in home runs (3) and doubles (7), while Gibson ranks seventh in batting average (.380) and is tied for 10th in doubles (6).

Grant Holderfield is tied for the league lead with three wins on the mound, ranks fourth in ERA at 1.96, is tied for sixth in strikeouts with 24 and ranks fifth in strikeouts per nine innings at 9.39.

David Andolina is tied for ninth in strikeouts with 23.


Several local players have been key contributors for the Shrimp this summer.

Since joining the team after helping Southeast Missouri State reach an NCAA Regional, Hall graduate and Spring Valley native Chance Resetich is hitting .283 with one home run, one double, four runs and three RBIs in six games. He’s in his third season playing for the Shrimp.

Ottawa natives Jared Herzog, Taylor Waldron and Payton Knoll have all logged innings on the mound.

In his third season with the Shrimp, Herzog has made five appearances and two starts. He’s 2-0 with a 0.78 ERA and 21 strikeouts to six walks in 11 1/3 innings.

Waldron has made four appearances with two starts, recording a 0.00 ERA, 22 strikeouts and one walk in 15 1/3 innings.

Knoll has pitched 2 2/3 innings in two appearances.

Newark native Joseph Martin has started four games. He has a 3.00 ERA with 17 strikeouts and 10 walks in 15 innings.

Peru native Johnny Riva has thrown an inning in two appearances.

Jared Herzog and Taylor Waldron both of Ottawa, stand next to each other in the Pistol Shrimp dugout during the home opener in Schweickert Stadium on Thursday, May 30, 2024 at Veterans Park in Peru.
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