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The daily pitch from Sports Editor Matt Daniels: May 30, 2024

May 30—➜ on Wednesday after the 6-foot-6, 200-pound Lithuania native signed with the Illini, a day after he committed.

➜ via the transfer portal on Wednesday when 6-foot-7 former Baylor center Lety Vasconcelos signed with the Illini.

➜ . Mahomet-Seymour held on to beat Chatham Glenwood 10-9 before Champaign Central cruised past Jacksonville 8-3 on Wednesday in two 3A sectional semifinal games in Rochester. The Bulldogs and Maroons meet at 11 a.m. Saturday in Rochester for the sectional title and a spot in Monday night's Decatur Super-Sectional.

Combined points (979), rebounds (581), assists (256), steals (115) and blocked shots (102) put up the past four seasons with the Illinois men's basketball program. But there won't be a fifth season with the Illini after Hawkins announced Wednesday night he will withdraw from the NBA draft, but transfer to a new program for the 2024-25 season.

➜ . with his 6-2 record and 5.25 ERA will likely get the ball and start Friday night's NCAA tournament game for the Illini. His main task? Trying to slow down an Indiana State offense that averages 7.9 runs. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. at Kentucky Proud Park in Lexington, Ky.

➜ . The Class 1A state semifinal game between two teams making their first state tournament appearances starts at 10 a.m. Friday at the Louisville Slugger Sports Complex in Peoria.

➜ . The Class 1A state semifinal game between two first-time state tournament teams is set to get underway at 1 p.m. Friday at Dozer Park in Peoria.

➜ the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Illini.

➜ Tony Dungy, John Wooden and Tom Landry. All three men are legendary coaches, but what intrigues me the most is how outspoken they all are and were about their faith in Jesus Christ. They all not only made an impact in their professions being successful, but more importantly they made an impact in so many lives because the way they showed Jesus' love to so many athletes and other coaches.

➜ when people expect to receive something without putting in the hard work to achieve it. I firmly believe that if you want something, whether it's in sports or life, you need to work hard for it.