Morton adds to hot baseball start

Bryan Veginski

Morton stayed undefeated with a 4-2 home win over the Notre Dame baseball team on March 30.

The Potters led 4-0 entering the seventh before holding off the Irish in the final inning in a non-conference game at Morton Community Baseball Stadium.

Morton’s Mitchell Smith fired 5 2/3 shutout innings to register the win. He struck out five with no walks, while surrendering five hits.

Collin Mormann drove in two runs for the Potters. Jared Liddle and Dan Bolt were the hits leaders with two. Bolt had a triple and Liddle a double.

Noah Peterson and Bolt supplied RBIs, and Kevin Smith doubled for Morton.

Notre Dame, a Class 3A sectional finalist the last two seasons, has multiple Division-I signees on its roster.

MHS 2-8, Normal Community 1-2

The Potters remained undefeated with their third doubleheader sweep of the season on Saturday.

Morton (7-0) and Metamora (10-1) were set up for an exciting clash in their opening week Mid-Illini Conference series, which began Monday.

An eight-run fifth inning sparked the Redbirds to a 9-6 win. The teams play again on Wednesday at Metamora.

In the first game at Normal, the Potters made a two-run second inning stand up.

Liddle was 2 for 4 and Daniel Stuckey drove in a run in an opener that featured only 10 hits between the two teams.

Trace King was the winner after throwing four scoreless relief frames. The Ironmen had just one hit in that span.

Jake Starkey picked up the save with a hitless seventh. He worked around one walk.

Morton took a shutout into the seventh in game two, using patience at the plate to prevail.

The Potters drew 10 walks off two Normal pitchers and cruised after a five-run third inning.

Smith was 2 for 3 with two RBIs and he tossed four shutout innings in a starting role to gain the pitching victory.

Bolt also had two RBIs, and Liddle was 2 for 5 with the team’s only extra-base hit.

Adam Christianson was productive at the plate without a hit, inducing an RBI base on balls and driving in a run with a groundout.

Peterson also walked to force in a run as part of Morton’s big third inning.

Statistically speaking: The Potters are hitting a robust .362 through seven games.

Liddle leads the way at .600, followed by Bolt at .579 and Smith at .524.

Mormann (.364) is another full-time player over the .300 mark.

Bolt has a team-best 11 RBIs and seven extra-base hits. Smith and Christianson have knocked in seven runs and Peterson six.

The Morton staff ERA is 2.88. Smith has yet to give up a run in seven innings.

Mitchell Smith (0.72), Christianson (2.00) and King (2.47) all have thrown at least seven innings with ERAs below 3.00. Christianson tops the Potters with 12 strikeouts.