EDWARDSVILLE - Xavier Deatherage hit a two-run homer over the fence in left field with two out in the top of the eighth to give O'Fallon a dramatic 5-3 win over Edwardsville in a Southwestern Conference baseball game Tuesday afternoon at Tom Pile Field.
It was the first meeting between the two schools since last season's regional final, where the Panthers defeated the Tigers 4-1 to advance to the sectional on its way to a third-place finish in the Class 4A state tournament.
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The Tigers went ahead in the first on an RBI single by Adam Powell that scored Grant Huebner to make the score 1-0, with the Panthers drawing level at 1-1 when R.J. Cole's RBI single scored Deatherage. Edwardsville took the lead back at 3-1 when a Spencer Stearns bloop single scored both Cole Funkhouser and Joe Chiarodo.
Connor Lindsey tied the game at 3-3 in the top of the fifth when he homered over the center-field fence, scoring Camden Cox ahead of him. The winning rally in the eighth started with one out when Lindsey reached on catcher's interference, with Deatherage hitting his homer one out later to give the Panthers the lead at 5-3. Edwardsville put the first two runners on in the bottom of the eighth, but went out in order to preserve the O'Fallon win.
Riley Iffrig had two hits for the Tigers, while Stearns' two-run single was his only hit and RBIs of the game. Powell had a hit and RBI and Chiarodo had the other Edwardsville hit.
Gannon Burns went five innings on the mound for the Tigers, allowing three runs on seven hits, all earned, while striking out six. Alec Marchetto went the final three innings, allowing two runs on only one hit, one run earned, fanning five.
O'Fallon goes to 25-5, while Edwardsville is now 27-4, with both teams playing a rematch Thursday afternoon at Blazier Field in a 4:30 p.m. start. The Tigers then play at Triad on Friday in a 4:30 p.m. start and end the regular season Saturday at home against Springfield, with the first pitch coming at 10 a.m.
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