The daily pitch from Sports Editor Matt Daniels: June 1, 2024

Jun. 1—➜ . The winner of Saturday's sectional championship game in Rochester between the Maroons (25-13) and Bulldogs (27-8) will square off against either Highland (27-6-1) or Mascoutah (26-5) at 6 p.m. Monday at Workman Family Field on the Millikin University campus for a date at state.

Area high school baseball and softball programs with an IHSA state trophy once Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley baseball and Villa Grove softball end their seasons on Saturday at state. Villa Grove (25-13-1) will play Trico (27-6) at 9 a.m. Saturday in the third-place game of the Class 1A state softball tournament at Louisville Slugger Sports Complex in Peoria, while GCMS (22-8-1) will face Jacksonville Routt (32-8) at 10 a.m. Saturday in the third-place game of the Class 1A state baseball tournament at Dozer Park in Peoria.

➜ . Future Illini and are part of Team USA and will open AmeriCup play at 6:10 p.m. on Monday in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

➜ . Beat the host Wildcats at 5 p.m. Saturday and the Illini will play for a NCAA regional title at 5 p.m. Sunday in Lexington, Ky. That's because Jack Crowder pitched like an ace and Illinois opened its NCAA tournament stay with a 4-1 win against Indiana State on Friday night.

➜ . St. Joseph-Ogden graduate and her Crimson Tide teammates will face the Longhorns or Gators at 2 p.m. Sunday (ABC) in an elimination game of the Women's College World Series. Dowling didn't have a hit, but Alabama beat Duke 2-1 on Friday night in Oklahoma City to keep its season intact.

➜ the Kansas City Chiefs.

➜ Brad Underwood, Mike Tomlin and Dennis Gates.

➜ being late.