Prep Baseball & Softball

Big second inning by Marquette sinks Gibault’s championship hope

A big second-inning rally by Ottawa Marquette was more than Gibault could overcome Saturday in their quest for a second IHSA class 1A baseball championship.

Marquette scored eight runs in the frame and rolled to a 14-5 title-clinching victory at Dozier Park in Peoria. The win marked the first state championship for the Crusaders, who placed fourth last season.

Gibault, class 1A champions in 2013, finish as state runner-up with a school-record of 27 wins against just nine losses.

The Hawks assumed a 1-0 lead in the first inning on a sacrifice fly by junior Cole Buckner, but Marquette’s Jack Snook blasted a two-run home run to put the Crusaders on top and spark the eight-run second. Marquette racked up nine hits off Hawks’ starter Mark Branz during the rally.

Gibault rebounded with a pair of runs in it’s half of the inning and Tim Reinholz blasted a solo home run in the fourth, but the Crusaders’ lead was wider than Gibault could overcome.

It’s the third season in a row that a Monroe County team has brought a runners-up trophy back to the metro-east. Valmeyer finished second in Illinois each of the last two years.

Steeleville, which fell to Gibault in Friday’s semifinals, defeated Harvest Christian Academy from Elgin, 12-6, in the third-place game.