By Rick Hayes
WOODLAWN — Webber Township and Steeleville will play for the Class A Woodlawn baseball Regional title Saturday after posting semifinal victories on Thursday.
Webber, 18-10, finished its suspended game with Norris City/Omaha/Enfield, churning out a 5-1 victory while Steeleville advanced with a 9-6 victory over the host Cardinals.
Webber took a 2-0 lead into Thursday's play after lightning suspended action on Wednesday. The Trojans got an RBI single from Lane Moser and an RBI double from Chris Bush to post the early lead.
Moser ended up going 3-for-3 at the plate and Bush was 2-for-3 with four RBI.
“He (Moser) is a senior and Chris Bush, hitting in the sixth spot is another senior. (Jordan) Wheeler was on base three times. Our lineup is deep enough there could be different people contributing. If you've got several options, hopefully, you can get two or three of them hot. Lane started off a couple of rallies for us and that was nice,” said Webber coach Sam Root.
Webber plated two more runs in the third when Moser started a two-out rally with a base hit. Wheeler walked and Bush plated two runs with a double to left.
The Trojans tacked on its final run in the fifth when Moser singled, Wheeler doubled deep to center and Bush plated Moser on a groundout.
Logan Ganineay got the complete game mound victory for Webber, allowing six hits and striking out seven. NCOE had no extra-base hits.
“He had a low pitch count. He only threw 23 Wednesday. He was really strong yesterday and you worry about the layoff, but he came back. He had a couple of tight moments but he battled and it was big,” Root said.
Steeleville, 4-12, banged out 10 hits against four Woodlawn pitchers and scored in all but one inning in posting its upset victory.
Trailing 7-1 entering the sixth, Woodlawn put together a rally in the bottom half of the inning, plating five runs. A bases-loaded double from Zach Ashby plated two runs, followed by a two-run single from designated hitter Hayden Baker.
Steeleville reliever Ethan Kothe had a 1-2-3 seventh to preserve the victory for starter A.J. Jeffers, who ran out of gas in the sixth.
Jeffers allowed six runs on nine hits — five of them coming during Woodlawn's rally in the sixth.
Joel Robinson and Derek Kehrer had two hits each for Woodlawn; the Warriors got three hits each from Justin Craig and Casey Wilson.
Woodlawn finished its season at 13-15.