A two-run homer in the first inning Friday off the bat of Dillon Smith put the Central Cougars on the winning path as they advanced to the championship game of the Class 2A Greenville Baseball Regional with a 6-3 semifinal win over Cahokia Conference rival Carlyle.
Smith’s blast, his first home run this season, came after Carlyle had taken a 1-0 lead in the top of the first.
“He just came through with a really big hit,” said Central coach Kevin Crask, whose 16-14 club takes on Greenville for the regional title at 11 a.m. Saturday. “It was over the left-center field wall and it cleared it by 20 or 30 feet. He’s an unbelievably strong kid and when he makes contact it comes at you hard.”
Central increased its lead on an RBI double by Houston Kruse and an RBI single by Brandon Richter in the fourth inning after Carlyle committed a pair of errors. Kolby Schulte added a sacrifice fly in the inning.
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Central’s Mitchel Rule pitched a complete game, allowing three runs on nine hits while striking out five. Carlyle’s Tommy Cummins was 2-for-4 and Adam Alexander had an RBI triple.
Okawville 7, New Athens 0
Okawville (13-17) reached the championship of the Class 1A Marissa Baseball Regional thanks in large part to Brendon Killion, who shut down New Athens on seven hits and five strikeouts. Killion also added a double and two RBIs for the Rockets, who will face Valmeyer (17-16) in the regional championship on Saturday.
Okawville’s offense also got a jolt from Mason Drury, who was 2-for-3 with a double and two RBIs, and Brad Fuhrhop’s two-run homer. The Rockets scored twice in the first and twice in the fifth before putting things out of reach with three more in the sixth.
Wesclin 10, Metro-East Lutheran 0
Dylan Weh tossed a four-hit shutout over five innings and got plenty of run support as Wesclin advanced to the championship game of the Class 2A Dupo Baseball Regional. The Warriors (18-11) will face Althoff in the title game at 11 a.m. Saturday.
Wesclin’s Brent Lengacher was 3-for-4 with a double and RBI while catcher Quinn Belva had two hits, a double and two RBIs. Brendan Bernhardt, Blake Bernhardt and Jared Timmermann each had two hits for Wesclin.
Chester 7, Gibault 4
Gibault (16-17) allowed five runs in the the second inning and couldn’t overcome the deficit as Chester advanced to the finals of the Class 2A Red Bud Baseball Regional. Chandler Purcell hit a three-run homer for Gibault in the fifth inning. Chester will face Nashville (27-6-1) for the regional championship at 11 a.m. Saturday.