SAUGET - Although the COVID-19 pandemic caused the cancellation of the 2020 Illinois High School Association baseball season, Edwardsville pitcher Collin Salter sill had one more big game up his sleeve.

Salter delivered it with aplomb recently, giving up only one run and two hits in five–and-one-third innings, walking three and striking out 12 as the Tigers won over Granite City 5-1 in the Gateway Grizzlies' Sandlot Series at GCS Ballpark.

Even though it had been more than a year since Edwardsville's last game, the IHSA Class 4A state championship win over St. Charles North, Salter pitched a fantastic game, keeping the Warriors at bay most of the way.

"My off-speed was just moving, everything was feeling good," Salter said in a post-game interview. "And it was so fun being able to play out here with the boys again, and I mean, I'll never forget it for sure. It was a blast."

As with his teammates and every baseball player and spring athlete in Illinois when the spring season cancellation was announced by the IHSA, Salter felt his share of disappointment.

"I was, for sure, very upset," Salter said, "but there's nothing you could do about it. So I just took that time - I thought it was a great time to train and get better."

That training paid off in a big way for Salter in the outing against Granite City, as things went very well for him.

"Good, good," Salter said. "My arm is feeling really good. I can't wait to get to college soon, and do the same thing."

Salter thoroughly enjoyed his experience with his teammates and the chance to play in a big venue.

"Oh, yeah," Salter said. "It was so fun.

Salter's favorite Edwardsville memory? That's an easy answer.

"For sure, winning state," Salter said. "That will be a memory that I'll never forget for my entire life."

Being able to play one final game as a Tiger with his teammates will also be highly rated as well.

"Tonight was a close second," Salter said with a smile and laugh. "It's another unforgettable night, a lot of fun, getting out to play."

Now, it's on to Parkland College in Champaign for Salter, which has had a number of Edwardsville players succeed at in the past. He's ready to accept the challenge.

"Yeah, I can't wait to get up there," Salter said.

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