The Carriel Cougars won their first Southern Illinois Junior High School Athletic Association Class L regional championship in four years as they defeated their nemesis the Triad Crusaders by a score of 4-2.
Triad had knocked out Carriel in each of the previous three seasons.
The Cougars avenged an earlier defeat this year over Triad with excellent pitching and timely hitting. Corey Quintal pitched 5 1/3 innings of one-hit ball and had 10 strikeouts, and Garrett Shearer and Chase Dumstorff snuffed out Triad rallies in both the sixth and seventh innings for the win.
Andrew Barbee led off the game with a single and would come around to eventually score on a wild pitch for the Cougars first run.
In the third inning, the Cougars plated three more runs on back-to-back singles by Quintal and Rodell Andrews, an RBI double by Pierce Love and another RBI double by Xavier Deatherage. The four runs would be enough to stand up for the win, as Triad scored two runs in the last inning before being retired on a groundout to Zach Horsens.
Carriel 6, Futon 1
The Cougars reached the championship game by disposing of cross-town rival Edward Fulton in the first game by a score of 6-1. Strong starting pitching and timely hitting were the keys again in the victory. Andrew Barbee struck out 11 Panther hitters in 5 1/3 innings in the victory.
The Cougars plated runs in the second, third, and fourth innings to take a 3-0 lead.
With the game still in doubt and the Cougars clinging to a 3-1 lead, the Panthers loaded up the bases with two outs, but their rally was halted when catcher Connor Lindsey picked a runner off of second base for the third out of the inning.
The Cougars added three insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth to take control and cruise to the 6-1 victory.
Corey Quintal had three hits, and Zach Horsens, Rodell Andrews and Andrew Barbee each had two hits apiece.
The Cougars now advance to the first round of the state tournament, which will be held on Sept. 30 in Centralia.