The daily pitch from Sports Editor Matt Daniels: May 24, 2024

May 24—➜ — despite a controversial call that actually helped the Illini. The offense hasn't lit up the scoreboard in Omaha, Neb., but a 4-2 win against Iowa on Thursday means the Illini are still in the field entering Friday.

➜ . The duo is our latest high school Athlete of the Week winners, powered by Copper Creek Contractors. Read more about the pair in Monday's News-Gazette.

➜ in a Class 1A sectional title game. Should be a doozy.

Area high school baseball teams who will play Saturday for IHSA hardware. In Class 3A, Mahomet-Seymour and Champaign Central will vie for regional titles. Monticello will try to win its second Class 2A sectional title in the last three seasons in Decatur. In 1A, Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley is aiming for its first sectional title in school history. Pretty cool.

➜ . The Illini's Friday night opponent wasn't known until late Thursday night. If it's the Wolverines, it's the first matchup with Michigan for Illinois this season. If it's Penn State, it's a revenge game after the Nittany Lions upset the Illini 8-4 on Wednesday in Omaha, Neb.

➜ . Prelims for Class 2A and 3A athletes are Friday in Charleston before finals take place Saturday for all three classes.

➜ . Can 's alma mater continue their special season into Memorial Day? Beat the Trojans on Saturday in Decatur and Monticello plays Monday afternoon in the Elite Eight in Springfield.

Three questions with Mike Wallner, the Centennial boys' golf coach and director of golf at the University of Illinois courses in Savoy. Wallner will start his second season in charge in his second stint with the Chargers in August after he won 2011 N-G Coach of the Year honors:

➜ the Chicago Cubs.

➜ Lou Henson, Itch Jones and Mark Johnson.

➜ when people are late to practice or work.