Around the area: Indians advance in regionals, Ertz breaks all-time hit record

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PAYSON, Ill. — The top of the Payson Seymour baseball team’s lineup set the tone for a 10-5 victory over Southeastern in Monday’s opening round matchup in the Class 1A Liberty Regional.

It made history possible, too.

Indians leadoff hitter Nolan Sparks went 3 for 4 with two RBIs and two runs scored, while No. 2 hitter Blake Schwartz went 3 for 4 with two doubles and two RBIs. Cleanup hitter Hunter Miller also went 3 for 4 with a double and an RBI.

All told, the Indians collected 15 hits with six doubles.

One of those doubles came in the third inning when Ashton Ertz doubled to right field with one out, plating the Indians’ first run and breaking the Payson all-time hits record. Ertz passed former professional ballplayer Josh Cook with his 87th career hit.

Schwartz picked up the victory, throwing three innings of relief while allowing one hit and one unearned run with three strikeouts and one walk. The Suns managed just four hits against three Indians pitchers with Griffin Tippey driving in two runs.

The fifth-seeded Indians (13-13) advance to face third-seeded Winchester West Central at 4:30 p.m. Thursday at Liberty in the regional semifinals.

Sims, Eagles upend Panthers

CAMP POINT, Ill. — Jackson Sims scattered six singles, threw a complete-game shutout and struck out nine as the ninth-seeded Liberty baseball team advanced with a 9-0 victory over sixth-seeded Camp Point Central in Monday’s regional quarterfinals.

Levi Hoener went 2 for 2 with a double, a home run and three RBIs for the Eagles (10-16), while Reed Sparrow went 2 for 3 with a double. Nate Peters and Conner Griffin had two hits apiece for the Panthers (11-16).

The Eagles will face second-seeded Mendon Unity at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Barclay, Bombers handcuff Titans

MACOMB, Ill. — Jaxon Barlcay limited the West Hancock baseball team to two hits over five innings and tossed Macomb to a 10-0 victory in Monday’s opening game of the Class 2A Illini West Regional. Barclay struck out four and walked one. The Bombers’ Nick Elbe went 2 for 4 with a double and three RBIs.

Saukees fall in regional opener

PITTSFIELD, Ill. — The North Mac softball team scored three runs in the top of the ninth inning to break a 2-2 tie and beat Pittsfield 5-3 in Monday’s opening round of the Class 2A Pleasant Plains Regional. The Saukees’ Rebecca Neupauer went 3 for 4 with a home run and two runs scored, while Tori Peebles had a double and a triple. The Saukees end their season with a 17-8 record.

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