EDWARDSVILLE - Hunter Baugh's two-run double down the left field line with two out in the bottom of the sixth inning was the difference as Edwardsville rallied to take a dramatic 5-3 baseball win over Winnetka New Trier in the Illinois Prep Baseball Report showcase Saturday morning at Tom Pile Field.

Get The Latest News!

Don't miss our top stories and need-to-know news everyday in your inbox.

Baugh's double drove in the winning runs, with the Tigers adding an insurance run afterwards, as the Tigers came back from a 3-1 deficit, overcoming a controversial decision by the umpires to award the Trevians a double play in the bottom of he fifth to go on to a great win, which climaxed a successful weekend for the team.

"I enjoy our guys a lot," said Edwardsville coach Tim Funkhouser. "it's a fun group, and I thought overall, we pitched really well this weekend. We'll get better defensively. and he consistency factor, and our hitting, we struggled with for the most part. We struck out a lot more than we usually do. We had some guys that were fighting some things at the plate, and the pitching that we faced was extremely good. So, all that combined, to be able to come away with two wins on the weekend, against the three quality teams that we played, we've got to feel pretty good about. But also, we play all those teams to expose our weak links, so we can practice with intent more. It was a fun challenge this weekend, so I always look forward to that event."

The Tigers kept fighting despite the adversity, getting a big boost from a Joe Chiarodo lead-off homer in the bottom of the sixth to cut the New Trier lead to 3-2, setting the stage for Baugh's later heroics.

"I thought our guys did a great job of keeping their head," Funkhouser said, "and guys like Chiarodo, and (Greyson) Rathgeb, batting at the top of the order, had a tough weekend for them both. Joe put a swing on it, it kind of opened up the gate there, Rathgeb followed up by putting another swing on one, and (Lucas) Krebs, who had a good weekend at the plate, was able to fight off a good pitch. Hunter came with that big hit, and we needed a clutch hit. We hadn't had many clutch hits throughout the weekend, and when he came through with that clutch hit.

"Evan Moore's home run early was big for us to get on the board," Funkhouser continued, "and I thought Tony Eberlin didn't pitch as well as he will. He struggled with the five walks in the first couple of innings, but he was able to overcome and not give up a blemish on the run side with those two innings. He'll need to be better, and he will. (Tristan) Lance came in and for a first-time varsity guy, made pitches. Then Dax Dunnill really did a good job of competing, and was able to close it out at the end. So, a lot of guys, this is their first experience of varsity baseball, and to throw them into three teams that are ranked in the top six in the state. to have their inaugural weekend, quite a challenge. So, a lot of learning opportunities, as well as treasuring the success that you do have."

The Tigers did indeed take two of three from high caliber opposition on the opening weekend, and hope to build from there.

"Well, we just go to practice each day," Funkhouser said. "I think our guys have practiced well, I think as the season goes on, it just points out different things that they need to work towards, and then, they have that intent of what they're doing. And then, making sure they get their regular work in, as well as some of the things they're going to work on. And then, we face another really good opponent again," he said with a laugh. "So, it's kind of the cycle of baseball, and I think our guys really enjoy that. We call it the process, but that's what makes it fun, that you get to go to the yard each day, and compete."

Article continues after sponsor message

And that hard work, dedication and competitiveness will always be a trademark of Tiger baseball teams.

"That's kind of the thing," Funkhouser said. "Every team's different, but I think there's some staples in our program, and I think we're just trying to accomplish that, and be the most consistent team. When you do a lot of those things, when you work together and play hard, and all those things, the joy of playing the game really comes out as fun."

Before the game, the Tigers honored New Trier head coach Mike Napoleon, starting his 38th season at the helm, for his state-leading 951 wins, along with his longtime dedication and service to baseball, with a salute read over the public address system. Napoleon was greeting with a standing ovation from the fans, which he warmly acknowledged with a tip of his cap.

The game started out with the Trevians threatening, as Eberlin, after fanning Ben Toft to open, walked Evan Olesker, Declan Spinner, and Max Miller, before striking out James Novakovic and Max Miller to end the inning. Eberlin walked two more in the second, but got out of trouble again to keep the game scoreless.

Moore led off the third with a homer over the fence in left field to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead. It stood until the top of the fifth, when Olesker singled, stole second and third, then scored on an error by the shortstop that allowed Spinner to reach, tying the game at 1-1.

In the bottom of the fifth, Moore singled and stole second with one out, with Kolton Wright hitting a liner that the shortstop appeared to have trapped, then threw to second. After a long discussion by the umpires, it was ruled a catch and a double play to end the inning, bringing out Funkhouser to argue the decision, but to no avail.

The double play ruling sparked the Trevians, and in the top of the sixth, with Dunnill in to pitch, Aiden Nolan hit a home run over the fence in near-dead center field to give New Trier a 2-1 lead. Mason Bloom was then hit by a pitch, then took second when Henrik Conniff bunted and reached on an error by the first baseman. The runners advanced on a wild pitch, and one out later, Bloom beat a throw to the plate on a grounder hit by Toft to score and give New Trier a 3-1 lead.

In the bottom of the sixth, Chiarodo's lead-off homer to left center cut the lead to 3-2, and gave the momentum back to the Tigers. Rathgeb and Krebs hit back-to-back singles, and one out later, both advanced on a balk by the pitcher when he stumbled off the mound trying to deliver a pitch. Rathgeb was thrown out at the plate on a grounder to the first baseman on a ball hit by Chase Alwardt, but the next batter, Baugh, delivered a double down the left field line to score Krebs and pinch runner Danny Story to give the Tigers the lead at 4-3. Max Waltenberger then singled, with Baugh scoring on an error to make it 5-3. Dunnill then set the side down in order to give the Tigers the win.

The Trevians are now 1-1, while the Tigers went to 2-1, and next play DeSmet Jesuit in Creve Coeur, Mo., Tuesday afternoon, host Granite City Wednesday afternoon, and host Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin Catholic Friday afternoon, with all games starting at 4:30 p.m.

More like this:

Mar 16, 2024 - Gimbel, Grant Combine To Hold Edwardsville To Three Hits In Joliet Catholic 6-0 Win Over Tigers  

3 days ago - Tony Eberlin's 12 Strikeouts Leads Tigers To 4-0 Regional Win Over Panthers

Mar 16, 2024 - Max Waltenberger's Solo Homer Secures Edwardsville's Tight 1-0 Victory

May 1, 2024 - Lucas Krebs Powers Tigers with Early Two-Run Homer, Milburn Strong On Mound As Edwardsville Stops Maroons 9-3  

Mar 7, 2024 - Edwardsville's High School Baseball Team Builds on Championship Legacy