The Saline County rivalry was renewed again Wednesday as Harrisburg hosted Eldorado in the final home game for the Bulldogs.
Coincidentally, the final home game also served as the final stop four Harrisburg seniors as Cody Hall, Justin Younger, Ryne Roper and Chris Willsey were joined with their parents at Dorris Heights prior to the start of the game.
The four seniors were part of a 127-8-1 record in four years at Harrisburg and as winners of 14 of their last 15, the Bulldogs were looking for more momentum heading into the upcoming offseason.
Harrisburg will host the upcoming regional that will include Massac County, Vienna, Eldorado and Hamilton County. Should the Eagles get by Hamilton County it would set up a round two matchup with the Bulldogs, but on Wednesday, Harrisburg drew first blood blanking EHS 7-0.
Matthew Phipps (3-0) got the win on the bump as he went five innings and allowed three hits, while walking two and striking out six.
Devin Aldridge (1-2) took the loss for the Eagles, going 2 1/3 innings, giving up three runs on three hits while walking three and striking out one.
Drew Woolcott came in for relief, handling the third through fifth innings and Dylan Riddle pitched the sixth.
Harrisburg scored in every inning but the third, putting up two runs in the first and tacking on a run in the second.
Willsey's base hit into right field scored Braxton Keasler, pinch running for Brady Mayer, who reached base two batters earlier on a fielder's choice scoring Ryne Roper who led the inning off with a walk.
Noah Vallette led the second inning off with a single into left field and later scored on Roper's sacrifice fly to left field.
In the fourth inning, Ryan Luce led off the inning with a base hit down the third base line and after Vallette sacrificed Luce to second on a bunt, Roper smoked a two-out RBI double to right field to score Luce.
Prior to Harrisburg's at-bat, Eldorado saw a golden chance to score slip out of their grips. The Eagles had runners (Adam Collier and Brennan Unthank) on the corner with no outs, but Brennan Unthank was thrown out by Brady Mayer trying to steal second and that followed a Garrison Hathaway to Cody Hall for out No. 2 and Dakota Prather grounded out to Ryne Roper as Harrisburg came out of the inning unscathed.
Harrisburg's big inning came in the fifth when they batted around the order, putting up three runs on two hits.
Vallette ripped a single into left field to score Kealser and Sykes Thompson had a bloop single into center field to score Phipps. Roper drove in Luce with a sacrifice-fly for the game's final run.
Page 2 of 2 - Eldorado's (7-15) four hits came compliments of Tyler Deaton (1-2), Devin Aldridge (1-3), Adam Collier (1-2) and Dakota Prather (1-3).
Harrisburg (22-3) were led at the plate by Roper going 1- for-1 (3 RBI), Mayer finishing 1-for-2 (RBI), Willsey going 1-for-3 (RBI), Vallette finishing 2-for-2 (RBI) and Sykes Thompson going 1-for-2 (RBI).
Harrisburg finished off their home portion of the schedule going 14-2 and will now prepare to host the IHSA Class 2A Regional.
Eldorado and Hamilton County will play a quarterfinal game at Eldorado on May 13 at 4:30 p.m. The winner advances to play Harrisburg at Harrisburg on May 15 at 4:30 p.m. The championship will then be played on Saturday May 18 at Noon.
The Harrisburg regional winner would play the Tuscola Regional winner at the Teutopolis sectional at 6:30 p.m. on Wed May 22.
The sectional championship is currently set for the following Saturday at 10 a.m.
Eldorado 14, Fairfield 8
In game that took nearly three hours to complete, Eldorado improved to 7-14 with a 14-8 win over Fairfield Tuesday on the road.
Brennan Unthank went 3-for-4 with three runs scored and an RBI in the win. Devin Aldridge finished 2-for-4 with a pair of runs scored and a pair of RBIs.
Jordan Pilkington, Adam Collier, Garrison Hathaway and Kaleb Williams all had a hit for the Eagles. Williams and Garrison Hathaway each had a pair of RBIs as Eldorado had 11 on the day.
Garrison Hathaway also picked up the win, pitching 3.67 innings, allowing four earned runs on three hits, while striking out three and walking seven.
Michael Dann can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Michael Dann on Twitter @spydieshooter.