Webber's baseball team ran into a buzz saw in the 1A state title game Saturday.
Crete Illinois Lutheran scored the opening seven runs on its way to a 12-2 victory over the Trojans in six innings. The Chargers seized a big early cushion with seven combined runs in the second and third innings.
“We had a very slim margin for error,” Webber coach Sam Root said. “A couple of things got away from us. I'm glad we battled back offensively that one inning, but we were a little bit outmanned.”
Webber briefly rallied with its best offensive inning in the fourth after Illinois Lutheran starting pitcher Sam Geraci opened the game with three perfect innings.
Webber's Zane Austin ended the perfect game when he reached after an error to start the fourth. Logan Ganieany ended the no-hitter with a double down the left-field line to score Austin. The RBI made the score 7-1. Jordan Wheeler followed with an RBI single to drive in Ganieany.
Webber continued to threaten with runners at second and third with two outs. Geraci was able to work out of the jam when he got Michael Gartin to ground out and end the inning.
“Michael hits a well-hit ball so we had a few chances,” Root said.
The Chargers continued to tack on runs with another in the fourth. Illinois Lutheran followed with two additional runs in the fifth. The game ended in the bottom of the sixth when Evan Henschel put the Chargers up 12-2 with an RBI.
Illinois Lutheran took advantage of six wild pitches from the two Webber pitchers during the game. Ganieany started the game and threw two and a third innings. Lane Moser finished the game. Webber also made four errors in the game.
“We couldn't afford that today,” Root said. “We had to play a close to perfect game.”