April 20, 2003 11:00 pm

ELGIN — The Elgin and Joseph baseball boys split a doubleheader to both remain in the hunt for the postseason.

Elgin is 5-1 in the Wapiti League and Joseph 3-1.

Joseph, playing without one of its best players, Dustin Gibbs, won the first game in a pitchers' duel 2-1. Elgin came back in the late game and won 8-4.

JoHi hurler Wade Gleasman fired a two-hitter at the Huskies to pick up the win. Gleasman has given up a total of three hits in his last two outings. Elgin's Chad McDonald and Skyler Payne combined to give up just six Joseph hits.

Joseph's Chris Garrett drove in what turned out to be the game-winning run in the third inning.

Joseph third baseman John Schmidt had an unassisted double play, snagging a hot smash, then stepping on third to punch out an Elgin runner.

Elgin made several outstanding defensive plays, especially in the seventh inning, to snuff out a potential big Eagles' rally.

In the top of the seventh, Elgin third baseman Blake Eckstein made a great throw after snagging a slow chopper to nail the runner at first.

"We played outstanding defensively," Elgin coach Gordie Simons said. "We were not fundamentally sound offensively."

Simons said the Huskies made a couple base running mistakes.

Huskies' shortstop Codi Burgess made the best play of the day, diving for a flare in shallow center field in the seventh to rob Joseph of another hit.

But, Elgin couldn't capitalize in the bottom of the seventh as Gleasman went the distance.

"We made some mental errors that cost us the first game," Simons said.

In the second game, Eckstein and Burgess pitched for Elgin, with Eckstein picking up the win. Burgess had three hits, including a triple, while Edie Diaz hit a double and drove in two runs.

"I'm proud of my team, my boys for that (overall) defensive work," Simons said.

He said he and Joseph coach Dave Schmidt think they were both fortunate to get a split this weekend but in their hearts and minds, one team should have won both games.

Pat Lynn had two hits for Joseph, while Gleasman and Mike Gamboa each hit a double. Gamboa had two doubles on the day.

Gibbs, a top-notch hitter and pitcher, is out indefinitely with a torn tendon in his ankle that he sustained against Pine-Eagle last week.

Elgin next plays a league game at Pine-Eagle Saturday. Joseph plays a "snow out" make-up doubleheader at home against Nyssa, beginning at 3 p.m. Friday.

— Pierre LaBossire

Game One

Joseph 011 000 0 — 2 6 2

Elgin 001 000 0 — 1 2 2

Gleasman and Borgerding; McDonald, Payne (5) and Schumacher. WP — Gleasman. LP — McDonald.

Joseph hits — Barstad, Gleasman, Garrett, Schmidt, Gamboa, Hayes. RBI — Garrett.

Elgin hits — Blake, Schumacher. 2B — Gamboa.

Game Two

Joseph 111 100 0 — 4 6 3

Elgin 031 400 x — 8 6 4

Garrett, Bird (4), Schmidt (5) and Borgerding; Eckstein, Burgess (4) and Schumacher.

Joseph hits — Gleasman, Gamboa, Bird, Lynn 2, Stewart. 2B — Gleasman, Gamboa. RBI — Gleasman, Stewart.

Elgin hits — Payne, Burgess 3, Diaz, Foster. 3B — Burgess. 2B — Diaz. RBI — Diaz 2, Payne, Burgess, Foster.