MAHOMET — Mahomet-Seymour baseball coach Nic DiFilippo always knew that Nate McFall was extremely talented. The athletic sophomore was a guy that DiFilippo pegged as one who could help replace superstar Brooks Coetzee in the outfield.
McFall had all the tools. He was fast, super strong and owned a big arm.
But he had struggled to put it together at the plate in the early going, and it was getting to the point where it was a question whether McFall deserved to be in the lineup every day. DiFilippo stuck with him, and McFall finally found his groove. In three games this week, McFall notched seven hits to help M-S improve to 11-5-1. Five of his seven hits went for extra bases. If McFall can stay in a groove and add some pop at the bottom of the order, it would be a huge help to the M-S offense that can struggle to string together runs against top-notch hurlers.
M-S 13, St. Bede 0. Jack McHale and Jordan Veldman both cranked three hits as the Bulldogs cruised past St. Bede 13-0 last Wednesday to give DiFilippo his 250th win. McHale doubled, scored two runs and drove in a pair. Veldman also scored twice and drove in two. Nate McFall and Ben Greenberger both went 2-for-3 with a triple. Greenberger drove in one. McFall finished with four RBI.
Kyle Kinney and Jon Latham both drove in a couple of runs in the blowout victory. Kinney earned the win with four shutout innings. Kinney fanned two and walked one while giving up six hits.
Taylorville 5, M-S 3. McFall doubled twice and drove in one run, but M-S couldn’t get that big hit as Taylorville edged the Bulldogs 5-3 in game one of a doubleheader on Saturday. Veldman also had two hits and scored a run. Greenberger, Kinney, McHale and Quinn Miller all singled once.
Kobe Essien took the loss after allowed two hits and two earned runs in two innings. He struck out five and walked three.
Greenberger entered in relief and gave M-S five much-needed innings. Greenberger allowed six hits and three runs. The senior struck out one and issued one free pass.
M-S 12, Taylorville 0. The Bulldogs broke out of their offensive funk in a big way in Game Two. Veldman and McFall combined for six hits and three extra-base hits as M-S crushed the Tornadoes 12-0. Veldman reached base in all four plate appearances and scored four runs. He tripled once, singled twice and was hit by a pitch. McFall continued to flash the power with two more doubles.
Finch Latham, Kinney, Greenberger and McFall all drove in two runs which was all the support that Finch needed. The gritty senior fired five innings of four-hit ball. Finch struck out seven and didn’t walk one batter.
M-S will host Rochester at 5 p.m. today. On Monday, they will tangle with a rock-solid Centennial program at home at 5 p.m. The Bulldogs will hit the road on Thursday to play St. Anthony at Evergreen Hollow Park in Effingham.