December 6, 2021 Local Stories in and Around St. Joseph, Illinois

McCarty, Burnett sharp on the mound as SJO baseball pads win total

The wins keep adding up for the St. Joseph-Ogden High School baseball team.


Much like the solid pitching by the Spartans.


The Spartans ended last week with a 9-1 home nonconference win against Paxton-Buckley-Loda this past Friday, which was preceded by a 6-0 win at Bloomington Central Catholic in Illini Prairie Conference action last Thursday.


SJO (12-4-2) carries a four-game win streak into Monday’s 4:30 p.m. home game against Illini Prairie rival Unity and coach Josh Haley’s program hasn’t lost a game since March 27, with two ties interspersed during the current run of success.


Keegan McCarty led SJO in its win against PBL, throwing 5 1/3 quality innings and only allowing three hits while striking out 12.

Adam Rose threw an effective 1 2/3 innings in relief, striking out three and not giving up a hit.


Jaden Miller and Drew Coursey each drove in two runs to pace the offense, while Sam Wesley, Kaden Jacobs and Nick Boggs each added an RBI and Crayton Burnett and Adam Frerichs each scored two runs.


SJO went ahead early against PBL, scoring two runs in the bottom of the first, taking advantage of two errors. Rose led off and reached via an error before Frerichs singled to left field. With one out, Rose scored on PBL’s second error of the inning and Wesley delivered a run-scoring single to give SJO a 2-0 lead.


The Spartans made it 4-0 in the third inning. Burnett reached on an error to lead off the inning, advanced to second base on a wild pitch and scored on a one-out single from Boggs to increase SJO’s lead to 3-0. A double steal between Boggs and Jacobs, and another error by PBL, gave SJO a 4-0 led.


After PBL cut SJO’s advantage to 4-1 in the top of the fifth, the Spartans answered on a two-run double by Miller to go up 6-1 after five innings. SJO padded its lead with three runs in the sixth, highlighted by a two-run single from Coursey, to earn its eventual 9-1 win.


SJO improved its Illini Prairie record to 3-0 with its shutout road win against Bloomington Central Catholic.


Burnett recorded the win on the mound, throwing six innings, scattering six hits and striking out 11. Zach Martini struck out two in his inning of relief and did not allow a hit.


Jacobs powered SJO’s offense by hitting a home runs and driving in three runs, while Wesley (2 for 3, RBI), Burnett (2 for 4, RBI) and Coursey (2 for 3) each had multiple hits.


SJO jumped on Bloomington Central Catholic early, scoring four runs in the top of the first inning to take a commanding 4-0 lead. Frerichs was hit by a pitch with one out before Burnett and Wesley followed with singles to put SJO ahead 1-0. Then, Jacobs stepped into the batter’s box and crushed a three-run home run to make it 4-0.


SJO increased its lead to 5-0 in the second inning. Rose walked to lead off the inning and then Burnett drilled a one-out double to plate Rose.


The score remained that way until the sixth when SJO plated its last run on an RBI groundout from Frerichs to account for the final 6-0 score.


After Monday’s home game with Unity, the Spartans are slated to host Oakwood at 4:30 p.m. in nonconference play before jumping back into Illini Prairie action. SJO is set to travel to play at Pontiac at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday and then at 11 a.m. on Saturday at Chillicothe Illinois Valley Central.

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