Gibault High School baseball coach Andy Skaer saw a much calmer championship celebration than last season following the Hawks' 11-1 victory over New Athens on Saturday at the Class 1A Okawville Regional.
It was the second straight regional championship for Gibault (20-11) as pitcher Austin Beccue shut down New Athens on three hits with six strikeouts and one walk in six innings.
"He was in control the whole game," said Skaer, whose team was a little more fired up last spring with its first regional title. "We didn't go over the top with any type of celebration because we just hope this is just one step on our path to bigger and better things in this postseason."
Gibault will face Lebanon (14-7) in the Carlinville Sectional semifinals at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday at Blackburn College. Lebanon advanced with an 11-1 regional championship win Saturday over Sandoval.
It was a much easier victory over New Athens than earlier this season, when Gibault won 3-2 on a squeeze bunt.
Will Shepherd paced Gibault's offensive attack by going 2-for-2 with a double and four RBIs. Zach Neff was 3-for-3 with two doubles and scored three runs, while Wes Degener and Chandler Purcell each were 2-for-3.
"Regional titles are always fun no matter how many you win," Skaer said. "We came in with a real business-like attitude and you could tell that from the time we stepped off the bus to the end of the game. We knew we were in control the whole day."
Red Bud Regional
Nashville pitcher Keegan Anderson struck out 11 and scattered five hits Saturday as the Hornets (25-9-1) advanced to their own sectional by shutting down Red Bud 4-0 in the championship game.
Anderson (9-2) walked only one and Red Bud's Jacob Miller was the only Musketeer with two hits.
"He threw a great game today," Nashville coach Chad Malawy said. "He battled around a little adversity because we had four errors on the day, so he made pitches when he had to and got some big strikeouts for us."
Nashville's Bryce Styninger was 2-for-3 with a solo homer in the sixth. Anderson had an RBI single in the fifth and Brock Wuebbles added a run-scoring single in the fifth.
Red Bud pitcher Jacob Miller allowed only six hits and struck out three.
Lebanon scored four runs in the first inning and that was more than enough for starter Zach Grob, who allowed one hit and struck out nine in four innings of work in an 11-1 regional championship victory over Sandoval.
Taylor Schmitt was 3-for-4 with an RBI for the Greyhounds and Zach Becherer was 2-for-3 with an RBI. Matt Lanfersieck drove in two runs for Lebanon.