By THE HERALD-WHIG STAFF
A classic pitcher's duel ended in extra innings as a showdown of the bullpens.
That's where the Illini West baseball team had an edge.
Colton Mellinger threw a scoreless inning of relief, while Nolan Ard drove in the winning run with a sacrifice bunt in the bottom of the ninth inning as the Chargers edged West Hancock 2-1 Thursday afternoon at Jacob Burling Field in Carthage, Ill.
Facing Titans reliever Andrew Hardy, the Chargers' Tucker Anderson led off with a single through the left side of the infield. He took second on an overthrow and was sacrificed to third by Dusty Waddell.
Ard followed with another sacrifice bunt to bring Anderson home with the winning run.
Alex Rhodes earned a no-decision for Illini West (7-3), although he was dominant for eight innings. Rhodes struck out 14 while allowing one unearned run and three hits. He was pulled before the ninth inning began.
Trevor Knipe started for West Hancock, allowing one run on six hits with eight strikeouts and two walks.
Trailing 1-0, the Titans tied the game in the top of the seventh. With one out and runners on second and third, Hardy scored on a passed ball.
Ard, Braxton Squier and Daniel Harrell had two hits apiece for Illini West, while Luke Beeler had two hits for West Hancock.
Griggsville-Perry 3, Winchester West Central 2: Kendall Hannant singled home what proved to be the game winner during the bottom of the fifth inning at Perry, Ill.
Hannant scored Jordan Dehart for a 3-0 lead. The Cougars scored two runs in the top of the sixth but stranded two runners. They also left the leadoff batter on in the seventh.
The Tornadoes scored their first run in the fifth when Max Stinebaker scored after Kaleb Bradshaw reached base on an error.
Ryan Kelley went 2 for 3 for Griggsville (7-4). Mitchell Main recorded the win, striking out six and walking one.
Canton 11, Unity 1: The Tigers wrapped up the victory by scoring six runs in the bottom of the sixth inning at Canton, Mo.
The big hit of the inning was Collin Baker's bases-loaded single which scored all three runners. Two batters later, Baker scored on Jonny Lee's groundout to end the game.
Earlier in the inning, Logan Brown hit an RBI double. That was Brown's second extra-base hit of the night, following a two-run home run for a 5-1 lead in the fourth.
Brown finished 3 for 4, while Tyler Niemann hit two doubles. Justin Fellinger went the distance, striking out six batters and walking none.
Unity tied the score at 1 when Blake Wittler scored on Dawson Moore's groundout in the top of the third. Canton snapped the tie in the bottom of the inning when Niemann doubled home Brandon Berhorst and scored on Fellinger's sacrifice fly.
Aspen Justice went 3 for 3 for the Mustangs.
Palmyra 8, Mark Twain 1: Josh Hultz tossed a three-hitter and the Panthers took advantage of nine errors by the Tigers to earn the Clarence Cannon Conference victory.
Hultz struck out nine batters and walked only two.
Alex Bross and Trevor Meny led a balanced attack for the Panthers with two RBIs apiece. Caleb Kizer, Seth Brown and Logan Scholl each drove in a run for Palmyra (8-1).
Douglas Camden suffered the loss for Mark Twain (3-8), striking out four and allowing just five hits.
Highland 10, Clark County 8: Cody Martin drove in the go-ahead runs with the bases loaded in the sixth inning as the Cougars rallied to win.
With the game tied at eight and Jack Neisen on third and pinch-runner Derek Garner on second, Martin flared a single just out of the shortstop's reach, allowing both runners to score.
Ryan Waterman earned the victory for Highland, throwing four innings of relief.
Colin McKee had a double and a solo home run for Clark County, while Bryce Schaffer suffered the loss, striking out four and walking three.