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Central takes two from Harrisburg
HARRISBURG, Ill. -- The Central High School baseball team has struggled much of the season, but the Tigers put it all together Saturday for a stunning, lopsided doubleheader sweep of perennial Illinois power Harrisburg.
The Tigers rolled 8-0 and 12-1, with the second game ending after six innings because of the 10-run mercy rule.
Central improved to 7-12-1 and Harrisburg fell to 23-4. The Tigers did not make an error in either game.
"We really played well in every phase of the game," Central coach Steve Williams said. "It was exciting to see and hopefully this will give us confidence for the rest of the season."
Jake Welch pitched a masterful two-hitter in the opener as Harrisburg was shut out for the first time in more than two years, according to Williams. Welch struck out four and walked three.
"Jake has been pitching really well lately, and he was great today," Williams said.
Central had 12 hits in the first game, including first-inning home runs from Scott Brueckner and Patrick Slattery. Slattery, Welch, Matt Hester and Mark Dunaway all had two hits.
The Tigers pounded out 12 more hits in the second game, led by Alex Ramsey with three. Brueckner and Jason Umfleet added two apiece.
Umfleet and starter Tyrone Reece combined to again limit Harrisburg to just two hits. Umfleet, the winner, allowed one hit and no runs while striking out five in three innings.
Central 8, Harrisburg 0
WP -- Jake Welch, 3-4. LP -- Denbow. HR -- Scott Brueckner (C), Patrick Slattery (C). 2B -- Slattery (C), Jason Umfleet (C). Multiple hits -- Central, Slattery 2-3, Matt Hester 2-3, Welch 2-3, Mark Dunaway 2-4. Records -- Central 6-12-1, Harrisburg 23-3.(Game 2)
Central 12, Harrisburg 1, 6 innings
WP -- Jason Umfleet, 1-1. LP -- Upchurch. 2B -- Scott Brueckner (C). Multiple hits -- Central, Alex Ramsey 3-5, Bruecker 2-3, Umfleet 2-4. Records -- Central 7-12-1, Harrisburg 23-4.