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Harrisburg takes down Vienna for 2A regional crown

  • Harrisburg beat Vienna 15-0 Monday to win the IHSA Class 2A Regional at Jay Thompson Field in Harrisburg. The championship was the 29th for the Bulldog program and 23rd for head coach Jay Thompson.

    Harrisburg beat Vienna 15-0 Monday to win the IHSA Class 2A Regional at Jay Thompson Field in Harrisburg. The championship was the 29th for the Bulldog program and 23rd for head coach Jay Thompson.

By Spyder Dann
updated: 6/7/2021 9:45 PM

As a person, Javie Beal likes movie night, tacos and R&B music.
The Harrisburg senior also likes hitting a baseball -- like a lot.
That was on full display in Monday's IHSA Class 2A Regional title game as Beal mashed his way to a 3-for-3 performance with two bombs, finishing with six RBI and two runs scored in a 15-0 win over Vienna at Jay Thompson Field.
The Bulldogs (28-1) pounded out 14 hits on the day, but the flood of runs they scored came early and often as Harrisburg put up seven runs in the first inning and added eight more in the second en route to a 29th regional title.
Beal, who sets the table for the 'Dogs did so Monday as the rain came down in the first inning, sending a 2-1 pitch count from Vienna starter Gabe Ross over the fence and was followed was a barrage of runs as Harrisburg tacked on six more.
Colby Morse followed with a double to left field and Krayton Morse doubled to center, scoring Colby. Noah Boon then walked and Ben Brombaugh singled on a line drive to center field, scoring courtesy runner Ross Rider. Andrew Bittle then reached via error, scoring Krayton Morse and with one out, Luke Miller singled to left to score Boon. Jackson Pittman singled to center, scoring Brombaugh and Beal came up again, singling to right field, scoring Bittle and Miller.
For Beal, his spot in the lineup is important to not only setting the table, but setting the tone. He did both.
"I scuffled there toward the end of the year and after getting off to a really good start, it felt weird, honestly. These past couple of weeks, I've really tied to bear down and work on things. (Monday) felt back to normal, I saw the ball well and was on time.
"Getting pitchers while they are fresh is important," Beal noted. "The (pitchers) are not settled into the game yet, they make mistakes sooner and they want to get the lead off guy out, so you're going to get pitches to hit."
In the second, Boon led off with a walk and took second and third on a pair of wild pitches. Brombaugh followed with a walk of his own and Bittle ripped a shot to third, scoring Boon. Riley King doubled to score Brombaugh and moved Bittle to third. Miller then went up the middle to score Bittle, moving King to third and Pittman scored King with a single past second.
Following a Vienna pitching change inserting Adrian Stout for Ross, Beal blasted his second home run of the day, a 3-run bomb to right field. Colby Morse lined a drive to right field and Krayton Morse followed with a walk, while Boon reached on a fielders choice. Brombaugh then singled to score Colby Morse.
Colby Morse was 2-for-3 with two runs scored, while Brombaugh was 2-for-2 with an RBI and two runs scored. Miller and Pittman were also 2-for-2 as Miller scored a pair and drove in two. Pittman finished with two RBI and a run scored. Krayton Morse, Bittle and King all had one hit.
On the mound, Brandon Banks got the start and the win as he went three innings and allowed one hit. Peyton Arnold came on in relief in the fourth and struck out the side.
The regional title was No. 23 for Jay Thompson who has strung together winning 19 out of the last 21 regional crowns, but also admitted the titles never come easy.
"It's never another day at the office. You can't sleep the night before and you can't eat all day. It doesn't matter who you are playing this time of the year, everyone is good. You just have to play and today we did. We hit up and down the lineup and certainly, whatever we had in the first inning, seven or eight runs, that changed everything."

Spyder Dann covers prep and college sports for the Southern Illinois LOCAL Media Group. Follow him on Twitter: @spydieshooter.