No walks allowed. No errors in the field.
So ends the good news for the Pekin baseball team in its 9-4 loss Friday to visiting Peoria Richwoods in a non-conference game at Harry Anderson Field.
Richwoods (14-4) cranked out 13 hits and impressed Pekin coach Larry Davis.
“They’re doing what we need to do. Make contact with the ball,” he said.
Pekin (7-8) scored a pair of runs in the first inning on RBI doubles by Cole Russell and Evan Pogioli and moved in front 2-1.
By the time the Dragons scored again, they were behind 9-2. Russell had an RBI triple and Nathan Righi an RBI single in the seventh.
“Cole (Russell) is our leading hitter. His average is up around .400,” Davis said.
Pekin pitchers Cade Edmiston, Bailey Antonio and Jon Kuethe struck out six and did not issue a free pass.
The Dragons hosted Washington on Monday in a Mid-Illini Conference game. The teams will play again at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Washington.
MILESTONE WINS: Three area baseball coaches reached career milestones four days apart from each other, and two earned their 100th wins on the same day.
Metamora manager Eric Stone earned his 300th win when the Redbirds beat Auburn 7-0 at the Pleasant Plains Tournament on April 21. The team presented Stone with a flag commemorating his 300 victories with the Redbirds logo. Since April 21, though, Metamora is on a four-game slide and is 11-12 on the season.
Stone is in his 17th season and is 300-280 all-time at Metamora. He guided the Redbirds to a 27-13 record and a third-place finish in Class 3A in 2014.
Peoria Heights coach Matt King won his 100th game in a 4-3 win over Knoxville on April 17. He guided the Patriots to the school’s first athletics state championship last season in Class 1A. His overall record is 102-154 in his 10th season leading the Patriots.
Peoria Richwoods coach Doug Goessman, a Pekin resident, earned his 100th career win on April 17 in an 8-1 win over Peoria High. It was the beginning of a six-game winning streak entering Friday’s game against Pekin. Goessman is in his seventh season as Knights head coach and carries a career record of 105-87-1. The Knights are 12-3 and lead the Big 12 Conference with a 7-0 record.
BIG YEAR FOR LITTLE GIANTS: Canton hasn’t let off the throttle on its climb to the top of the Mid-Illini Conference with a 7-1 league record and 14-2 overall.
First-year coach Mike Emery inherited a strong roster that features Illinois State recruit Clint Wells behind the plate, sure-handed shortstop Dalton Crumley and second baseman Devin Downs. Wells leads the bunch with a .449 average and three triples to go with 14 RBIs. Crumley has scored a team-high 20 runs.
Spoon River recruit Clay Schroeder leads the pitching staff, which has a 1.37 ERA. James Shaw and Jace Anderson also appear in starting roles and Crumley is perfect in five save opportunities and has two spot starts.
“Any team in the Mid-Illini is capable of coming back on you,” said Emery, who was an assistant under former coach Mike Walters. “Our focus is there all the time. We play good defense and have good pitching.”
The Little Giants are energetic, which helps them stay focused and on the gas pedal — the team slogan this season — and the captains have embraced the leadership roles.
But the toughest tests are yet to come as Canton will play Limestone, Morton and Dunlap in the final three weeks of conference play. Beyond that, it also will play 12-3 Peoria Richwoods and Normal West out of conference.
PITCHERS WEAR DOWN FOES: Eureka baseball coach Dane Wear has never had a pitching staff that’s this good. The Hornets are 14-4-1 and have a staff ERA of 2.01 so far this season.
Top starters Aaron Schwab (0.50) and Brady Krile (0.98) allow less than one run per game. Garrett Peterson and Adam Anderson are 1.33 or better. The quartet makes up for 76.6 percent of the team’s innings thrown this season.
“Our regular starters, for the first time in my career, are under one ERA,” said Wear. “For the first time in my career I can say my staff is dominant.”
A newer tradition continues on this season for the Hornets. After each game a chain with a baseball hanging from it, similar to the University of Miami’s turnover chain in football, is awarded to a player who “does well” in the game. Each player will sign the attached baseball that Wear will keep as a memento.
The Domingo Beisbol Award is named after Domingo Ayala, who started a YouTube channel in 2009 uploading an instructional video and since has turned into a YouTube and social media sensation.
Steve Stein can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @SpartanSteve. The Peoria Journal Star contributed to this report.