Lions Win a Thriller in Nine Innings


Chris Clover, Sports Reporter

CARTERVILLE – What started out as a learning experience for Elijah Keim as a last-minute catcher receiving Drew Pestka turned into a thrilling walk-off win for the Lions over the DuQuoin Indians in nine innings. 

DuQuoin started off with a 3-0 advantage in just three innings. The Lions would not be able to get these runs back until the fifth inning. 

The fifth inning was led off by freshman Drew Barrington who beat out a ground ball to the shortstop, Barrington would advance to second from a wild pitch, and then advance to third from a single from Peyton Bittle. Bittle would intentionally be picked at first base, which would draw the attention away from Barrington at third, who advanced home for the run. 

The inning directly after would be even better as the Lions started off with a Kiem single, and JD Dawson singled directly after him. Cade Bolin woud drive in both Dawson and Keim with a single to right field. Barrington was up directly after him, and hit a perfectly placed ball into the short gap just behind first base. This hit would bring Bolin all the way to round out the scoring for that inning, making the score 4-3, in favor of the Lions. 

DuQuoin would tie up the game in the final inning of play, making the score 4-4, and putting the pressure on the Lions offense. The rest of the game would be very well pitched by both teams, and no team would make it back into the run column until the bottom of the ninth inning. That inning started off with DuQuoin having to make a pitching change because of the Indians pitcher hitting the pitch max of 105. 

The inning started with Brandon Skelcher dropping a single into right field. Bittle would be walked directly after him, and Barnard would be walked directly after him. With the bases loaded, senior Zack Bonovz hit a ground ball right to the shortstop, who should have had an easy force out, but threw it over the catcher’s head, allowing Skelcher to run home for the game winning run.