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HS baseball: Gillespie defeats Marquette, Jerseyville and Carrollton

Staunton holds off Bunker Hill, Southwestern shuts out GF-NW

Enquirer Democrat Reporter

Gillespie High School baseball opened the 2024 season winning three of four non-conference contests last week.

Gillespie defeated Marquette, Jerseyville and Carrollton in what turned out to be a relatively warm stretch, for both the team and the weather.

The Miners hit a speed bump against newly-introduced opponent O’Fallon 24 hours after securing an Opening Day victory at Alton, but quickly recovered from a humbling 13-0 loss and delighted their home crowd.

Behind solid pitching performances from Tristan Wargo and Luke Schuckenbrock, Gillespie shut down Jerseyville, 6-1, and Carrollton, 3-0. The zero against Carrollton was already the second of the season for the Miners’ pitching unit, which additionally blanked Marquette, 9-0. Wargo and Shuckenbrock each went the distance on the home bump. Wargo allowed one run on five hits while notching 10 strikeouts against Jersey. Schuckenbrock limited Carrollton to four hits and a walk while striking out eight en route a 99-pitch complete game shutout.

The majority of the Miners’ offensive firepower throughout opening week was generated courtesy of their senior captains, particularly Bryce Buhs. Buhs had four hits in his first nine at-bats – the biggest being a seventh inning grand slam that helped Gillespie ultimately bury Marquette last Monday. Buhs has already plated seven runs for the Miners this season. Bryce Hohnsbehn is also off to a hot start with a team-best .455 batting average in the clean-up slot. Wargo is only hitting .143 leading off, but he has still retained valuable productivity in reaching base 60 percent of the time, drawing seven walks in 15 plate appearances.

Staunton holds off Bunker Hill

Bunker Hill nearly rallied after trailing 4-0 in the first and 8-3 in the fourth, but Staunton escaped with a 9-7 road victory Mar. 13.

The Minutemen plated four runs in the bottom of the seventh before the Bulldogs finally slammed the door.

Carter Legendre led the charge for Staunton with three RBI and a pair of hits.Brennan Fulton posted an identical statline for Bunker Hill.

Drake Billings tossed five frames and earned the first victory of 2024 for the Dogs, striking out six while surrendering only one earned run.

Staunton is 1-4 to start the season. The Bulldogs lost to Nokomis (5-0) Mar. 11, Metro East Lutheran (6-3) Mar. 15, Pittsfield (10-0) Mar. 16 and Havana (10-7) Mar. 16.

Bunker Hill, which opened the season with a 2-1 win against Carrollton Mar. 11, is 1-2. The Minutemen continued a five-game home stretch Mar. 16, but were unable to hang with Pawnee, losing 10-0.

Southwestern shuts out GF-NW

Rocky Darr and Colin LeMarr went deep and Marcus Payne twirled five shutout innings, powering Southwestern to a 6-0 win at Greenfield-Northwestern Mar. 15.

Adam Hale took over the pitching duties in the sixth with the Birds ahead 3-0 and earned a two-inning save.

Other action

In other action, North Mac opened the season with a 16-3 loss against Mt. Pulaski Mar. 13 and Carlinville’s first game was called off due to a thunderstorm.