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After giving up a run in the bottom of the first, Micah Overley found his groove.

Janesville Craig’s starting pitcher threw three straight scoreless innings and combined with reliever Eric Hughes to hold Madison West to six hits as the Cougars secured a 6-1 Big Eight Conference win to improve to 16-0 in league play.

The Cougars (19-1) are two wins away from finishing off an unblemished conference season. Craig hosts Madison Memorial on Tuesday, with a rematch in Madison set for Thursday.

Madison West (12-6) fell to 11-5 in Big Eight games.

Overley struck out five and gave up two hits, needing 62 pitches to cover four innings. Hughes tossed the final three frames as Craig completed the season sweep of the Regents.

“He got better as the game went along,” Craig coach Victor Herbst said of Overley. “He had to shake some rust off. We split it up 4-3 tonight because we didn’t want to overwork him. He (Hughes) came in and did a good job.”

Craig pinch-runner Colin Hageman scored on a double steal in the top of the third to give the visitors a 2-1 lead. The Cougars used Hughes’ RBI single and a pair of errors to add three runs in the sixth.

CRAIG 6, MADISON WEST 1

Craig (ab-r-h-rbi)—Blomgren 3-0-0-0; Kussmaul 1-2-0-0; Hughes 3-0-1-1; Overley 3-0-1-1; Schmaling 4-0-2-0; Kilen 5-1-1-0; Herbst 1-0-0-0; Hessling 4-0-2-1; Christiansen 2-1-0-0; Hageman 0-2-0-0. Totals: 26-6-7-3.

West (ab-r-h-rbi)—Baldwin 4-0-1-0; Frehner 3-1-0-0; Treichel 3-0-1-0; Grosse 3-0-2-1; Jacome 3-0-1-0; Callahan 1-0-0-0; Rosenberg 1-0-0-0; Pitsch 3-0-0-0; Hanson 2-0-0-0; Robbins 2-0-1-0. Totals: 25-1-6-1.

Craig 101 003 1—6 7 1

West 100 000 0—1 6 3

LOB—Craig 9, MW 8. 2B—Overley. 3B—Kilen. SB—Hessling.

Craig IP H R ER BB SO

Overley (W) 4 2 1 1 3 5

Hughes 3 4 0 0 1 0

West IP H R ER BB SO

Grosse (L) 5 1/3 4 4 3 6 5

Mohoney 2/3 1 1 0 1 0

Mackay 1 2 1 1 0 0

McFarland holds Parker to five hits—The Spartans scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth to pull ahead for a 4-1 win over the Vikings, who fell to 1-6 in their last seven games.

Parker coach Kerry Michaels said the Vikings couldn’t get much offense going Monday. Five McFarland pitchers combined to allow five hits.

“We couldn’t string hits together, and that puts so much pressure on your pitching and defense to always be perfect,” Michaels said.

Parker starter Jared Emerson held McFarland (15-9) scoreless until the fifth inning, when Xavier Schreiber scored on an error to tie the game, 1-1.

Jeremiah Price-Johnson connected for an RBI single, Reece Samuel hit a sacrifice fly and Austin Miller drew a bases-loaded walk in McFarland’s half of the sixth.

Parker (9-13) took the lead when Peyton Meyer’s single to left scored Cav Mair in the top of the third.

The Vikings travel to Beloit Memorial on Tuesday and host the Purple Knights on Thursday.

MCFARLAND 4, PARKER 1Parker 001 000 0—1 5 1

McFarland 000 013 x—4 9 0

Emerson, Klukas (6); Amrhein, Becs (3), Pimental (4), Price-Johnson (6), Miller (7)

Leading hitters—Samuel (M) 3x3, Werwinski (M) 2x2. 2B—Werwinski.

SO—Emerson 4, Klukas 1, Price-Johnson 1, Miller 1. BB—Emerson 5, Price-Johnson 1.

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