Alton Class 4A Regional --
The Edwardsville Tigers got past the Alton Redbirds Saturday in the Class 4A Regional finals at Gordon Moore Park in Alton, with Edwardsville’s Jake Garella’s walk off RBI in the bottom of the seventh inning lifting the Tigers to 1-0 victory.
When Garella hit a single down right field, teammate Mitchell Krebs got the Tigers onto home plate to close out the game with a 1-0 victory, helping his team to win their 29th regional for baseball in school history.
Alton, closing out their season at 22-15, was led by junior Bryan Hudson on the mound. He had 98 pitches in six innings with eight strikeouts, three walks and two hits. However, Edwardsville’s Alex Meyers was equally masterful, helping the Tigers secure a win by throwing 94 pitches in over seven innings, surrendering just one hit while striking out four and walking one.
The Tigers (30-7) advance to play Belleville West (18-16) in the Illinois Wesleyan Sectional Wednesday at Granite City, with the Maroons beating Belleville East 2-1 to claim the Belleville East Regional.
Highland Class 3A Regional – Jersey needed an extra effort Saturday, but the Panthers didn’t mind as they beat Civic Memorial, 5-3, in 10 innings for the regional title at Glik Park.
The 24-12 Panthers, winning their first regional championship since 2003, advance to the Triad Sectional. They will play Mississippi Valley Conference champion Mascoutah at 4 p.m. Thursday. CM closed at 20-12.
“We beat a good team, one that beat us twice this season,” Jersey coach Darren Perdun said, tipping his cap to the Eagles. ‘They battled us all the way, but we got some clutch efforts.
“We knew what we were capable of doing.”
Crick Kimble’s RBI single in the top of the 10th snapped a 3-3 tie and Jacob Witt added a run-scoring single. The Eagles put their first two runners on base in the bottom of the inning, but Jersey reliever Kyle Steckel thwarted them.
“Normally we are a good hitting team,” CM coach Gary Bruening said, “but today we had opportunities to score more runs and we didn’t do it.”
Luke Shively contributed a two-run single for Jersey and Cory Howard stroked a two-run double for CM. Will Mortland got the win over Ben Walker – both in relief. Jersey starter Jake Varble lasted until the eighth.
Bruening, an interim coach at CM this season, said he may be back in 2014. He retired after the 2011 season following a 17-year career.
“I’ve enjoyed it this season and I’d be interested in keeping the job,” Bruening said. The Eagles’ 20-win season was their first since 2010. They were a combined 15-48 the past two years.
Salem and Carbondale will join Jersey and Mascoutah in the Triad Sectional. Salem clashes with Carbondale at 4 p.m. Wednesday at Troy in the opening semifinal.
Edwardsville 4A Regional – The host Tigers exploded for 14 hits, including five doubles, in pounding the Redbirds, 11-2, for their regional title.
Edwardsville, now 34-3, advances to the O’Fallon Sectional and clashes with Southwestern Conference rival Belleville East at 4:30 Tuesday. Alton concludes at 26-11, including a 1-2 mark against the Tigers this season.
“We’ve been struggling somewhat with our hitting lately, so we may have peaked a little too early,” Alton coach Dan Carter said. “But they (the Tigers) have a good lineup. You can’t pitch around anybody.”
Winning pitcher Kallen Loveless, now 26-2, fashioned a six-hitter and struck out seven. She backed her mound work by going 2-for-4 at the plate and knocking in three runs.
Megan Radae was 3-for-4, while Jordan Corby, Rachel Anderson and Hayli Green had two hits for the Tigers. Anderson collected two RBIs.
“It doesn’t get old,” Edwardsville coach Lori Blade said in regard to winning regional championships. The Tigers have won nine regional titles in the past 10 years.
She added, “The kids really responded well and Kallen settled in after giving up those two runs.”
The Tigers led 2-0 after the first inning. Then Morgan Butler of Alton clouted a solo home run in the second. Katelyn Presley singled and Madison Bemis doubled her in to tie the game. Bemis had two of the Redbirds’ six hits.
After that, it was all Edwardsville. The Tigers scored one run in the third, five in the fourth and three in the fifth. Brittany Roady and Butler pitched for AHS. Roady, the starter who worked three innings, took the loss.
Triad 3A Regional – Highland defeated Civic Memorial, 6-3, for the regional title and a berth in next week’s Centralia Sectional. The Bulldogs will play Columbia at 4:30 Wednesday.
CM, closing at 8-24, carried a 3-2 lead over the 20-10 Bulldogs into the sixth inning, but Highland erupted for four runs and posted the victory.
Prep Boys Track
State meet – Matt Hartnett, a senior from Roxana, placed fifth in the Class 2A triple jump. His top distance was 44 feet, 8 inches. Jamari Ward, a sophomore at Cahokia, won it by going 47 feet, 8.75 inches.
William McLemore, a senior from East Alton-Wood River High, finished 20th in the 3,200-meters for 2A runners. His time was 9 minutes, 58.19 seconds. Joe Singleton, a senior from Glenbard South, won it in 9:19.48.
Cahokia tallied 90 points to secure its fourth consecutive team championship and its sixth IHSA crown since 2006.
Edwardsville scored 36 points to share second place with Roselle Lake Park in Class 3A action. Elmhurst York snagged the team title with 40 points.
The Tigers’ 4x100-meter relay team of Craig James, Isaiah Michl, Fontez Davis and Rene Perry finished first in 41.46. James also took third in the 110-meter high hurdles. He also was fourth in the 300-meter intermediate hurdles and Michl came in fifth in that event. In addition, the Tigers’ 4x2 relay team was fifth.
Collinsville’s Martinus Mitchell was best in the shot put with a throw of 61 feet, 0.75 inches. In Class 1A, Carlinville’s Jack Denby soared 16-3 to win the pole vault. Elsewhere in the small-school competition, the Southwestern Piasa Birds' 4x100-meter relay team of Trenton Hagen, Doug Grizzle, J.P. Mueller and Tyler Skelton took ninth in 44.51. Eureka won it in 42.9.
Prep Boys Tennis
State finals – Allan Bower of Alton made it to the fourth round of the consolation finals at Arlington Heights before he was eliminated. The senior went 3-2 overall in the weekend competition.
He won his first match Thursday, then lost in the second round. Bower posted two consolation-round victories and then fell in his next match. He accounted for all four of Alton’s points in the state finals.
Edwardsville scored 22 points and finished eighth. Hinsdale Central amassed 56 points to easily capture the team title.