By Paul Hines
MARION — Webber's baseball team has done a lot of celebrating lately.
Monday, the Trojans celebrated again.
This time it was an 8-6 victory in the 1A super sectional against Windsor Stew-Stras in Rent One Park.
“It feels amazing,” Webber's Gage Raudenbush said. “Words can't explain it.”
The Trojans are now headed to the state finals in Peoria.
“I know we're there. I know we're guaranteed two games,” Webber coach Sam Root said. “And I know we're going to go up there and fight for a full seven (innings) or whatever just like we have been.”
Logan Ganieany threw a complete game in the victory for Webber. He fanned eight batters and walked two.
“I finally found the strike's zone, and I kept pounding the strike's zone,” he said.
Ganieany also stung Windsor Stew-Stas with his bat. He had four hits and three RBI. He knocked in two big runs in the fifth to give Webber a 7-5 lead.
Six of the Trojan hitters had multi-hit games. Eight of the nine batters in the lineup reached base at least once.
“You have to hit up and down the lineup, and we are right now,” Root said.
Both teams slugged away at each other early. Ganieany put the Trojans up in the top of the first with an RBI single. Mark Knelpler continued his hot hitting from the eight spot in the lineup. He kept the Trojans rolling in the second with a single to score a run and give Webber a 2-0 edge.
Windsor answered with four runs in the third against Webber to seize a 4-2 edge. Despite the high pitch count in the inning, Ganieany still completed the game.
“Logan threw 40 pitches in the third inning,” Root said. “Some of him struggling, some we gave (them) extra outs. He locked right back in, and for him to finish that right now we're getting big time pitching performances.”
Webber evened the game at 4-4 in the third. Jordan Wheeler and Michael Gartin both served up RBI singles.
Again Windsor answered.
This time Nic Huchinson lofted a sacrifice fly to right field to plate a run and give Windsor a 5-4 edge.
Webber took control of the game for good in the fifth. Down 5-4, Webber loaded the bases after a pair of walks and a hit with one out. Zane Austin lined a ball to the shortstop who dropped it. He tagged the Webber runner heading to third allowing pinch runner Dylan Burrell to score and tied the game. Ganieany followed with a deep blast to the base of the left-center field wall that scored a pair and gave Webber a 7-5 lead.
Mark Knepler made the score 8-5 with an RBI in the sixth.
Webber is 22-10 this season. The Trojans will open the state finals at 10 a.m. Friday morning. Webber will play again at 9 a.m. or 11:30 a.m. Saturday depending on the outcome of the opening day.
“We're super hot right now, and I don't know how we're doing it but I hope we keep on as far as we can,” Ganieany said. “I'm super happy with going to state.”