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Prep Sports

IHSA State Baseball Tournament: Edwardsville, Montini claim state titles

The Montini bench cheers on the team during the Class3A State Tournament Championship game between Montini vs St Laurence June 8.
The Montini bench cheers on the team during the Class3A State Tournament Championship game between Montini vs St Laurence June 8.

JOLIET –áThe Edwardsville baseball team hadn’t been particularly effective Saturday night in the Class 4A State Championship game at
DuPage Medical Group Field.

So when one of the few offensive opportunities presented itself, they pressed the issue.

In the top of the eighth inning, the Tigers got pinch hitter Jacob Kitchen on base with a flare that eluded a number of St. Charles North defenders. Then the Tigers stole second and got a spectacular two-out bunt from Blake Burris that creeped down the third-base line. In an attempt to nab Burris at first, the throw got away and allowed the pinch runner Aaron Young to come all the way around to score on an extremely close play at home that eventually gave Edwardsville a 3-2, eight-inning victory.

It was Edwardsville’s third state title in baseball, its first in Class 4A. The Tigers also won Class 2A crowns in the two-class system in 1990 and 1998.

Edwardsville starting pitcher Matthew Boyer was brilliant for six innings but allowed a walk and a single without recording an out in the seventh. St. Charles North did manage to scratch out a run in the frame off a reliever but was denied more by a solid double-play turn started by Edwardsville shortstop Josh Ohl, one of several strong plays turned in by him.

Edwardsville’s only other scoring inning, a two-run fifth, was helped along substantially by a throwing error.

CLASS 3A STATE CHAMPIONSHIP

Montini 6, St. Laurence 3: The Broncos broke through in the top of the sixth inning with a three-run flurry that all came with two outs.

After Montini (23-11) got two runners on via free passes earlier in the inning, a two-run double from Rocco Catalano put Montini in front, 5-3, and a Estevan Moreno RBI single provided an insurance run.

St. Laurence (34-6) had tied the game an inning before with an RBI fielder’s choice from Jake Vera.

Montini got a strong pitching performance from Michael Koszewski. He allowed only four hits in the contest and pitched his way out of trouble after struggling a little bit in the opening frame.

Catalano finished the contest with two hits and drove in three runs.

CLASS 4A THIRD PLACE GAME

St. Rita 3, Hampshire 2: A tightly contested game ended in an unfortunate error that allowed the Mustangs to claim a walk-off win.

Chris McDevitt reached with one out after being hit by a pitch. McDevitt then went from first to third on a ground-ball out, and when Hampshire tried to catch the runner on the extra-base advance, the throw went awry, and he came all the way around to score.

Things started well enough for Hampshire (22-16), which got a two-run triple from Caden Pyzska in the top half of the first, but they wouldn’t do any more damage against the Mustangs’ pitching staff, which used four arms to get through the contest.

St. Rita (35-7) got two-hit efforts from Luke Napleton, Sean McDivitt and Brendan Carrane.

CLASS 3A THIRD PLACE GAME

Waterloo 9, Dixon 2: The Bulldogs got back-to-back four-run innings to seize midgame control in this contest.

That was more than enough run support for Waterloo pitcher Dustin Crawford, who suffered his only trouble in a two-run Dixon third inning.

The Bulldogs (23-13) spread out their offensive attack fairly evenly as Graham Baker was the only Waterloo player to record two hits. Isaic Sanchez and Tucker Cole turned that trick for Dixon (26-6).

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