LANSING | The "Battle of Lansing" almost carried over into the post-game at Redbird Field Saturday night.
Illiana Christian won 6-3, but both teams exchanged more than handshakes after the game.
There was trash-talking and Illiana coach Dan Gibson and T.F. South coach Matt Tiffy exchanged words. Gibson alleged a T.F. South player used foul language.
'You guys are a bunch of thugs,” Gibson shouted at Tiffy, “You need to learn to play the game right.”
The game was played before more than 400 fans. South players stayed in the home dugout until Illiana (16-12) left the field.
Tiffy said Gibson had no right to go after his player.
“You go after a high school kid, that isn't very Christian,” Tiffy said. “He thinks he's tough going after a kid. His behavior is becoming more and more redundant every year we play them. “
On the field, Illiana's Josh Van Beek drove in four runs with three hits and pitched a scoreless seventh to slam the door on South (15-13).
“I got some good pitches and just put it in play,” Van Beek said. “We wanted to win to get momentum going into the regionals.”
Three of the Vikings' runs were unearned as a result of three Rebels' errors.
“We came out and got some key hits and Josh had a big night,” Gibson said.
Van Beek's sixth-inning, two-run single added the insurance runs.
South had the bases loaded in the sixth, but Jordan Davis pitched out of it.
“I was this close to taking him out,” Gibson said. “He gave me the 'OK' sign, so I left him in."
Tiffy said his team battled, but cost itself the game.
“We gave it to them,” Tiffy said. “They didn't earn the win. We threw the ball away.”
The Vikings scored two unearned runs in the top of the first when Jordan Davis reached on an error and Kyle Van Kalker singled him to second. Josh Van Beek hit a ground-rule double to right-center field, scoring Davis.
Van Kalker yhen came home on a wild pitch. Ironically, T.F. South starter Alex Schell struck out the next three batters.
T.F. South tied the game in the bottom of the third.
Brian Seymour's bases-loaded single scored Adam Jamka and Steve Stubitsch. Peyton Padjen was thrown out trying to steal third and that ended the inning.