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Red Devils edge Tigers in 8; fall in title game

The Hall Red Devils won an exciting 5-4 game over Princeton in eight innings under the lights of Foley Field in Kirby Park in the Wooden Bat Tournament.

That moved the Red Devils across the river to Granville to play in Saturday’s finals at Putnam County High School. They lost to Illinois Lutheran 4-3 to finish second in the tournament.

Hall 5, Princeton 4: Friday’s nightcap went into extra innings with a late rally by the Red Devils. The Tigers struck dirt in the top of the eighth, moved ahead 4-3 on a sac fly by Tyler Marvin.

The Red Devils battled back with Ian Trevier leading off the home half with a single and Colton Zibert reaching safely on a fielder’s choice. Isaiah Taylor, the PHS starting pitcher, fanned two, but couldn’t sneak a third strike by Miguel Villareal. He hit a two-count, two strike hit to tie the game at 4.

After an intentional walk to Trevor Urbanski to load the bases, Zach Urbanski, stroked a two-strike game-winning hit to right field.

J.J. Vaccaro gave the Tigers a 2-0 lead with a long double over a leaping Hall left fielder Taggart Venegas in the third inning.

Skye Behrends’ RBI single made it 3-0 in the fourth.

Trevier got the Red Devils on the board with a RBI hit to right field, plating 11.

Venegas smashed a two-run double in the sixth to tie the game before being tagged out at third.

Princeton 2, Mendota 1: Vaccaro launched a ball into the right field corner to plate Behrends with the game-winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning in the first game of the day Friday at Foley Field. Behrends reached on an one-out error, Jett Wedekind was hit by a pitch and Taylor walked on a full count to load the bases to bring Vaccaro to the plate.

Princeton tied the game, 1-1, on a one-out triple by Tyler Marvin followed immediately by an RBI groundout from Caleb Dickens in the bottom of the second inning.

Sophomore Jake Reinhardt got the mound victory, scattering nine hits, walking a pair of Mendota batters, and striking out four. He gave up an unearned run in the first inning.

Hall 10, Mendota 2:  Hall used a five-run second inning and a three-run third to take control of Friday’s second baseball game at Foley Field.

Adam Sangston executed a perfect squeeze bunt to give the Red Devils a 1-0 lead early. Trevier added a two-run triple, followed by RBI singles from Tyler Taber and Venegas, and Hall led, 5-0 in the second.

Sangston supplied an RBI double, Trevier an RBI groundout, and Trevier a sac fly to stake Hall to an 8-1 lead in the third inning.

A fifth inning RBI single by Taber, and a sixth inning RBI base hit by Zibert completed the Red Devils’ scoring.

Pete Mautino pitched five strong innings, allowing only two runs (one earned) on four hits for the win. He walked three and struck out five.

Colton Zibert went 3-4 at the plate to lead the Red Devils.

Saturday’s games

Illinois Lutheran 4, Hall 3: The Red Devils (14-2) lost for only the second time in 16 games, falling in Saturday’s championship game at Jenkins Field in Granville. Venegas had three hits.

Putnam County 6, Princeton 2: The Panthers broke the third-place game open with five runs in the bottom of the sixth inning and rode the complete-game effort by Evan Krieser to victory at Massino Field in Hennepin.

Offensively, PC was led by Nick DiazDeLeon’s three hits and two RBIs. For Princeton, Vaccaro had three hits.

• Also Saturday, Mendota toppled Bureau Valley 20-1 to win the consolation title at Spring Valley.

Bill Schwabenland and Kevin Hieronymus contributed to this article.

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