Dillon Hallemann went 3-for-3 with two doubles and drove in four runs as Highland rolled to an easy 12-4 second-round win over Herrin at the Fifth Division Tournament at Glik Park in Highland.
Hallemann sparked a five-run second inning as Highland grabbed an early lead. Herrin, which dropped to 1-1 in the tournament, would get no closer than 8-4 the rest of the night, as Elliott Prott pitched 6 1/3 innings to get the win.
“He (Hallemann) is on fire right now,” Highland manager Harry Painter said. “And I thought Elliott (Prott) pitched a great game for us. He struggled a little bit early with his control, but once he found his groove, he was really strong out there. It was a great effort.”
Jimmie Smith, Steven Diaz and Will Greenwald each rapped out two hits. Smith also scored four runs and knocked in a pair while Diaz added two RBIs and two runs scored and Greenwald also scored twice.
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Highland scored two runs in the bottom of the first two quickly erase a 1-0 deficit. Post 439 then sent nine batters to the plate and scored five times in the second inning to extend its margin to 7-1.
The win moves Highland (16-11) into a fourth meeting of the season against the Metro East Post 199/Post 126 Bears at 7 p.m. Wednesday.
“We’re 0-3 against them. We lost 8-4 in a game where we gave four early runs, then we’ve also lost 4-1 and then 2-1 last week,” Painter said. “They are a great team, but we feel like we’re peaking at the right time.”