BY PAUL HINES
It's been a season of milestones for Webber's baseball team.
The Trojans can add a regional title to a list that includes the school record for wins and Ty Henderson's 500th career strikeouts.
Webber knocked off Woodlawn 4-1 to win the 1A regional championship Saturday.
“Last year we fell short,” Webber shortstop Levi Aydt said. “That just makes us more hungry, wanting to win more.”
Henderson held Woodlawn scoreless until the final inning. The Trojans hurler finished with 10 strikeouts and allowed five hits.
“He threw very well today and really just set the tone early,” Webber coach Sam Root said.
Webber's offense struck in the second inning. Levi Aydt doubled to left field to drive in a run. Aydt was able to run to second after the ball took a gigantic hop over the head of Derek Kehrer. The bounce allowed the runner, Lane Moser, to score without a throw.
Webber added another run in the inning to go up 2-0 when Jordan Wheeler grounded into a double play. Aydt, who was at third, trotted in for the score.
The Trojans padded their lead in the third with a pair of runs to go up 4-0.
Koaltin Dye led off and reached on an error. He took second after Gage Raudenbush's sacrifice bunt. Henderson knocked him in when he sent a single tightroping down the first-base line. Aydt knocked in his second run of the game with a single later in the inning.
“Logan (Isaac is) a great pitcher,” Aydt said. “He's got a very good fastball.
“I just noticed first pitch is probably going to be fastball so just jump on it.”
Woodlawn got three of its five hits against Henderson in the final two innings.
“Early on, we didn't gather many hits,” Woodlawn coach Mike Kehrer said. “We poked the ball here and there, but we were hitting it right at them. (Henderson) threw the ball well. He threw a good game.”
With one out in the sixth, Matt Kennedy laced a single into the outfield. Jayson Hapeman groundout out to short, and Kennedy was gunned down to end the inning when he tried to take third on the play.
The final inning started with back-to-back doubles off the bats of Brendan Petersen and Logan Isaac to make the score 4-1.
It appeared Woodlawn would close the gap to 4-2 when Bryson Sanders reached first after a dropped third strike. Sanders raced down to first base as Isaac came in to score. Catcher Austin Gowler fired a throw to first base in an attempt to get Sanders out. The throw hits Sanders, but he was ruled to be running outside of the baseline and out on the play. Isaac was forced back to third base. With two outs, Henderson fanned Tanner Hill to end the game.
“I hate it for one of us to have to bump the other one out,” Kehrer said “Me and Sam are real good friends, and will still remain good friends. I have a lot of respect for (Webber).”
Webber is 24-9 this season and travels to the Goreville sectional on Thursday.
“It feels good to be able to advance,” Root said. “I told them to enjoy it this weekend, and Monday at 2:30 (p.m.) we're ready to move on. We're not done.”
Woodlawn finished the season 16-10 overall.