The Dixon Dukes baseball team won its season opener in heart-stopping fashion Saturday in Princeton, beating the Tigers 2-1 when Tucker Cole scored on a passed ball in the top of the seventh inning.
Cole stole third base, then sprinted home a short time later when a pitch went in and out of the catcher’s mitt and rolled away. Andrew Long, who had two of the Dukes’ three hits and scored the other run on a wild pitch in the second inning, then struck out the side in a perfect bottom of the seventh for the save.
Jack Doane picked up the win with three innings in relief of starter John Oldman, who gave up two hits and a walk with five strikeouts in three innings. Doane stuck out four, walked five and allowed one earned run and one hit in his stint on the mound.
Mendota 15, Amboy 0, 5 inn.: The Clippers managed just one hit, and gave up 10 unearned runs on four errors in a season-opening loss at home.
Hunter Zimmerly struck out three without a walk in two innings, but took the loss when three second-inning errors led to seven runs. The Trojans tacked on eight more runs in the fourth.
Amboy 11, Mendota 0, 6 inn.: Karlee Doege struck out eight without a walk in three innings of no-hit ball, and Bailee Highbarger had three doubles and four RBIs as the Clippers cruised at home in their opener.
Haley Varga (2 IP) and Highbarger (1 IP) closed out the game for Amboy with three shutout innings, giving up one hit each; Highbarger struck out three in her inning of work. Kenzie Payne was 3-for-3, and Shannon Lytle and Delaney Wilhelm each singled and doubled as the Clippers scored in every inning but the third.
Erie-Prophetstown 12, Wethersfield 0, 5 inn.: Bekah Ryan struck out 10 with just one walk in a two-hit shutout as the Panthers opened their season with a win in Kewanee.
Ashley Davis hit a three-run home run to highlight a 10-run third inning for EP, which also included Paige McConnell’s two-run double amd a two-run single by Erica Thulen. Thulen then added another RBI single in the fourth. Dena Johnson, Calisa Steel and Christian Cooper all added RBI singles for the Panthers.
BV wins Byron Invite: In a predominantly 2A field, the Storm won a 13-team meet at Byron, beating runner-up Winnebago 80-79.
Haley Weidner won the 3,200 (11:52.83) and took second in the 1,600 (5:45.60), while Lexie Jacobs (35 feet, 3/4 inches) and Saige Barnett (33-7 1/4) went 1-2 in the shot put for Bureau Valley. Carly Konneck added a runner-up finish in the long jump (14-9 3/4), and took third in both the 55 dash (7.81 seconds) and the 200 (28.91).
Konneck teamed with Marissa Mungia, Marissa Endress and Tiana Kennedy to win the 800 relay (1:55.09), and Addison Moreland teamed with Mungia, Endress and Kennedy to take second in the 1,600 relay (4:27.21).
Skyhawks split DH to open season: Sauk Valley bounced back from a 9-1 loss in Game 1 to close Saturday’s season-opening doubleheader against visiting Rockford University JV with a 4-2 victory in Game 2 at SVCC in Dixon.
Clay Velazquez and Trey Simmons had RBIs in the nightcap, and Devon Ballard went the distance on the mound, striking out four while allowing two runs and nine hits. Jordan Henkel, Richie Bartnick, Kaileb Robinson and Jarod Fogle scored runs for the Skyhawks, who plated one in the first inning and three in the second.
Simmons had Sauk’s lone RBI in the Game 1 loss, with his two-out single driving in Justin Jensen, who had tripled earlier in the third inning. James McFadden pitched the first four innings and gave up three runs and five hits in the loss.