On a night when runs were scarce, Columbia senior Andrew Hoguet held both his composure and Mascoutah offense in check on Thursday in the Class 3A Mascoutah Baseball Regional.
Hoguet scattered three hits in a complete game effort and Columbia made a first inning unearned run stand up as it earned a title game crack at mighty Waterloo with a 1-0 win over Mascoutah.
Entering the game with a 5-3 record, Hoguet baffled the Indians early and overpowered them late as he lowered his ERA to 2.13 in a masterful performance. The 5-foot-10, 140-pound senior left-hander gave up just one hit over the final four innings and retired 12 of the last 13 Indians hitters he faced in helping Columbia (20-13) move on.
“I went with the fastball more late in the game today and while I sometimes try to throw too hard and overthrow, I thought I did a pretty good job of throwing strikes,” Hoguet said. “My teammates did a great job of playing defense and making the plays behind me. They turned a nice double play which was a big part of the win. I couldn’t have done it without the defense.”
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The win moves Columbia into the regional title game on Saturday where it will take on Waterloo in a battle of Monroe Country schools beginning at 11 a.m. at Mascoutah High School.
The Bulldogs (25-6) advanced with a 12-0 win over Cahokia on Wednesday and defeated Columbia 4-1 in its only meeting with the Eagles during the regular season.
But as for now, Eagles coach Neal O’Donnell was just happy to get past a tough Mascoutah team and its ace Jordan Kraljev.
Columbia had Kraljev on the ropes throughout, leaving nine runners on base and stranding five runners in scoring position. Thankfully, Hoguet was just a little better.
“Andrew went out and pitched very well. He’s given us this type of effort all year,” O’Donnell said. “He did a good job of mixing his pitches early and then later in the game he went more to his fastball.
“Like a lot of young pitchers when he wants to reach back, he sometimes overthrows and it messes with his mechanics and he’s out of the strike zone. I thought he did a good job tonight of staying under control.”
How it went
Mascoutah (15-18-1) threatened in the top of the first inning when with two outs, Michael Chaffin and Noah Dressler singled to put runners on first and second. But Hoguet got Dominic Johnson on a called strike three to end the threat.
Kraljev, a sturdy 6-4, 225-pound junior, wasn’t as fortunate in the bottom of the first.
Ryen Gudeman lined a single to lead off and three pitches later the Eagles Brennen van Breusegen hit a two-hopper that Kraljev stabbed. But in his haste to get Gudeman at second base, Kraljev’s throw pulled the defender off the bag and the Eagles had runners on first and second with nobody out.
Lamont Read then moved both runners up a base with a sacrifice bunt and when Cameron Roth grounded out to shortstop, Gudeman scored what would be the only run of the game.
“I thought it was a cleanly played game by both teams. Both pitchers pitched very well. The difference in the game was the error,” Indians coach Don Eddy said. “I thought Jordan (Kraljev) did a great job of keeping us in the game especially in the sixth inning when they (Columbia) had the bases loaded with nobody out and didn’t score.
“We had some chances. We just didn’t get the big hit.”