The Gibault High School baseball team advanced to Saturday’s Class 1A state championship game by stomping Wolf Lake (Shawnee), 9-2, on Friday in Peoria.
The Hawks wasted no time getting themselves on the board, as senior Matt Schreder grounded out to knock in Mitch Meyer for the first run of the game. In the top of the third inning, Gibault coach Andy Skaer’s bunch added to their lead with a Wes Degener single RBI down the first base line.
With Austin Beccue on the mound for the Hawks, Gibault didn’t allow a Shawnee run until the bottom of the fourth, when Degener fumbled a hard hit ball to shortstop causing an error at second followed by an attempt to make the out at home when catcher Ryley Wallin was taken out at the plate in an incidental contact situation. Shawnee inched closer at 2-1 going into the fifth inning.
But the sixth inning is where Gibault sealed their state final fate — and Shawnee began to fall apart. The play that started the team’s spiral down hill came when they attempted to pick-off Degener at first, but the ball was overthrown and the team just couldn’t seem to get it in the correct person’s hands. In a bizarre sequence, Degener ended up scoring on the attempted pick-off at first base.
Gibault will play Putnam County at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday for the program’s first baseball state title.
To read more on the team’s road to state and to view Gibault post-season baseball photos, click here.