The Edwardsville baseball team closed out the 2021-22 high school year by winning the Illinois High School Association Class 4A championship with yet another come-from-behind victory while the Tigers softball team claimed the third-place trophy after falling in the state semifinals.

Let’s recap a great weekend for the Tigers in this week’s edition of the Monday Morning Wrap Up.

The Tigers baseball team scored a pair of runs in the top of the seventh inning and held on in the home half of the frame to defeat Mundelein 4-3 in the Class 4A championship game Saturday night at Duly Health and Care Stadium in Joliet, Ill. This is the school’s fourth baseball title and first since 2019.

Edwardsville moved on to the title game with a 7-4 victory over Chicago Brother Rice Friday afternoon in the semifinals. Brother Rice raced out to a 3-0 lead with two runs in the top of the second and a run in the third, but the Tigers erased that advantage with four runs in the home half of the third. After Edwardsville put runners on second and third with one out in the frame, Riley Iffrig drove in the Tigers first run of the game with a single to make the score 3-1. After Caeleb Copeland drew a walk to load the bases, Adam Copeland was hit by a pitch to push across another run to cut the lead to 3-2. With bases still loaded, Cole Hardy hit a sacrifice fly to score Iffrig as that evened the game at 3-3. The Tigers took the lead as Montrez West, who entered the game as a pinch-runner, stole home with two outs to push Edwardsville to a 4-3 advantage. The Tigers extended the lead in the fourth as Grant Huebner ripped a two-run triple and scored on a Spencer Stearns sacrifice fly to put Edwardsville on top 7-4. That is all that the Tigers would need as Alec Marchetto entered the game in the fifth inning for Stearns and allowed just two hits to propel the Tigers to the title game. Stearns pick up the victory on the mound with four innings of work allowing three runs on five hits.

Photo Credit – Edwardsville High School

In the title game Saturday evening, the Tigers opened the scoring in the top of the fifth as Adam Powell hit a two-run home run down the left-field line with two outs to give Edwardsville a 2-0 lead. Mundelein answered in the home half of the frame with three runs on a pair of hits to gain a 3-2 advantage. The score remained that way until the top of the seventh as Stearns opened the inning with a double to center field and moved to third on a single by Iffrig to put runners at the corners with no outs. After a stolen base, Powell drove in his third run of the game with a single up the middle to score Stearns as that drew the Tigers even at 3-3. Edwardsville took the lead as Hardy hit a sacrifice fly to left field to score West, who once again came off the bench to pinch-run, to make the score 4-3. Mundelein put a runner on in the bottom of the seventh with a walk with one out, but Gannon Burns forced a pair of groundballs that resulted in two force-outs to the end the game and give the Tigers to title. Burns claimed the win with a complete-game five-hitter for Edwardsville while striking out five. Edwardsville finished the season with an outstanding record of 36-4.

In East Peoria, Ill., at the East Side Center’s Louisville Slugger Field, the Edwardsville softball team earned the third-place trophy with a 4-3 win over Barrington Saturday afternoon. This is the first time since 2009 that the Tigers have played in the state final four.

Edwardsville fell to the third-place contest after falling to St. Charles North 2-0 Friday evening after a nearly two-hour delay due to rain in the East Peoria area. The game was a pitchers’ duel between the Tigers Ryleigh Owens and St. Charles North’s Ava Goettle neither team was able to score over the first five innings of the contest. Edwardsville did have chances to get things going early in the contest but could not push across a run to gain the advantage. The North Stars cracked the scoreboard in the home half of the sixth frame as St. Charles North took advantage of a throwing error to score the first run of the game and then they had a runner steal home to add a run to make it a 2-0 lead. The Tigers were not able to score in the seventh as they fell to 32-4 on the year.

In the third-place matchup with Barrington, Edwardsville only needed four hits to score their four runs to defeat Barrington 4-3. Sydney Lawrence plated a pair of runs on a double while Jillian Hawks and Lexie Griffin added RBI singles to push the Tigers to the third-place finish, Owens bounced back after the semifinal loss to earn her 20th win of the season by going the distance and striking out four batters. Edwardsville finished their season with a 33-4 mark.

Now that the 2021-22 prep sports year is complete, it is time to turn the page and start to look at some of the great things that will be happening this summer.

We will start looking at some of the football 7v7 tournaments that will be taking place over the coming weeks and take a peek at basketball team camps that are happening around the area. There is also a lot of summer baseball and softball taking place around the metro area. We will also start to look at the upcoming fall season with previews of teams in all of the fall sports.

Jim Powers
Jim Powers

Jim Powers has been covering prep sports in the St. Louis area for 15+ years and a part of the Missouri State High School Activities Association Championship Broadcasts for the past 11 years. Powers is also a part of the Fox 2 Verlo Mattress Prep Zone Friday nights at 10:10 during the football and basketball seasons. If you have a prep sports story, please contact Jim at japowers2421@yahoo.com. Follow Jim at @hssportscaravan