Where will Galesburg, A-Town, Knoxville, others play in postseason? Find out here

·8 min read
Galesburg junior Charlie Lardi singles on a bunt in the bottom of the second inning in a non-conference game against Normal Community on Monday, May 9, 2022 at Jim Sundberg Field.
Galesburg junior Charlie Lardi singles on a bunt in the bottom of the second inning in a non-conference game against Normal Community on Monday, May 9, 2022 at Jim Sundberg Field.

It's come to that time for Class 1A and 2A baseball teams across the state.

The Illinois High School Association's playoffs are about to occur in those two classes. They'll begin Monday evening.

Class 3A and 4A squads will wrap up their regular seasons this week and the postseason begins for them the week of May 23rd.

And where are those in the Galesburg-area playing, and who will they face? Here's the answers...

Class 3A

Galesburg vs Dunlap

In 2021, the Silver Streaks won the Western Big 6 Conference. It was the second straight league crown for Galesburg, as the 2020 season was nixed by COVID-19. The Streaks went 29-8 overall, won their first regional title since 2013, took a school record 17 affairs in a row and captured the league title in 2019.

Galesburg finished with a 20-8 overall mark last spring. The Streaks ended the 2021 season with a 7-6 loss to the Streator Township High School Bulldogs in a Class 3A regional semifinal at Jim Sundberg Field.

Galesburg fell short of a league title this spring, and the Streaks now have their sights set on claiming a regional crown.

In order for Galesburg to do that, the Streaks will have to fire on all cylinders. Galesburg's been hit-or-miss this spring, and the Streaks' overall record indicates that. Heading into Saturday's home WB6 doubleheader against Sterling, Galesburg held a 14-14 mark.

To close out the regular season, the Streaks will hit the road for a league doubleheader versus Quincy on Tuesday. Galesburg has three home games in store after that with a non-conference tilt with Bloomington on Friday night, and GHS will face Peoria Notre Dame and Dunlap, respectively, Saturday in the Streaks Classic.

Galesburg will open postseason play against Dunlap at 4:30 pm. Monday, May 23 in Class 3A quarterfinal action. The Streaks will do so at their home diamond, as they're hosting the regional.

Class 2A

Knoxville vs Farmington

The Rick Reed coached Knoxville Blue Bullets will take on the Farmington Farmers at 4:30 p.m. Monday in Farmington in Class 2A regional quarterfinal contest. The winner will move on to face Brimfield/Elmwood in Brimfield at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday in the regional semifinals.

Heading into Saturday's non-conference road doubleheader and regular season finales against Geneseo, Knoxville sat with a 14-14 overall mark. As a unit, the Blue Bullets held a .322 batting average, .479 slugging percentage and a .906 on-base percentage.

Junior Beau Honeycutt was leading Knoxville in batting average (.511). Senior Payton Hankins had hit six homers and shared the team lead with Honeycutt in the category. They also both had 46 hits, and Hankins led the Blue Bullets in RBIs (39) and runs (37).

Monmouth-Roseville vs Illini West

Jordan Ball is in his first season coaching the Titans, and Monmouth-Roseville will take on Illini West at 4:30 p.m. Monday in a Class 2A regional quarterfinal in Carthage. The winner will face Illinois Valley Central at 4 p.m. Wednesday in Macomb in regional semifinal action.

Heading into Friday's road game in Manlius against Bureau Valley, the Titans clung to a 6-15 overall record, and Ball knows what his squad needs to do in the postseason.

"The key is mental toughness. We need to clean up some miscues on defense," Ball said. "I think we are playing really good baseball right now and have really hit our stride with the bat."

Class 1A

A-Town vs Lewistown or South Fulton

The Abingdon-Avon Tornadoes will take on either South Fulton or Lewistown at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday in a Class 1A regional semifinal in Havana. The latter two squads will face each other Monday night in a quarterfinal held in Lewistown.

After serving as an assistant coach for six, Brent Dugan is in his first season as A-Town's head coach, and he knows what he'd like to see from the 14-8 Tornadoes in the postseason. A-Town opened 2022 with seven straight victories and went up-and-down from there.

Find out who is playing baseball for Abingdon-Avon in 2022 here!!! Meet the Tornadoes...

"You've got to hit the ball, field the ball, throw the ball," Dugan said. "We haven't done that successfully but we have been playing better lately and hopefully that's what we take into the playoffs."

B-PC vs Havana or Illini Central

Dave Arnold coaches the Bushnell-Prairie City Spartans, and they won't know who their first foe in the postseason is until Monday evening. It'll be either Havana or Illini Central against B-PC at 4:30 p.m. Thursday in Havana in a Class 1A regional semi.

Galva vs Kewanee Wethersfield

Van White guides Galva, and the Wildcats are set to open the playoffs against the Titans of Annawan/Wethersfield at 4:30 p.m. Monday in Kewanee in a regional quarterfinal match up.

North Fulton vs Southeastern

Senior righty Wyatt Neidig is North Fulton's ace, and he has hurled some gems for the Wildcats this spring.

North Fulton coach Brad Shaeffer hopes it continues down the stretch and that his players on the diamond with Neidig limit their mistakes.

"We need to clean up defensively, if we play clean defensively we can compete with/beat anyone," Shaeffer said. "If we don't we can be beaten by about anyone.

"We are playing pretty well right now," he added. "We give ourselves a chance to win every game."

The 10-10 Wildcats will take on the Suns of Southeastern at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, May 19 in regional semifinal play in rural Monmouth at United High School.

Ridgewood vs Stark County

The 2-17 Ridgewood Spartans, who are coached by Seth Spivey, were slated to play a doubleheader against Galva in Woodhull on Saturday to close the regular season.

But the Wildcats called the games off, which left Spivey scrambling to find a foe to play so he could honor his two seniors in Keagan Hixson and Kade Lawson. As of Friday morning, Ridgewood still didn't have an opponent lined up.

Regardless, the Spartans will play at least one more time at home. They'll do so at 4:30 p.m. Monday against the Rebels of Stark County in a regional quarterfinal. The winner of that game will face the Henry-Senachwine Mallards at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday in a semifinal bout in Kewanee.

"We just have to stay in a routine and keep everything as is. At the end of the day, it's the same game regardless," Spivey said of the postseason. "You're still trying to get them to go out and throw strikes, make plays, run the bases aggressively — all those things you work on in the regular season. I think if you make more of it then that then you can set yourself up for some trouble.

"It's a really good opportunity for us and everyone else to start 0-0," Spivey added. "Anything can happen, and hopefully we're playing our best."

ROWVA/Williamsfield vs Princeville

Michael Weitekamp's ROWVA/Williamsfield Cougars held an overall mark of 10-14-1 heading into a road doubleheader against Princeville on Saturday to close the regular season.

And at 4:30 p.m. Monday the teams will clash again, and they'll do so in Williamsfield in regional quarterfinal action.

"Playing solid defense will be our biggest key to moving forward in the postseason. It has been our achilles heel at times this season," Weitekamp said. "We are hitting the ball well up-and-down the lineup and stringing together solid at-bats in most games."

Peoria Christian awaits for the ROWVA/Williamsfield-Princeville winner, and that regional semifinal will take place at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday in Princeville.

United vs West Central or West Prairie

The Red Storm are hosting a regional for the second season in a row, and United hopes to claim its second straight regional crown.

Who is playing baseball for the United Red Storm in 2022? Find out here...

Heading into Saturday's regular season finale against Illini West, the Red Storm held an overall record of 18-6 and had won eight of their last nine games. The only defeat in that stretch was a 5-0 loss to Mon-Rose on Saturday, May 7.

United will face either West Central or West Prairie at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday in a regional semifinal. The Cyclones and Heat will clash at 4:30 p.m. Monday in Biggsville in a quarterfinal contest.

Red Storm coach Ryan Molek knows what he hopes to see from his team in the postseason.

"We need to make the game more minute — focus on a pitch-to-pitch basis," Molek said. "Our focus pitch-to-pitch and inning-to-inning has been a major focal point for us in the last several weeks and will continue to be. Being ahead in the mental game will give us an edge in execution during tense game moments.

"It is always our goal to be playing our best baseball at the end of the year, and I think we are ready to peak," Molek added.

Matthew Wheaton can be reached at (309) 315-6073 or at mwheaton@register-mail.com. Follow him on Twitter @matthewlwheaton

This article originally appeared on Galesburg Register-Mail: IHSA: Here's where Galesburg-area baseball teams will open in playoffs