Bloomington baseball hot to start behind Division I bat, deep lineup

The latest, up-to-date local news provided by the Heart of Illinois ABC News team, with updates on community issues in the Peoria and Bloomington-Normal areas.
Published: Apr. 14, 2022 at 10:10 PM CDT
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BLOOMINGTON (Heart of Illinois ABC) - Bloomington baseball has started the year 3-0 in Big 12 conference play, but they might not be 3-0 if it weren’t for a crucial play in a game against crosstown rival Normal West last week. The Purple Raiders trailed the Wildcats by 1 late in the game, but found a way to load the bases. Junior Adison Worthman did the rest, blasting a grand slam to put Bloomington back in front for good.

“In the moment I was just kind of shocked,” Worthman said. “I really wasn’t trying to do too much with the ball, I was just trying to put it in play and good things happened.”

Sometimes the pieces just fall together and that’s exactly what happened for the Purple Raiders who have since gone on to beat Richwoods twice to start their conference slate 3-0.

“Usually it doesn’t work this way but if I had a choice, he’d be the guy that we want up to the plate and that was the situation,” head coach Steve Clapp said of Worthman’s grand slam. “Adison is a big time player for us and came through in the clutch so I was really happy for him.”

A Mizzou commit, Worthman was the one that provided the fireworks against Normal West, but he hasn’t been alone in lighting things up for Bloomington, this whole Raiders team is dangerous at the plate

“I’d say with our offense, our 1 through 7 is pretty deep,” Worthman said. “We just put the ball in play.”

And that deep lineup has Bloomington off to an 11-3 start.

“We’re off to a good start,” Clapp said. We’ve got a nice team, a real good mix of some really good looking young players and we’ve got some veteran guys back so we’re excited about the year, but there’s a long way to go.”

It’s true, there is a long way to go in this season and a tough sectional awaits the Purple Raiders in the postseason, but they think they’re ready to turn this great start into a big season.

“We’re hot right now,” Worthman said. “We’re just trying to stay like that consistently throughout the season. We’re built for both. Both the postseason and the normal season we’re ready for it.”

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