Mahomet-Seymour boys baseball seniors

Mahomet-Seymour High School baseball seniors include, from left, Dylan Hazlett, Jordan Veldman, Quinn Miller, Jonathan Latham, Dawson Finch, Aleksander Strube, Ben Greenberger, Jack McHale, Kyle Kinney, Dylan Gates and Rick Bohlen.

MAHOMET — Nic DiFilippo had an inkling that Kobe Essien was going to be good. His junior hurler had the stuff. With a fastball that could hit 88 miles per hour, and a nasty offspeed pitch, Essien had all the ingredients to become a dominant pitcher in the Apollo Conference.

The only missing piece was consistent control, and Essien has started to find it. The junior fired a no-hitter in the victory over Tri-Valley on May 10 to showcase his ceiling, and it couldn’t have come at a better time.

M-S is getting ready to dive into a tough regional, and if Essien is pitching at the top of his game, he could earn the start with the season on the line.

M-S 4, Tri-Valley 0. Essien had the game of his life May 10, firing seven hitless innings in a 4-0 victory over Tri-Valley. Essien cruised through all seven innings and finished with just 84 pitches. He scattered four walks and struck out eight Vikings in the win.

M-S only managed six hits, but they plated three runs in the third inning and one in the sixth. Jordan Veldman went 1-for-3 with a double, one run scored and two RBI. Dawson Finch also smacked a double. Jack McHale and Nate McFall both went 1-for-2 with a run scored. Kyle Kinney and Jon Latham both singled, and Ben Greenberger drove in a run.

M-S 3, Charleston 1. The Bulldogs were held to four singles, but they did work on the basepaths, notching six steals, and beat Charleston 3-1. Veldman went 2-for-4 with two runs scored. Kyle Kinney singled, walked and drove in a run. Jon Latham singled and drew two free passes. Jake Anderson stole a base and scored a run.

CJ McKinney and Rick Bohlen teamed up to shut down Charleston. McKinney earned the win after 3 ⅔ innings. McKinney allowed four hits and one earned run. He walked four and stuck out three. Bohlen got the save with 3 ⅓ scoreless innings. Bohlen was terrific, allowing just two hits, and he fanned six.

Normal Community 6, M-S 0. Seniors McHale and Finch both singled twice, but Normal Community roughed up Finch for nine hits and six runs in his five innings and cruised to a 6-0 victory. Finch struck out five and walked just one in his outing. Greenberger came in and allowed just two hits in two innings of relief. Greenberger also singled and drew a free pass. Jordan Veldman had the other M-S hit, but the rest of the lineup struck out eight times combined and couldn’t get anything going offensively.

Looking ahead

M-S will compete in the Charlie Due Tournament at Champaign Central High School today and Saturday. On Monday, they will begin play in the Class 3A Mahomet-Seymour Regional. M-S is the No. 5 seed, and they will play No. 11 Urbana at 4:30 p.m. With a win, M-S would advance to Wednesday’s regional semifinals against Charleston. The regional championship is set for 3 p.m. May 25. No. 1 seed Champaign Central is the favorite to advance to the championship game, but Mount Zion or Rantoul will both get a chance to knock off the top-seeded Maroons.