Boys high school baseball regional play continued yesterday with a couple of area teams advancing to this weekend’s regional championship games. The Milford Bearcats got a bases loaded bunt from Dylan Payne in the bottom of the 7th inning to push across the winning run in their 5-4 victory over Grant Park at the class 1A Cissna Park regional, while Bismarck Henning blasted Clifton Central 10-1 at the class 2A Iroquois West regional. Saturday’s regional championship games schedule features Hoopeston Area taking on Downs Tri Valley at 1 pm in the class 2A Bloomington Central Catholic regional, Milford facing off against top seeded Illinois Lutheran at 11:30 in the class 1A Cissna Park regional, and Bismarck Henning against top seeded PBL in the class 2A Iroquois West regional at 12 noon.
Regional title games will take place this afternoon for girls softball with Watseka looking to take home the crown in the class 2A regional that they’re hosting. The 3rd seeded Warriors will host top seeded Herscher at 4:30 this afternoon in Watseka.
In boys track and field action, congratulations to the Watseka Warriors who took home the team crown in the class 1A PBL sectional last night. Hunter Lee won the 300 meter hurdles to help lead the Warriors to the title. Congratulations also go out to Hoopeston Area’s Trey Houmes who took home the individual titles in the 1600 and 3200 meter runs.
In Major League Baseball action, the Chicago Cubs swept their three game series with the Cincinnati Reds after taking the final game of the series 9-5 yesterday. Javy Baez launched a grand slam as part of a 5 run first inning for the northsiders and they never looked back. Starter Jon Lester gave up 3 runs on 6 hits while striking out 5 in his 6 innings on the mound to even his record at 2-2 on the year. The Cubs will be back in action this afternoon at 1:20 when they begin a three game weekend series with the Brewers. Eddie Butler will face off against Paolo Espino of the Brewers in this afternoon’s first game.
The White Sox dropped their fourth game in a row, losing 5-4 to the Mariners last night. Todd Frazier and Tim Anderson each hit solo home runs in the 8th inning to tie the game at 4, only to see the Mariners get a pinch hit RBI single in the bottom of the 9th to walk off with the win. Reliever Dan Jennings took the loss after giving up 2 hits and walking 1 while only collecting two outs in the fateful 9th inning. Matt Davidson also pitched in with a solo home run of his own for the southside offense. They will continue their four game series tonight in Seattle with Jose Quintana taking on Ariel Miranda in a 9:10 first pitch.
The Cardinals had the day off yesterday but will host the Giants in a three game weekend series beginning tonight at 7:15. Tonight’s game features Michael Wacha facing off against Matt Moore of the Giants.
The NBA playoffs continue tonight with game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals in Boston. The Cavaliers defeated the Celtics 117-104 in game 1 on Wednesday night to take an early lead in that series.
The NHL’s Western Conference Finals continued last night with the Ducks defeating Nashville 3-2 in overtime to tie that series up at 2 games apiece. The Eastern Conference finals will resume tonight with the Senators hosting the Penguins in game 4. Ottawa leads that series two games to one.
Lastly, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup series will be in Charlotte this Saturday night for the 70 lap All Star Race. Joey Logano is the defending champion at the 1.5 mile quad oval.