IVHS baseball looking at playoffs

The Illinois Valley High School baseball played just a single game this week after a scheduled home game with Gold Beach was canceled. The Cougars did play the scheduled non-league game at Oakridge, where they dropped a 7-6 decision to the Warriors. The Cougars are now 6-4 on the year, while still holding a 2-2 record in District 6. With the loss, IVHS dropped three spots to No. 14 in the 2A baseball rankings by the OSAA this week.
After holding Oakridge scoreless in the initial inning, I.V. surrendered a pair of runs in both the second and third innings to take a 4-0 lead going into the fourth.
In the top of the fourth and fifth innings, the Cougars would make a game of it again. IVHS would put up a single unearned run in the fourth, before striking for three more in the fifth.
With two outs in the fourth, Bryson Gilmore was hit by a pitch. Gilmore advanced to second when Mike Miller walked. Gilmore scored the Cougars’ first run of the game when the Warriors’ shortstop misplayed Kaiden Green’s batted ball.
The Cougars tied the game in the fifth with their 3-run rally. Talen Schaffer was awarded first on catcher’s interference and advanced to second on a stolen base. Dylan Beals bunted and beat out the throw, with Schaffer advancing to third. Schaffer scored and Beals went to third when Zack Dugas singled. Jozia Williams laid down a sacrifice bunt, scoring Beals and advancing Dugas all the way to third. After Gilmore walked, Dugas scored when Gilmore was caught in a rundown. Dugas crossed the plate just before Gilmore was tagged out to end the inning.
Unfortunately, Oakridge took advantage of two walks and an error to score a pair of runs in the bottom of the fifth, taking the lead back at 6-4. The Warriors stretched out the lead with an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth.
I.V. rallied in the top of the seventh and had the tying run on base when the game ended. With one out, Dugas doubled and moved to third on a passed ball. Dugas scored when Williams grounded out to shortstop. Gilmore homered to right-center, cutting the gap to one at 7-6. Miller, singled and represented the tying run. However, Miller was put out at second and the game ended with the Cougars 1-run short.
Beals, Gilmore, Braeden Lapora and Green all had stints on the mound, with Gilmore being tagged with the loss.

Dugas collected two hits of I.V.’s five hits in the contest, including a double. He also scored twice. Gilmore went 1-for-2 with his home run. He reached base two other times and scored twice. Miller and catcher Kegan Russell collected the other two hits for the Cougars.

Illinois Valley is scheduled to play a trio of District 6 games this week. The Cougars traveled to Day’s Creek for a single game on Tuesday. They return home for a pair of home games against the Wolves Friday. The games with Day’s Creek will be critical to I.V.’s play-off hopes as only two teams from District 6 are guaranteed spots in the tourney. IVHS currently holds the second spot, but only leads the Wolves by one game in the standings.