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PAXTON — A pair of double-digit scoring performances have been highlights this summer as the Paxton entry in the Rantoul Sandy Koufax (13- and 14-year old) League in Rantoul had earned wins in three of its first nine games under manager Jake Peden.
Paxton opened its season with a 7-2 loss to the Mahomet Mavericks despite nine strikeouts in six innings by lefty Tyler Adkins. It then defeated Rantoul 12-7 as Ryan Masterson and Christopher Hewerdine split the pitching and the Paxton bats came alive with 13 hits.
Joel Deatrick, Daniel Cummings, Christian King and Adkins had two hits apiece as the winners tallied five runs in the second inning and three more in the third to put the game away.
Adkins and Masterson got the lone hits for Paxton during a 5-1 loss to Danville/Potomac. In a 9-7 defeat to Credit Union I, Cummings produced two hits and Mitch St. Peter added a double and Deatrick had a single offensively.
On June 5, Paxton got a strong pitching effort from Cummings and Masterson, the pair combining for 14 strikeouts during a 5-3 victory over Frontier. In that contest, Paxton scored three in the first inning (benefiting from three bases on balls) and adding single runs in the fourth and fifth frames, with Ty Peden leading off the fourth with a single and scoring and Masterson scoring in the fifth after a lead-off walk.
Masterson reached base three times and Cummings and Brady Barfield drew two walks apiece for the winners.
Cummings had a 3-for-3 day at the plate in Paxton’s 6-1 loss to Fisher on June 7 while Hewerdine had two hits and Jacob Miles and Masterson added one each. Miles led off the sixth frame with a hit and scored on a Cummings double for the lone tally.
Adkins pitched well in relief, fanning seven in three innings.
In a 15-8 win over Champaign, Cummings extended his consecutive hits streak to seven with a 4-for-4 performance and also finished up the game on the mound after Masterson tossed the game’s early innings. Leading 5-4 after three innings, Paxton scored eight runs in the fourth frame, sending 14 players to the plate.
Cummings had two singles in the frame while Masterson, Adkins, Seth Allen and Drew Riggleman also singled.
A Cummings double had driven in Miles (who walked) to lead off the game in giving Peden’s team an early 1-0 lead. Hits by Cummings and Masterson sparked a three-run second frame while Deatrick drove in a run in the third for Paxton.
On June 19, during a 13-9 loss to Fisher, Miles, Cummings, and St. Peter produced hits while Paxton coaxed nine walks off opponents’ pitching. During last Wednesday’s 5-1 loss to Frontier, Cummings had a double to move his hitting streak to four games.
He has 13 hits in 26 at-bats through nine games (.500) while Masterson has six hits in 16 at-bats (.375) with seven walks and Deatrick is hitting .286 (4-for-14).
“It’s a good bunch of kids and I’m glad to have them out playing this summer,” said Peden. “It’s been a good experience for them. And we’re starting to come together. We’re a young team — only four kids played last year — but our pitching has started to come around. At this age, there are a lot of late bloomers, so you never know what can come about. But they’re having fun.”