McPherson out-pitches Humphries, Comets edge ‘Cats 1-0

Photo by Shawn Long FOR THE LEAD–Reed-Custer’s Joe Stellano touches home plate while being tagged by Wilmington catcher Nolan Rickmon to score the first and only run in a 1-0 win over Wilmington on Monday.

Shawn Long
Sports Writer

by shawn long Sports writer Reed-Custer’s Jake McPherson won the pitching duel against Wilmington’s Kaden Humphries on Monday to help his ballclub win 1-0 at Wilmington McPherson went the distance, giving up just two hits while fanning nine in the win. He out-dualed Humphries who lasted 6.2 innings, giving up an unearned run on three hits while fanning nine and walking one. “It was a good game,” said McPherson. “It felt good to win and I took care of business on my end and Kaden took care of it on his end. I was a little nervous. You don’t have a lot of confidence pitching to a 1-0 lead but my defense played very well today. I don’t think we had an error today. Facing Humphries he’s throwing gas and he gave up one run but that’s all we needed.” Comet baseball coach Jake Evans was impressed by his junior pitcher. “First of all, Jake was special on the mound,” said Evans. “That’s the only way to really describe it. That’s a really good ballclub they have over there. That’s a good line-up they have over there. They can hit. Also, tip your cap to the Humphries kid really tough on the mound as well. Fortunately, Jake was special and one was enough. The McPherson led Comets got their first run in the fourth on a fire play. The Comets had Joe Stellano on third and Cole Goodwin on first. Goodwin attempted a steal of second base and baited the Wilmington shortstop to run at him which he did and Stellano bolted for the plate. He slid around the tag of Nolan Rickmon to score the game’s only run. “That’s how we ended up scraping that run across,” added Evans. “Joe Stellano got a bunt base hit. Cole Goodwin put the pressure on them and forces them to make the play and then we steal home in a first to third situation so we knew it was going to be one of those days.” McPherson (2-for-3) doubled while Stellano had thee other hit. Colin Esparza was their only other baserunner with a walk. The Comets (10-3, 7-2) are currently second in the Illinois Central Eight Conference which is led by Coal City and Streator, who are both 7-1. They will host Momence on Thursday and will travel to Oakwood for a double-header on Saturday. They’ll host Coal City Monday. Reed-Custer 5 Beecher 1 The Comets picked up a win over Beecher on Friday thanks to an excellent pitching performance from Slager. Ethan Slager went the distance, giving up one run on six hits while striking out four and walking one to get the win. The Comets staked themselves to a 5-0 lead with two in the first, one in the second and two in the fifth before the Bobcats even were able to respond. They only came back with a run as the Comets held on for their fifth straight win. Stellano doubled with two hits driving in three while McPherson also drove in a run. Kyle Highland doubled scoring a run while Connor Esparza and Cameron Smith also walked with a hit, and two runs each. Reed-Custer 7 Herscher 1 Kyle Fordonski went the distance on the mound and a five-run second helped the Comets cruise to a win over Herscher on Thursday. Fordonski gave up a run on eight hits while fanning four and walking nobody. The Comets gave him most of his run support with a five-run second to take a 5-0 lead. Herscher was unable to answer until the fourth and they only were able to muster a run. The Comets added another two in the fifth and Fordonski did the rest to shut down the Tigers comeback hopes. The Comets were led by Brandon Carlo, who went 1-for-3 driving in two runs. He also scored a run. Colin (2-for-2, 2B, 2R), Connor (1-for-4, R) and McPherson (1-for-2, 2 BB) also drove in a run while Stellano had two hits. Cameron Smith and Joe Bembenek also had a hit. Goodwin walked and scored two runs while Highland also scored a run. Reed-Custer 9 Peotone 7 A four RBI day from Goodwin helped the Comets beat Peotone to earn the sweep on Wednesday. Goodwin only had one hit which was a two-run single but he also added a sacrifice fly that scored two runs instead of one. The Goodwin led Comets matched Peotone as they were tied at 3-3 after one inning. Peotone scored a run to grab the lead but the Comets came right back with five runs in the third to make it an 8-4 game. Peotone brought themselves back within one with three runs in the fourth, 8-7.l But the Comets would score one more run in the sixth and Highland finished them off on the bump to secure the win. Stellano picked up the win on the mound, giving up six runs on eight hits while fanning six and walking five. Highland earned the save with three scoreless innings of one-hit ball. He walked four and struck out a batter. Reed-Custer 6 Peotone 5 Fordonski staved off a Blue Devil comeback on Tuesday. McPherson, the starter, was out after 6.1 innings of really good work. He left in the sixth with the bases loaded with one out in the inning. Fordonski gave up a run on a fielder’s choice play but also got an out two batters later to secure the save. McPherson pitched 6.1 innings, gave up three earned runs on six hits while punching out seven to earn the win. The Comets gave themselves a 4-0 lead in the first two innings and didn’t even hear from Peotone until the fourth when they would score just one run to cut into the 4-1 lead. The Comets scored two more runs to make it 6-1. That’s when Peotone started to comeback with three in the sixth and another one in the seventh but it was too late as the Comets held on to win the first game of the series. Smith led the offense, going 3-for-3 with three doubles while driving in a run. He also scored a run. Connor (2-for-4, R), Stellano (1-for-4, R) and Goodwin (2-for-4) also drove in a run. Bembenek and Highland also had a hit scoring a run each while Slager picked up the team’s only free pass. He also scored a run.