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AHS baseball starts 3-1; Griffith goes 9-13, 11

By Mike Monahan

The Arcola Purple Riders that won a Class 1A regional last season, started the 2024 season strong going 3-1.

On opening day Arcola beat Salt Fork 5-1. The next day the Purple Riders fell to LeRoy 10-4, but last Saturday AHS won a round robin at Arcola’s Moore Memorial Park blanking Oakwood 11-0 in four and a half innings and trounced Decatur St. Teresa 24-0 in three innings.  All were non-conference games.

Jackson “Tank” Griffth was 9-for-13 .692 with two grand slams and 11 runs batted in during the week and on the pitchers mound Tanner Thomas was 2-0. He threw 141 pitches, 96 for strikes (.681 strikes) in 10 innings and allowed just two hits, no earned runs with 25 strikeouts and just two walks.

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ARCOLA BASEBALL FANS witnessed a very rare occurrence on the morning of Sat., March 16 as Jackson “Tank” Griffith hit two grand slams in the same game, a first in the history of Arcola high school baseball. According to the IHSA record book, Griffith becomes the 20th player to hit two grand slams in the same game which ties him for first with 19 other players in the state. Arcola was playing the first game of a round robin tournament which included Oakwood and St. Teresa held at Moore Park. Arcola won the game with Oakwood 11-0 in five innings. Pictured congratulating Griffith as he crosses home in the second of his two grand slams are teammates (l-r) Tanner Thomas (24), Jackson “Tank” Griffith (8), Brevyn Whisman (1), Hunter Drake (14) and Caiden Helmuth (22), who was on deck waiting to take his turn at bat. Photo by Nancy Rairden.

ARCOLA’S BREVYN WHISMAN (1), a sophomore, took the mound in the second game of a round robin tournament played at Arcola’s Moore Park on Sat, March 16. Arcola defeated Oakwood in the first round 11-0 and went on to defeat Decatur St. Teresa 24-0 in three innings of play. The Saturday tournament was the home opener for the season for Arcola. Photo by Nancy Rairden.

ARCOLA JUNIOR BRADEN PHILLIPS (10) takes his turn at bat in the Purple Riders’ game with the St. Teresa Bulldogs from Decatur on Sat., March 16. Arcola played a round robin tournament at Moore Park in Arcola where they defeated Oakwood 11-0 in the first game and then defeated St. Teresa 24-0 in the final game of the day. Photo by Nancy Rairden.

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