For third year in a row, Monroe County will be represented in the IHSA Class 1A State Baseball Tournament championship game.
The Gibault Hawks handily defeated Steeleville, 12-4, in a state semifinal game at Dozier Park in Peoria Friday. They’ll face Ottawa Marquette, a 10-8 winner over Elgin’s Harvest Christian Academy, for the state tile at 11 a.m. Saturday.
Valmeyer reached the 1A finals each of the previous two years, but lost the championship games.
Steeleville took the early lead, but an Austin Sweeney single with runners on second and third to tie the game. Mark Branz followed with an RBI triple and Tim Reinholz singled home another as part of a six-run third that put the Hawks in the lead for good.
The Hawks improved to 27-8. Marquette, 32-1, is led by senior outfielder Logan Komatfor who is batting .417 with 38 RBIs. Pitcher Bryce Jones is 7-1 with a 1.54 ERA and has 60 strikeouts in 50 innings pitched.