Jordan Wheeler celebrated his 19th birthday Friday.
The way the day's 1A state semifinal game against New Athens was going, it looked like he might throw about that many innings.
“I think my adrenalin was what kept me going,” Wheeler said.
Wheeler hurled a complete game, and Webber won 5-4 in 10 innings.
“I'd hate to be the team that had to throw that last knockout punch to knock us out because we battle this year,” Webber coach Same Root said. “And we battled this whole way through.
“Somebody's going to have to beat us. Because we're not going to quit and give everything away,” Root said.
For Wheeler and the rest of the Trojans, the game was another dramatic postseason victory. Earlier in the playoffs, Webber was down to its final strike before rallying. This time the Trojans trailed 4-1 in the top of the seventh inning before clawing back into the game.
New Athens starter Brandon Contratto allowed a pair of singles to Gage Raudenbush and Lane Moser to start the frame. Coach Scott Wine lifted Contratto for reliever Ryan Reuss. He loaded the bases with no outs after a walk to Jordan Wheeler.
Chris Bush followed with an RBI single to slice the New Athens lead to 4-2. Another run raced home when the ball went under the glove of the New Athens centerfielder, making the score 4-3.
Reuss sandwiched a walk around two outs which brought Zane Austin to the plate with two down. Runners stood at each base. Austin chopped a ball to third. The New Athens fielder fumbled the ball allowing Jordan Wheeler to run home, scoring the tying run.
“It seems like it happens all the time going into extra innings,” Webber's Gage Raudenbush said. “We just never quit fighting. It feels amazing.”