MAHOMET — Don’t look now, but the Mahomet-Seymour baseball squad has won five of its last six games. The Bulldogs’ schedule lightened up this week and Mother Nature got in the way, wiping away Monday’s tilt with Centennial, but M-S was still able to explode for plenty of offense and beat Rochester 12-8 to improve to 12-5-1.
On paper, the Bulldogs’ lineup won’t terrify opponents, but they’ve started to find their groove. Jordan Veldman and Ben Greenberger have become a staple at the top of the order. Veldman adds a speedy leadoff hitter that has some pop in his bat, and Greenberger has a terrific eye out of the 2-hole and will hit it the opposite way with plenty of success.
Kyle Kinney and Jon Latham have done a rock-solid job of driving in Veldman and Greenberger, and the bottom of the M-S order has started to find its stride. Dawson Finch, Nate McFall, Rick Bohlen and Jack McHale all had hits in the win over Rochester, and Quinn Miller used a hot bat to play his way into the lineup.
The 2019 Bulldogs might not be as talented as some teams that coach Nic DiFilippo has had in his career, but they’ve put themselves in position for a good seed in the Class 3A regionals. Combine the budding lineup and the pitching of Kobe Essien, Kinney and Finch, and that’s a recipe for success.
M-S 12, Rochester 8. Veldman and Dawson Finch both swatted three singles as M-S outlasted Rochester in a nonconference shootout. Veldman scored two runs and drove in one out of the leadoff spot. Finch drove in two and scored twice in the big win. Latham and Bohlen both had two hits, including a double. Bohlen drove in four runs and Latham had one RBI. McFall went 1-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored. McHale scored two runs. Greenberger and Kinney both reached base twice and scored.
Finch earned the win after going more than 5 1/3 innings. Finch allowed eight hits and seven runs, but only four of them were earned. He walked three and struck out seven. Finch allowed two home runs but battled all day. Greenberger entered and doused the potent Rochester offense. Greenberger finished with two strikeouts in his 1 2/3 innings. He allowed one unearned run without allowing a hit. Four M-S errors allowed Rochester to score four unearned runs, but they were still able to pull out the victory.
The Bulldogs got back in action on Thursday against Effingham St. Anthony. Results weren’t available at press time.
Mattoon will come to town on Saturday for a doubleheader beginning at 11 a.m. It’s the start of five straight home games for the Bulldogs.
Prairie Central will make the trek to Mahomet on Monday, for a rematch between two former Corn Belt foes. First pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m. On Tuesday, M-S will host St. Thomas More and on Thursday, Tri-Valley will be in town for another nonconference showdown. Both games are scheduled for 5 p.m.