Mascoutah senior Jacob Davis took one for the team, and in doing so gave the Indians a 5-4 win over Civic Memorial and the championship of the Salem Class 3A Baseball Sectional.
Davis was drilled by Civic Memorial pitcher Corey Price with two out and the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh to earn the walk-off RBI the hard way. It gave Mascoutah its first sectional title since 2014.
The (28-10) Indians will now play Champaign Central in the 3A Sauget Super-Sectional at GCS Park on Monday. Champaign Central won its first Sectional Title since 1968 with a 9-7 victory over Chatham-Glenwood.
“The way the game ended probably wasn’t the way anyone would have drawn it up, but it doesn’t matter,” said Mascoutah coach Don Eddy. “When we score more runs than they do, that’s all I care about.”
CM starting pitcher Brandon Hampton retired the first eight Indian hitters in order to start the game. However, a two-out walk to senior Austin Wombacher put a runner on for junior Jayden Stewart, who blasted a two-run home run to right.
It was the Indians first hit and first lead of the game.
“I didn’t think it was going to get out,” Steward said. “It felt good because it gave us the confidence we needed.”
Stewart later pushed across another run with an RBI single. Coupled with a sacrifice fly by senior Michael Chaffin, Mascoutah suddenly found itself with a 4-0 lead through five innings.
But with the Indians just one run shy of a win, CM junior Caden Clark singled in the tying run. Davis spoiled the Eagle’s opportunity to take the lead with a run-saving diving catch in shallow right.
Mascoutah starter Noah Blakely got out of the inning on a run-saving catch by Davis to preserve the tie.
“Blakely threw a great game and grinded through,” said Eddy. “He had several unfortunate things happen, but has really come on strong for us toward the end of the year.”
In the bottom of the seventh, Price walked the bases loaded for Davis, who absorbed the blow of the game’s last pitch for the win.
“They caught some breaks, we caught some breaks,” Eddy said. “We got the bases loaded and they hit us with the pitch. That’s just what happens. At this point of the season you don’t care how you win, you just want to win. It’s baseball. There is no stalling at the end or kneeling the ball. You’ve got to get the last out.”
Civic Memorial, which competes against Mascoutah in the Mississippi Valley Conference, sees its season end at 28-11
“It just went their way today. We played hard, but they beat us,” said Civic Memorial coach Nick Smith. “Today was a neat deal with having two MVC teams in the Sectional Championship. We wish we were on the other side of it, but that’s life. Tip your cap to Mascoutah, we hope they represent the MVC well.”