Mt. Vernon Register-News

Sports

June 4, 2014

Opening Test

Webber faces New Athens in first state matchup

BLUFORD —

Four teams enter the 1A baseball state final with the hope of emerging as a champion in Peoria.

Webber is one of the final four.

The Trojans opening opponent in Friday's state semifinal is New Athens (19-17).

It's about who is better at 10 a.m. on Friday just like it was at 4:30 (p.m.) on Monday,” Webber coach Sam Root said. “You can throw records out the window. Anybody that's there from 1A or 2A right now is hot, and they're dang good.”

The Yellow Jackets are paced by ace pitcher Brandon Contratto. He led the team with six wins and a 1.94 earned run average. He also hit .347 and drove in 21 runs at the plate.

Webber has ripped the ball all season long as a team. The Trojans team batting average is a whopping .343. Zane Austin leads the squad with a .442 average. He is one of eight players in the starting lineup who hit better than .300 this season.

(I try to) just stay calm, focus, don't try to do too much, just play baseball,” Austin said.

A trio of pitchers have mainly contributed in starting roles this season. Logan Ganieany leads the team with 60.2 innings. He was the winner in the super sectional, throwing a complete game victory over Windsor/Stew-Stras.

Ganieany said his goal is focusing on the task when he steps on the field in Peoria.

It's going to be bigger, and I'm just going to have to contain myself and play the right way and try to win,” Ganieany said.

Jordan Wheeler and Lane Moser have both thrown more than 40 innings each for Webber.

Root said the players and coaches have combined to produce solid offensive and pitching performances this season.

I just have to give credit to (assistant) coach (Ryan) Strine, our hitting coach, (assistant) coach (Bill) Henderson, our pitching coach, and I just feel like our overall approach. Kids have continued to buy in,” Root said.

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