Senior Ryne Roper got a pair of saves in relief as Harrisburg ran its season-opening winning streak to four games with two victories Saturday afternoon at Dorris Heights.
Harrisburg opened the weekend with a 5-4 win over Rochelle before closing action with a 2-1 victory over Pinckneyville.
The Bulldogs jumped out to a 4-0 lead on the Hubs after three innings in the first contest, but saw the 3A school slowly climb its way back.
Senior Justin Younger got credit for the win by striking out three and allowing just two hits over four-plus innings.
Sophomore Matthew Phipps worked over an inning in relief before Roper came into secure the win by getting the final four outs.
Rochelle (0-3) had closed to within a run in the top of the sixth inning and had the tying run at third base with the go-ahead run also aboard before Roper struck out catcher Dylan Hopkins to end the threat.
Harrisburg senior Cody Hall drove in two runs, while Younger and sophomore Cooper Thompson also drove in runs.
Hall added to his big day by tossing over six innings in the one-run win over Pinckneyville.
The right-hander struck out eight Panthers and gave up a lone earned run in the finale.
Harrisburg got the victory despite just have one hit out of the infield against Pinckneyville starter Joey Burris.
“We’ll get better offensively,” said Harrisburg coach Jay Thompson. “We’re scuffling a little right now, but it’s 40 degrees and we’ve seen good arms already. Our guys don’t get to settle in early in the year against bad pitching. We jump right into the fire and see everybody’s best arm.”
Freshman Noah Vallette drew a bases loaded walk in the first inning against Pinckneyville, and catcher Brady Mayer’s RBI groundout in the third inning provided enough offense for Hall.
Roper came in to record the final two outs in the seventh inning and ended the threat with Pinckneyville having runners at second and third.
Weather permitting Harrisburg is scheduled to have games every day but Thursday this week, however games involving schools from northern Illinois early in the week could be in jeopardy with winter weather impacting travel conditions in that part of the state.
The Bulldogs are set to host New Trier Monday at 3:30 p.m. before hosting Warren Township Tuesday afternoon at 4. On Wednesday, Lockport will come to Harrisburg for a 4:30 first pitch, and then the Bulldogs will play at 11 a.m. Friday at Rent One Park in Marion against Vernon Hills.
Pleasant Plains and Elgin Westminster are then scheduled to come to Harrisburg for a three-team round robin Saturday.