COAL CITY — Heading into the season, pitching was widely thought to be the strength of the Coal City baseball team.
On Tuesday, in a 5-2 win over Minooka, that was certainly the case.
Senior left-hander Keegan Gagliardo went six innings for the win, striking out nine. Jack Bunton finished with a perfect seventh inning for the save.
"Keegan threw the ball great," Coal City coach Greg Wills said. "He was around the plate and wanted the ball for that sixth inning. Then, Jack came in and shut them down in the seventh. He is really doing well in the closer role for us."
Bunton led a nine-hit Coal City offensive attack with two hits and three RBIs, while teammates Payton Hutchings and Daniel Caruso each had two hits. Austin Pullara (RBI) and Gagliardo each doubled for the Coalers, while Mickey McDowell added a hit.
"We scuffled a bit offensively when we were in St. Louis," Wills said. "But, in our last two games, the hitters have started to come around. We have 19 hits in our last two games.
"It's always good to get a win against a quality program like Minooka. The have a lot of talented players."
Kyle Czarnecki and Pedro Martinez each had an RBI for the Indians (0-5).
Coal CIty 9, Prairie Central 3: On Monday, the Coalers collected 10 hits, as Connor Best led the way with two hits and four RBIs. Keegan Gagliardo and Mickey McDowell each had two hits to back winning pitcher Tyson Spencer. Spencer went five innings, allowing tree hits, three walks and three runs while striking out four. Jack Bunton threw the final two innings, striking out five of the six batters he faced.
Wilmington 12, Gardner-South Wilmington 2: The Panthers (3-1) suffered their first loss of the season, collecting five hits. Nathan Wozniak, Chris Ruiz, Joey Morales, Nolan Perkins and Connor Steichen all had a hit for GSW.
Minooka 12, Bradley-Bourbonnais 9: Sammy Norman went 3 for 3 with a double and an RBI to lead the offense for Minooka, while Nicole Lovato was 2 for 4 with a home run and three RBIs. Gabi Robles was 2 for 5 with an RBI and three stolen bases, while Brooke Sulima was 2 for 4 with a double and three RBis.
Joliet Junior College 15-9, Bryant Stratton 2-5: Morris' Ashley Phelps had three hits and one of JJC's three home runs Tuesday in the opener. Morris grad Allison Kukman threw four innings to record her first win in the nightcap, while Coal City's Paityn Smith threw two innings for the save.