The Valmeyer Pirates already have made school history by capturing their first sectional and super-sectional championships.
There’s still more history to be made this weekend at the IHSA Class 1A State Baseball Tournament at Dozer Park in Peoria.
“There’s actually an asterisk on that — we had two basketball teams make the Sweet 16, but that was when there was only one class,” Valmeyer coach Greg Reinhardt said Monday following the Pirates’ super-sectional win over Abingdon-Avon. “Really, it’s been a great ride. We have a great tradition in Valmeyer, and we’re looking forward to adding to it.”
Valmeyer will meet 2016 state runner-up Somonauk (24-1) in the semifinals at noon Friday. That game follows the other semifinal between defending champion Goreville (26-7) and Peoria Heights (22-5).
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The semifinals winners will play for the state championship at noon Saturday; the losers meet for third place at 9 a.m.
Freshman Phillip Reinhardt will get the start for the Pirates on Friday. He leads the team with 59 1/3 innings pitched and has an 8-1 record with a 0.94 ERA. He’s also struck out 51 batters against just 11 walks.
Cole Juelfs (6-1, 2.48 ERA) and Andrew Whipple (6-1, 2.47) will also be available through the weekend. Easton Wallace, who has been used sparingly on the mound but was impressive through three innings of shutout relief Monday, also will be on call.
“I think we match up really well against the teams that will be up there,” Greg Reinhardt said. “I really think we have a chance.”
CLASS 1A BASEBALL FINAL FOUR
VALMEYER PIRATES (27-9)
Coach: Greg Reinhardt
Last season: lost to Okawville, 8-0, in sectional semifinals
Top Hitters: Easton Wallace (.459, 27 doubles, 4 HR, 46 RBIs); Jake Krekel (.446, 32 RBIs); Tyler Kempfer (.323, 2 HR, 27 RBIs)
Top Pitchers: Phillip Reinhardt (8-1, 0.94 ERA, 51 K); Andrew Whipple (6-1, 2.47 ERA); Cole Juelfs (6-1, 2.48 ERA)
GOREVILLE BLACKCATS (26-7)
Conference: Black Diamond
Coach: Shawn Tripp
Last season: defeated Somanauk, 17-1, to win 1A State Championship
Top Hitters: Brodie Lenon (.444, 9 2B, 4 HR, 32 RBIs); Brant Glidewell (.371, 6 2B, 2 HR, 42 RBIs); Peyton Massey (.307, 3 HR, 19 RBIs)
Top Pitchers: Brodie Lenon (6-1. 0.61 ERA); Brant Glidewell (7-1, 1.26 ERA); Peyton Geyman (3-1, 1.29 ERA).
SOMONAUK BOBCATS (24-1)
Conference: Little Ten
Coach: Troy Felton
Last season: Lost to Goreville, 17-1, in 1A state championship game
Top Hitters: John Johnson (.421, 10 2B, 3B, 3 HR, 37 RBIs); Ryan Lumsden (.408, 26 RBIs); Andy Jackson (.388, 26 RBIs); Brady Kreiter (.338, 39 runs)
Top Pitchers: John Johnson (9-0, 0.82 ERA); Nate Wegener (4-0, 1.12 ERA); Nolan Wegener (4-0, 1.77 ERA)
PEORIA HEIGHTS PATRIOTS (22-5)
Coach: Matt King
Last season: Lost to Ottawa Marquette, 6-4, in sectional semifinal
Top Hitters: Rylee Miller (.302, 13 2B, 28 RBIs); Blake Begner (.420, 10 2B, 30 RBIs); Ty Webb (.291, 8 2B, 20 RBIs)
Top Pitchers: Blake Benger (5-0, 0.00 ERA, 91 K, 9 BB, 45 1/3 IP); Tyler Gregory (8-0, 1.05 ERA)