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EDWARDSVILLE – Once Edwardsville's baseball team gets on a roll, they're like the proverbial snowball – they're hard to stop.

The Tigers are certainly on a hot streak right now, winning their ninth game on the trot as they opened their Tiger Classic tournament with a convincing 11-1, five-inning win over Chicagoland school Lockport at Tom Pile Field Friday night; the Tigers went to 22-4 on the season with the win.

Tyler Stamer set the tone for the game when he blasted a three-run homer – his second as in many games – over the wall in left-center to give Edwardsville a 3-1 lead in the first inning; Stamer has been swinging a hot bat as of late, and Tiger coach Tim Funkhouser has liked what he's seen from Stamer.

“He's got a potent bat,” Funkhouser said. “It's worked really well and he got a pitch – we talk to our guys about it, 'you get a pitch to hit, you gotta hit it' and you gotta make a pitch on the pitching end; he's not missing those and with his power, it goes far.”

Edwardsville's speed on the basepaths has also helped; a play in the bottom of the fourth proved that. Cole Cimarolli singled in Andrew Yancik and Collin Clayton, with Cimarolli taking second on the throw home to try to get Clayton; Porter catcher Joe Maguire threw to second trying to get Cimarolli, but the throw went high and went into center field to allow Cimarolli to speed around third to score and put the Tigers ahead 8-1 through four innings.

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“Speed can create a lot of habits,” Funkhouser said. “Credit (Cimarolli) for getting the hit and driving in two, but also figuring out, 'what do I need to do', a next-base mentality to try to get to second base. I just like the pace of the game that we're playing the game at, the beat of 'what can I do on the next pitch' or 'what can I do to get to the next base'.

“I've told our guys I want as many things in my pocket as possible, so Cole Hansel busts one in the gap – that's awesome (a fifth-inning double) to see, and then to utilize guys with speed or a guy who can safety-squeeze or situational hitting with two strikes, those types of things. I think our guys are starting to gain a little more confidence; they know they've acquired some skills and they're looking forward to getting the opportunity to utilize those.”

Tyler Hosto got the ball for the Tigers and threw an outstanding game, giving up a run on five hits while dismissing five by strikeout. “Tyler Hosto was outstanding,” Funkhouser said, “and he had to pitch around a couple of errors that we made, and one on the first inning should have been a double play. Andrew's (Yancik) been really good defensively for us, but he didn't make that play.

“The thing about it was, he (Hosto) didn't react differently; he just kept making pitches and that showed a lot of maturity; that said a lot. That can put more pitches on your pitcher and more demands and the other team gets to see him more. He was able to overcome that really well and only scratch out that one unearned run.”

Stamer was 1-for-2 with the homer, three RBIs and run scored; Cole Hansel was 2-for-3 with a double and two runs scored, Joe Wallace was 2-for-3 with a double and two RBIs; Collin Clayton 1-for-2 with a RBI and two runs scored, Cimarolli 1-for-2 with three RBIs and two runs scored, Joel Quirin 1-for-3 with a run scored, Yancik 1-for-3 with a run scored, Will Messer 1-for-1 and Kade Burns two runs scored.

The Tigers take on Highland at 11 a.m. today, then Chatham Glenwood at 1:30 p.m. as the tournament comes to a close.

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