Prep Baseball & Softball

Edwardsville escapes Collinsville upset bid in a thriller; O’Fallon and Freeburg also post wins

Edwardsville trailed 5-0 in the first inning and was down 6-0 in the second Wednesday, but the Tigers are still alive in the Class 4A baseball playoffs.

The Tigers rallied to tie it, then won it 7-6 in the bottom of the seventh on an RBI single by Jake Garella that sent the Tigers into the championship game of the Class 4A Belleville West Regional.

Garella also came up big on the mound, tossing 6 1/3 hitless innings in relief of starter Trey Riley. Garella (6-1) allowed one run, walked two and struck out seven.

“It was tough. It was gut-check time I guess you’d say, but we kept fighting,” Garella said. “The seniors didn’t want to quit playing. We just didn’t want to go down and it was starting to hit me the fourth or fifth inning when we were still down 6-1. The lesson that we came out with today was nothing is guaranteed in the game of baseball.”

The lesson that we came out with today was nothing is guaranteed in the game of baseball.

Edwardsville senior Jake Garella

Edwardsville kept chopping away at the Kahoks’ early lead and cut it to 6-5 in the sixth on an RBI single by Tyler Stamer.

In the seventh, Cole Hansel reached safely and Cole Cimarolli walked before Andrew Yancik tied it 6-6 with an RBI double off Kahoks reliever Jordan Reichert.

Garella’s RBI single to right sent the Tigers (29-7) home victorious, but nothing about this win was easy.

Collinsville’s Adam Pashea was 2-for-3 with two RBIs and Reichert was 2-for-3 with an RBI. Collinsville starter Parker Marchbanks threw 5 2/3 innings, allowing eight hits and five runs while walking six and striking out three.

Edwardsville will face either Belleville East or Belleville West in the regional championship at 11 a.m. Saturday. East and West play in the other semifinal game at 4:30 p.m. Thursday

O’Fallon 5, Danville 4

O’Fallon senior Brad Harrison went 3-for 3 with a home run, a double and three RBIs as the Panthers held off Danville to reach the championship game of the Class 4A Alton Regional.

The win was also the 400th career victory for O’Fallon coach Jason Portz as the Panthers moved to 31-5.

Logan Boente got the win with three hitless innings of relief, escaping a bases-loaded, nobody out jam in the process. Harrison picked up a save, allowing two hits and one run while working the final two innings. His streak of consecutive scoreless innings ended at 33.

Logan came in and just starting pounding the strike zone and let our defense do the work.

O’Fallon coach Jason Portz on reliever Logan Boente

“Boente was the guy that really came in and changed the tempo of the game,” Portz said. “Logan came in and just starting pounding the strike zone and let our defense do the work.”

Chase Hackstadt was 2-for-3 for O’Fallon while Dillon Weiss, Jordan Richardson and Josh Gibson also had hits.

“Talking to some coaches from around the state, we knew we were going to have our hands full,” Portz said of Danville.

“Nothing else matters right now other than just getting a win and moving forward.”

Freeburg 8, Highland 6

Freeburg was still trailing defending state champion Highland 4-0 in the fifth inning before the Midgets finally found an offensive spark. The spark quickly grew into an eight-run bonfire as Freeburg (23-9) moved on to the championship game of the Class 3A Highland Regional.

Ty Dill had a two-run single in the fifth for Freeburg and the big blow came off the bat of Brendan Dermody, whose three-run triple put the Midgets on top to stay.

Braeden Chandler was 2-for-3 with an RBI for Freeburg and Elias Czech got the win with three innings of relief.

Norm Sanders: 618-239-2454, @NormSanders