Prep Baseball Report

Normal University Wins Back-And-Forth Affair Against Springfield

By Drew Locascio
Illinois Scouting Director

No. 15 Normal University hosted Central State Eight conference opponent Springfield on Wednesday afternoon. The game, which was the second of their two-game series, was held at Duffy Bass Field on the campus of Illinois State. The teams traded leads in the fifth inning but it was the Pioneers of Normal University who came away with a 4-3 win, sweeping the series.

Springfield (12-13) trailed 2-0 heading into the top of the fifth when they made the game interesting. Will Reiser and Luke Flesner hit consecutive one-out singles. Reiser then scored on an RBI groundout by Aaron Evans, cutting the Pioneers lead to 2-1. Then with two guys on and two outs, Jacks Hyde hit a ground ball to the left-side of the infield but the throw got away from the first baseman. The errant throw allowed Flesner to score the tying run from third and heads up baserunning by Rico Johnson, who had reached on a separate error, allowed him to score all the way from second, giving Springfield the 3-2 lead heading to the bottom of the fifth.

The lead was short-lived however, as Normal University (18-6) scored two runs of their own in the very next frame. After a leadoff single by Parker Mathieson and a walk to Daniel Mosele, Nathan Hardman laid down an innocent sacrifice bunt. The pitcher fielded the bunt cleanly but threw it away to first base, allowing Mathieson to score the tying run from second and Mosele moved to third. With runners on first and third, the Pioneers then executed a double steal, with Mosele taking off for home as the Springfield catcher threw down to second base. Flesner, Springfield’s shortstop, crept in front of the second base bag, cut off the throw and fired home. Mosele was able to beat the throw and slide in safely for the go-ahead and ultimate winning run.

That was all the scoring Normal University would need, as they turned to sophomore right-handed pitcher, MacCallan Conklin, to record the final seven outs. Conklin made quick work of the Senator offense twirling a perfect 2.1 innings. Conklin who attacked hitters behind a 86-88 mph fastball struck out one and did not allow a ball to leave the infield.

The Pioneers jumped out to an early 2-0 lead thanks to a run in the second and third innings. Bailey Klemmensen scored Matt Taylor on an infield single in the second and Paul Africano hit a clean, two-out single into right-center field, scoring Mosele in the third. Klemmensen had two hits to lead the way for the Normal University offense while Mosele led the team with three stolen bases.

Reiser went 2-for-3 with a run scored in the loss and Evans went 1-for-3 with a double and an RBI.

For more in-depth notes from this game - and all other games that we cover - visit the Illinois Scout Blog.