STREATOR — Led by a workhorse, minimize-the-damage pitching performance from Jacob Bemont, the Streator Bulldogs baseball club played a competitive game Friday with one of the Interstate Eight Conference's top teams with arguably the conference's top pitcher on the mound.
Streator, however, was never quite able to seriously threaten the Coal City Coalers or University of Illinois commit Payton Hutchings, as sophomore southpaw Hutchings outdueled right-handed junior Bemont and the host Diamond Dogs fell 5-0 here at the SHS Athletic Fields.
Hutchings used a lively fastball and disappearing breaking stuff to go all seven innings, allowing four Streator hits — Bulldogs No. 2 hitter Lucas Sharisky tallying two of them, Payton Phillis and Trevor Sember the others — while walking three and striking out 13 in the complete-game shutout.
"Early on there we had a couple chances where, if we could have gotten another base hit we could have gotten on the scoreboard, but he's tough," Bulldogs coach Beau Albert said of Hutchings. "He's as good as advertised ... and hat's off to him. He had a great outing, and they're a good team.
"I talked to (Bemont's) dad there in the sixth inning and said, 'Well, this is a tough draw to go against the Hutchings kid, but (Jacob) is holding his own.' He battled. Can't fault him for his effort today.
"He was great on the mound, we just didn't get anything going because Hutchings was on the other side."
Bemont did indeed do an admirable job of keeping his team in the game, going the full seven with five runs (two earned) allowed on a dozen hits, zero walks and one strikeout, also pitching through a handful of misread flyballs. Only single runs in the second and seventh proved to be earned, with the Coalers (21-4 overall, 11-1 in the I-8) racking up a dozen hits — many well-struck — but Bemont leaving a half dozen baserunners stranded in scoring position.
After the Streator starter orphaned runners at second and third in the top of the first, Streator (9-10 overall, 7-6 in the I-8) had what would prove to be its best scoring chance of the day in the bottom half when leadoff man Phillis legged out a hustle double and immediately moved to third with one away on a groundout. Hutchings pitched his way out of it with a "K" and a groundball to first, however, and the hosts never managed to advance another runner to third.
Sean Micetich (two singles, two RBIs) and Blake Harseim (single, double, triple, RBI) and Hutchings (single, double, RBI) led the Coal City attack.
At SHS Athletic Fields, Streator
Coal City 5, Streator 0
COAL CITY (5) — Hutchings p 4-0-2-1, Gagliardo cf 4-1-2-0, Harseim ss 4-1-3-1, Pullara c 4-0-1-0, Nevin dh 4-0-0-0, Wills 2b 4-2-1-0, Friddle lf 3-1-1-0, Copes rf 3-0-0-0, Micetich 3b 3-0-2-2, Spreitzer 1b 0-0-0-0, McDowell pr 0-0-0-0. Totals 33-5-12-4.
STREATOR (0) — Phillis c/cf 2-0-1-0, Sharisky 2b 3-0-2-0, Byers ss 3-0-0-0, Dresbach dh 3-0-0-0, Benckendorf 3b 2-0-0-0, Vickers rf 3-0-0-0, Sember 1b 3-0-1-0, Telford lf 1-0-0-0, McKinley cf 1-0-0-0, Bemont p 0-0-0-0, Colter cr 0-0-0-0, Cantrell lf 1-0-0-0, Grabowski ph 0-0-0-0, Ramon c 1-0-0-0, Gonzalez ph 1-0-0-0. Totals 24-0-4-0.
Coal City (21-4, 11-1) 011 002 1 — 5 12 0
Streator (9-10, 7-6) 000 000 0 — 0 4 2
LOB - Coal City 7; Streator 6. 2B - Hutchings, Gagliardo, Harseim, Phillis. 3B - Harseim. SB - Hutchings, Wills, Micetich. CS - Phillis.
Coal City ip r er h bb k
Hutchings (W) 7.0 0 0 4 3 13
Bemont (L) 7.0 5 2 12 0 1