PAXTON -- In game one of Sunday's Eastern Illinois Baseball League doubleheader against the Gifford-Flatville Giflats, the Paxton Swedes picked up where they left off the previous day.
The Swedes followed up a 19-hit winning effort on Saturday with a 14-hit production on Sunday en route to an 8-5 victory over the Giflats in game one on Sunday.
"We played pretty well in that first game. We continued to swing the bats well after game two yesterday," Swedes manager Mark Prina said.
The Swedes (7-13) started game one with four runs in the second inning.
Connor Allen -- who finished game one hitting 3-for-5 -- led off the inning with a double to left field before Hunter Phelps -- who also hit 3-for-5 in the first game -- sent him home with a two-bagger to left field. After Joey Galey drew a walk, Noah Berbaum -- who hit 2-for-3 -- doubled to left field to send Galey across home plate.
After Galey scored a run on a wild pitch, Mark Miller grounded out to send Berbaum across home plate.
In the third inning, Allen and Phelps each singled and Berbaum was hit by a pitch to load the bases with one out before Miller sent Allen home via a sacrifice fly ball. After JC Starbody -- who hit 2-for-4 in game one -- reached base on a fielder's choice, Curtis Norman singled to send Phelps across home plate to extend Paxton's lead to 6-1.
With two outs in the fourth inning, Phelps singled to center field and Galey drew another walk before Berbaum singled to send Phelps across home plate.
"We swung it pretty well all day today. We scored plenty of runs," Prina said.
"We're swinging the bats much better now. The lineup's gotten a little deeper. A few more pieces have come and joined us here at the end of the season."
Will Horve allowed only one run through the first seven innings on the mound for Paxton. The Giflats' lone run during that span was scored during the top of the third inning, as Cade Sestak doubled to center field and Storm Joop singled to left field before Andrew Erickson hit a sacrifice fly ball to center field to send Sestak home.
In the top of the eighth inning, Kaleb Denault drew a one-out walk before Clayton Houchin hit a triple to center field to send Denault across home plate.
Following the three-bagger, Horve was relieved by Cam Robinson. Horve would earn the win as he struck out four batters and walked three while allowing three earned runs on six hits through 7 1/3 innings pitched.
"He threw the ball well again," Prina said. "He throws the ball over the plate and forces people to beat him instead of beating himself, and that's the key to pitching. You make them hit you instead of causing trouble on your own by walking people or not making good pitches. He's not easy to face. He competes. He throws the ball over the plate and always gives us a chance to win, and that's all you can ask for."
The Giflats would cut their deficit to 7-5 by the bottom of the eighth inning as Cody Grove and Mike Plecki drew a walk before Sestak singled to send two runs home. After Joop was hit by a pitch, Erickson drew a bases-loaded walk to drive in another run.
The top half of the inning ended via a double play.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, Miller hit a two-out double to left field before crossing home plate on a wild pitch to extend the Swedes' lead to 8-5.
After Goebel drew a walk to lead off the top of the ninth inning, Robinson forced Denault, Houchin and Grove each to fly out to end the game.
Robinson finished his outing allowing two earned runs on one hit and four walks through 1 2/3 innings of relief.
"He struggled a little bit, but he finally figured it out and finished the game off for us," Prina said.
In game two, Paxton lost 16-5.
After Mike Plecki, Sestak and Storm Joop each singled to lead off the top of the first inning, Erickson drew a walk to send Plecki home. Dan Plecki hit into a double play and Goebel lined out to leave the score at 1-0.
The Swedes scored three runs in the bottom half of the inning as Curtis Norman, Zak Hartlieb and Allen each drew a wlak before Mario Renteria -- who ran as a courtesy for the catcher Norman -- crossed home plate on a wild pitch.
A two-RBI double to left-center field hit by Phelps sent two runs across home plate to give the Swedes a 3-1 lead.
Denault led off the top of the second inning with a bunt single beore Grove hit an RBI single to right field. Joop sent two runs home with a single to give the Giflats a 4-3 lead.
Hartlieb led off the bottom of the third inning with a walk before Carson Davis tripled to right field to send Hartlieb across home plate to tie the game at 4-4.
Allen and Phelps each flied out and Galey grounded out, however, to leave Davis stranded on third base.
From there, the Giflats took a 7-4 lead in the top of the fourth inning.
Grove and Sestak each drew a walk before Grove crossed home plate on a wild pitch. After Joop hit an RBI double to left field and stole third base, he scored on another wild pitch.
"We just couldn't throw it over the plate," Prina said. "You can't defend or catch a walk, and it just gets ugly. It just got away from us."
In the top of the sixth inning, Gifford-Flatville (12-8) extended their lead to 14-4.
Joop hit a one-out single to left field and Erickson drew the first of five straight walks yielded by the Swedes' pitching staff.
After Joop scored on a wild pitch and Dan Plecki drew a base-on-balls, Jake Hensgen -- who was credited with the loss for Paxton -- was relieved by Renteria.
Renteria walked Goebel to load the bases before Denault drew another walk to send a run across home plate. After Renteria was relieved by Phelps, Houchin also drew a base-on-balls to send a run across home plate.
After Grove drove in a run via a groundout, Mike Plecki reached base on an error that resulted in another run. Sestak drew another walk before Joop hit an RBI double to left field.
"It just takes the wind out of your sales. People started getting disinterested in the game, and it kind of showed in the end," Prina said. "I think we were just kind of mentally done. That's a little frustrating because I thought we had a really good chance to win three out of four this weekend, which would have been nice going into the tournament."
After Galey reached base on an error with one out in the bottom of the sixth inning and Berbaum drew a walk, Robinson hit a two-out single to left field to send Galey across home plate for a run that extended the game as Paxton avoided the 10-run rule.
Goebel singled to left field to lead off the top of the seventh inning and Denault doubled to right-center field before Houchin singled to left field to send Goebel home. Denault crossed home plate on a Mike Plecki groundout.
Paxton's 19-hit production in game two started with a run scored in the first inning en route to its 15-8 victory.
Dawson Johns -- who finished the game hitting 3-for-3 -- singled before Carson Davis -- who hit 4-for-5 -- singled to send Johns across home plate.
In the second inning, the Swedes scored four runs.
Colin Sullivan -- who hit 3-for-4 -- hit a one-out double before Mark Prina singled to send him home. After Johnson and Davis each hit a single, Connor Allen drew a hit-by-pitch to send a run home.
Hunter Phelps -- who finished the game hitting 4-for-5 -- then hit a two-RBI single.
Paxton scored four more runs in the third inning.
Noah Berbaum -- who finished the game hitting 3-for-5 -- hit a leadoff single.
After Prina hit another single, Johns sent Berbaum home with a base hit. After Curtis Norman drew a walk, Davis hit a two-RBI single.
With two outs, Phelps hit an RBI single.
In the fourth inning, the Swedes tallied four more runs.
Berbaum hit a leadoff single, Sullivan drew a walk, Johns was hit by a pitch and Norman drew another walk before Davis singled to send a run home.
In the seventh inning, Phelps hit a one-out double and Galey was hit by a pitch before Berbaum hit an RBI double and Sullivan hit an RBI single.
On the mound, Prina earned the win as he allowed three earned runs on four hits and one walk through 3 2/3 innings. Joey Galey allowed five earned runs on three hits and five walks with five strikeouts through 3 1/3 innings.
In game one, the Swedes were held to two hits en route to a 5-0 loss.
Colin Sullivan took the loss on the mound for Paxton, allowing five runs -- two earned -- on six hits and two walks with six strikeouts through all six innings.
With their two doubleheader splits during the weekend, the Swedes finished the regular season with the league's fifth-best record.
The EI League will determine its postseason tournament schedule in a meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday.
Mark Prina estimated that it is likely the Swedes will face the fourth seed, Game Seven Legacy, next weekend at 1 p.m. Sunday in Buckley.
"I like our chances going into the tournament," Prina said. "If we can swing the bats the way we had this weekend and play sound defense -- which we did, for the most part, this weekend -- I think we have a chance to win a game, or maybe even sneak into that championship series again like we did last year, but it's going to have to start on the mound. We'll have to throw strikes and give ourselves a chance to get people out."
The Swedes played a spoiler role as well, as the Giflats dropped from the No. 2 spot to the third seed via their two losses. The Royal Giants swept both of their doubleheaders over the El Paso Warriors.
"I like our matchup better than I would have in the No. 3 vs. No. 6 game," Prina said. "The third seed is going to be either Gifford-Flatville or Royal, and those teams are pretty good. I like our chances against Game Seven. I think we match up pretty well with them."
The winner of the Swedes/Legacy game will face the top-seeded Buckley Dutchmasters in the semifinals later that Sunday.
"We had Buckley on the ropes a couple of times," Prina said. "I like our chances against them, too, but we're going to have to play one of our best games of the year to have a chance to beat them, but we've got to beat Game Seven first before we get to that point. I think we have enough arms to compete. It would be nice if we could only have to use one pitcher in that first game."
Gifford-Flatville Giflats 5, Paxton Swedes 0
PAX 000 000 0 -- 0 2 0
GF 001 040 x -- 5 8 1
L -- Colin Sullivan, 6 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 2 ER, 6 K, 2 BB.
Paxton -- Curtis Norman 1-3. Carson Davis 1-2.
Gifford-Flatville -- Mike Plecki 2-4. Cade Sestak R. Storm Joop 1-3, 2B, R. Dan Plecki 1-3. Leo Severin 1-3. Isaac Denault 2-3, 2 R. Gary Jones Jr. R.
Paxton Swedes 15, Gifford-Flatville Giflats 8
PAX 144 400 2 -- 15 19 0
GF 200 303 0 -- 8 7 1
Paxton -- Dawson Johns 3-3, RBI, 4 R. Curtis Norman 2 R. Carson Davis 4-5, 4 RBIs. Connor Allen RBI. Hunter Phelps 4-5, 2B, 3 RBIs, R. Joey Galey R. Noah Berbaum 3-5, 2 2B, RBI, 2 R. Colin Sullivan 3-4, 2 2B, RBI, 2 R. Mark Prina 2-5, RBI, 2 R.
Gifford-Flatville -- Mike Plecki 1-2, 2B, 2 R. Cade Sestak 3-3, R. Storm Joop 2-2, R. Kaleb Denault 1-4, R. Isaac Denault R. Gary Jones Jr. 2 R.
Paxton Swedes 8, Gifford-Flatville Giflats 5
GF 001 000 040 -- 5 7 0
PAX 042 100 01x -- 8 14 3
W -- Will Horve, 7.1 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 4 K, 3 BB. L -- Anthony Silkwood.
Giflats -- Mike Plecki R. Cade Sestak 3-4, 2B, 2 RBIs, R. Storm Joop 1-3. Kaleb Denault 1-4, R. Clayton Houchin 1-5, 3B, RBI, R. Cody Grove R, 2 BB.
Swedes -- Curtis Norman 1-3. RBI, 2 BB. Carson Davis 1-5, 2B. Connor Allen 3-5, 2B, 2 R. Hunter Phelps 3-5, 2B, RBI, 3 R. Joey Galey 1-3, R, 2 BB. Noah Berbaum 2-3, 2 RBIs. Mark Miller 1-4, 2B, 2 RBIs, R. JC Starbody 2-4.
Gifford-Flatville 16, Paxton Swedes 5
GF 130 307 2 -- 16 12 1
PAX 301 001 0 -- 5 5 3
W -- Mike Plecki. L -- Jake Hensgen.
Gifford-Flatville -- Mike Plecki 1-3, RBI, 3 R. Cade Sestak 1-1, 2 R, 3 BB. Storm Joop 4-5, 2B, 3 RBIs, 2 R. Andrew Erickson R, 4 BB. Dan Plecki 1-4, R. Jon Goebel 1-3, 2 R, 2 BB. Kaleb Denault 2-4, 2B, 3 R. Clayton Houchin 1-4, RBI, R. Cody Grove 2-4, 2 RBIs.
Paxton -- Curtis Norman R. Zak Hartlieb 1-2, 2 R, 2 BB. Carson Davis 2-4, 3B, 2B, RBI. Connor Allen R. Hunter Phelps 1-4, 2B, 2 RBIs. Joey Galey R. Cam Robinson 1-3, RBI.