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Section 6A baseball: West Central Area wins opener

West Central Area entered the Section 6A baseball playoffs with a 6-10 record and the sixth seed in the tournament, but found some extra power Tuesday night, defeating third seeded Wheaton-Herman/Norcross 8-4 in the first round of action.

"Three weeks ago we sat the boys down for a team meeting to review team goals," said head coach Brandon Gruchow. "We came close to meeting all three goals.

"Our first was to keep everyone on the team eligible for the rest of the season [and] they completed that. Our second was to finish .500 as a team. Well, we are sitting at 7-10. We came close but just missed it.

"Our third was to win a playoff game," he added. "That goal was completed tonight after we beat the Wheaton-Herman/Norcross Warriors, the No. 3 seed, 8-4 tonight.

"The boys took the field with the goal of winning a playoff game. We stressed the importance of playing to win, staying focused through the duration of the game, and starting the game off right from the first pitch of the game.

"They did just that, making only one error on the evening, hitting the ball very well and staying focused throughout the seven innings played."

Andrew Lindor picked up the win on the mound, going the distance and scattering eight hits.

Gruchow said of his pitcher, "Going into the game, we knew Andrew had the tools needed to get the win. He has pitched exceptionally well all season and came out with the mindset that he was going to start the game pitching and finish the game pitching. He did just that and earned another win."

Leading the offense were Carter Duncan, Alex Anderson and Charlie Grenson, all with two hits.

"It was a great game all around," said Gruchow. "The pitcher pitched strikes; when they hit, we played it, and when they pitched the ball, we hit it."

The Knights were to have faced Brandon-Evansville yesterday, Thursday, at noon, with the winner of that game playing at 5 p.m. and the loser playing at 2:30 p.m. All games were in Morris.


WEST CENTRAL 000 040 4 8-12

WHEATON-HN 100 101 1 4-8

PITCHING (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - Andrew Lindor (W) 7-8-4-4-2-3; B. Dahlen (L) 5.2-9-4-4-1-5; B. Krump 1.1-3-4-3-3-1.

WEST CENTRAL AREA - Carter Duncan 2-5, 1 run, 2 rbi; Jay Zimmerman 1-4, 1 rbi; Alex Anderson 2-4, 1 run, 1 rbi; Cole LaValley 1-2, 1 rbi; Spencer Ilstrup 1-3, 1 run; Devin Nelson 1-3, 2 runs, 1 rbi; Charlie Grenson 2-4, 2 runs; Jordan Beuckens 1-2, 1 run, 1 rbi.

WHEATON-HN - C. Thiel 1-3, 2 runs; J. Coffman 2-4, 2 rbi; Cameron Maudal 1-2, 2 runs; B. Dahlen 1-2; B. Krump 1-1; J. Backman 1-3; Co. Maudal 1-3.