January 30, 2023 Local Stories in and Around St. Joseph, Illinois

SJO baseball on roll as Haley collects 300th career win

Some convincing wins have ensued recently for the St. Joseph-Ogden High School baseball team.


And a historic win happened for the Spartans’ coach on Tuesday afternoon.
SJO (10-4-2) has not suffered a loss in its previous seven games heading into Thursday’s 4:30 p.m. Illini Prairie Conference game at Bloomington Central Cathoilc.


On Tuesday, the Spartans collected a 13-3 home win in six innings against Prairie Central, giving coach Josh Haley his 300th career win. Haley has accumulated a record of 207-60-2 in eight seasons with the Spartans after starting his coaching career by compiling a 93-117 record in seven seasons at Hoopeston Area from 2005 to 2011.

The milestone win materialized thanks to strong offensive efforts from Nick Boggs and Crayton Burnett against Prairie Central.


Boggs finished 3 for 4 with a home run and a whopping seven RBI against the Hawks, while Burnett went 3 for 4 with five RBI and three runs scored.

Adam Rose (2 for 3, three runs scored), Adam Frerichs (two runs scored) and Sam Wesley (RBI) also got in on the offensive fun.


SJO led 5-0 after one inning and was ahead 10-2 by the end of the second inning.


Rose doubled to lead off the bottom of the first for SJO before stealing third base. Frerichs walked before Burnett singled to left field to score Rose and give SJO an early 1-0 lead. Frerichs advanced to third on Burnett’s single and scored once Wesley grounded out to put SJO up 2-0. After Kaden Jacobs was hit by a pitch, Boggs stepped to the plate and delivered a three-run home run to punctuate the inning and stake SJO to a 5-0 lead.


Prairie Central tagged SJO starter Joe Acton for two runs in the second, but the Spartans answered. In a big way.


Blake Primmer started the second inning off with a leadoff single and advanced to second after Rose walked on four pitches. Frerichs advanced both runners 90 feet with a groundout, allowing Burnett’s single to right field to score both Primmer and Rose in increasing SJO’s lead to 7-2.


Wesley walked and Jacobs was hit by a pitch for the second straight plate appearance, loading the bases for Boggs. And Boggs connected once again, drilling a bases-clearing double to give SJO a 10-2 lead.


The score remained that way for the next two innings before Prairie Central scratched across a run in the fifth before SJO ended the game early with three runs in the bottom of the sixth.


Rose started the late scoring surge with a leadoff double in the sixth before Frerichs walked. Rose stole third base and both came around to score on a two-run single by Burnett. With one out, Boggs ended the game with a single to right field to score Burnett and give SJO a 13-3 win.


Acton picked up the win on the mound, throwing 4 1/3 innings and giving up three runs on seven hits while striking out four. Zach Martini pitched 1 2/3 innings of shutout relief, striking out three and not giving up a hit.


The win against Prairie Central came after the Spartans knocked off Rantoul 11-1 in five innings at home on Monday in IPC play. That was preceded by a 2-2 tie at Williamsville in a game that lasted eight innings before being called by darkness on Saturday after SJO defeated Tremont 11-1 in its first game at Williamsville on Saturday.


Rose kept Rantoul off balance in throwing a five-inning two-hitter against the Eagles while also going 2 for 3 with two RBI and Burnett (2 for 3, four RBI) also had a superb game at the plate against the Eagles.


Drew Coursey (1 for 1, RBI, three runs scored), Jaden Miller (1 for 2, two runs scored) and Jacobs (1 for 3, RBI) all had solid games against Rantoul, with a six-run fourth inning — keyed by a three-run double by Burnett — paving the way for the Spartans.


SJO forced extra innings against Williamsville by tying the game at 2 in the top of the seventh thanks to scratching across a run.


Trailing 2-1 against the host Bullets, Frerichs walked to lead off the inning and stole second base before Burnett was hit by a pitch.


Miller advanced Frerichs and Burnett to third base and second base, respectively, after a groundout from Miller before Frerichs scored on a wild pitch to tie the game at 2.


Burnett started and went seven innings, striking out six and giving up five hits while allowing two unearned runs. Rose threw a scoreless inning of relief, striking out one to preserve the tie.


Rose (1 for 4), Burnett (1 for 2) and Jacobs (1 for 3, run scored) accounted for all of SJO’s hits against Williamsville.


Earlier in the day on Saturday in Williamsville, Primmer (1 for 1, three RBI), Frerichs (2 for 3, RBI, two runs scored), Wesley (1 for 3, two RBI), Burnett (two runs scored) and Rose (1 for 3, three runs scored, RBI) led the way in the win against Tremont.


Keegan McCarty was superb on the mound, tossing six innings and scattering six hits while giving up one run and striking out three.


After Thursday’s scheduled game at Bloomington Central Catholic, the Spartans are slated to end the week with a 4:30 p.m. home game against Paxton-Buckley-Loda on Friday before resuming conference play at 4:30 p.m. at home next Monday against Unity.

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