New Morton baseball streak begins

Bryan Veginski

The Morton baseball team was in good shape through four innings on April 6.

But in the fifth, Metamora sent 11 batters to the plate and erupted for eight runs in the Mid-Illini Conference opener for both squads.

That momentum shift propelled the Redbirds to a 9-6 road win at Morton Community Baseball Stadium.

Dan Bolt was 2-for-2 with five RBIs for the Potters. He socked a three-run home run in the first inning, added a solo shot in the fourth and lifted a sacrifice fly in the seventh.

Jared Liddle went 2-for-4 with a double and drove in a run for a Morton offense that was out-hit 15-5.

The Potters induced six walks off Metamora all-conference pitcher Geremy Guerrero in six-plus innings.

Morton starter Mitchell Smith threw four-plus innings. Trace King followed him to the mound.

Braden Rassi, the third Potters hurler who worked in the fifth, struck out three without a walk in three innings.

Payton Biernat had the big blow in the Redbirds’ eight-run frame with a grand slam.

MHS 11, Peoria High 0 (5)

The Potters responded positively on April 7.

The pitching trio of Liddle, Bradyn Thompson and Jonah Rumbold threw a five-inning no-hitter against the Lions.

Morton’s Jake Starkey was 2-for-2 with a triple and two RBIs. Noah Peterson also had two hits, one of which was a double, and knocked in two runs.

Bolt scored three times and tripled among his two hits. Collin Mormann produced a double.

Kevin Smith, Adam Christianson and Ryan Altenberger all generated RBIs as well for the Potters.

Six of the 11 runs on the Peoria pitcher’s record were unearned as the guest Lions committed five errors.

Pleasant Plains Classic

The Potters won three times over the weekend to continue their torrid start.

Morton (11-1) extended its latest victory string to four games in its first year in the tournament.

On Friday, the Potters secured a 9-6 decision over the hosts.

They racked up an 8-1 lead by the third inning to chase the Cardinals’ starting pitcher.

Bolt had another monster game, contributing RBIs in each of his first three at-bats, including a two-run homer in the third inning. He wound up 3-for-4.

Christianson drove in two runs, and Liddle, Kevin Smith and Altenberger had one each.

Mormann and Kevin Smith supplied two hits. Christianson, Bolt, Altenberger and Kevin Smith all doubled.

The second of four Morton pitchers, Christianson was the winner.

The Potters needed just five innings to win both of their Saturday contests.

First, they dispatched Harrisburg 12-2 with a 15-hit attack.

Back-to-back four-run innings put Morton on top 8-2 after the second.

Ben Main was 2-for-3 with a RBI and stole three of the team’s 10 bases.

Liddle, Mormann, Peterson, Altenberger and Starkey each had two hits as well.

Bolt produced three RBIs and Christianson two. Mormann, Peterson and Altenberger also knocked in runs.

Two hitless relief innings gave King the pitching win.

The Potters had their second combined no-hitter of the week. Liddle and Thompson started and ended the feat, respectively, with an inning. Rumbold gained the victory with three strikeouts in three frames of work.

Bolt was 4-for-4 with a triple, two doubles and five RBIs to pace a squad that cracked a dozen hits.

Daniel Stuckey, Liddle and Altenberger also doubled off Redskins pitching.

Mormann was 2-for-4 and drove in two runs. Liddle, Stuckey, Peterson, Tucker Anderson, Altenberger and Kyle Cashdollar all had RBIs in the blowout.

Game rescheduled: Morton will face Metamora at 4:15 p.m. Thursday to conclude last week’s series. The game was rained out last week.