EDWARDSVILLE - It was a mixed bag of results for the Edwardsville High baseball team, as the Tigers were held to three hits by the combined pitching of Jack Gimbel and Lucas Grant as Joliet Catholic Academy defeated Edwardsville in the de facto season opener for the Tigers 6-0 Friday evening in the Illinois Prep Baseball Report showcase at Tom Pile Field.

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In the game against the Hillmen, the Tigers were totally shut down by Joliet Catholic pitching, as Joliet Catholic also took advantage of crucial errors to score their run.

Against Joliet Catholic, the pitching of both Gimbel and Grant was the difference, as the duo combined to hold the Tigers to three hits, while striking out 14, eight by Gimble, and six by Grant.

"The Joliet Catholic game, I mean, their arms did extremely well," Tigers coach Tim Funkhouser said. "The starter was able to command the ball inside, really make pitches, and was really good. We've got to tip our cap to them. We gave them a few things defensively, but the earned it by getting good at-bats, and making pitches and plays when they needed to. So, as we face better pitching, and we accumulate more at-bats, we'll have a better understanding of what we're trying to do at the plate, and we look forward to competing against the Trevians from (Winnetka) New Trier tomorrow."

The Tigers still battled well and hung in, and it's something that pleases Funkhouser very much, along with the high level of competition a tournament like this brings.
"Yeah, there's a lot of learning opportunities this weekend," Funkhouser said, "and early in the season, really, throughout the season. It was a taxing day, with having a 5:30 (p.m.) start, or a little bit past that, then coming back with this one (the suspended game). But, we'll look forward to getting back to baseball tomorrow, and having all the other teams down here. It's a great event, we got hit with the weather yesterday, unfortunately, but today's weather worked out great. All our facilities were rolling, and we got a ton of baseball in. The guys will will really enjoy it tomorrow. So, it's about getting good teams together, teams that like to compete, and see what they're made of. And we've got a bunch of them; we have 46 of them down here. It's fun to see it, the weather play out today, and what will be tomorrow."

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In the top of the second, the Hillmen broke out on top, starting with Lucas Simulik reaching on an error by the second baseman to lead off, then was sacrificed to second, and one out later, after Matt Simmons drew a walk, Graham Roesel reached on an error that allowed Simulik to score and put Joliet Catholic up 1-0.

With one out in the bottom of the inning, Baugh walked and stole second, going to third on an Evan Moore hit, with Logan Porter drawing a walk to load the bases. Greyson Rathgeb was called out on strikes to end the inning, keeping it 1-0 for the Hillmen.

Chase Milburn came in to pitch for starter Tyler Powell in the fourth, and was greeted with a Jack Ryan base hit. John O'Brian sacrificed Ryan to second, Simmons walked, and Roesel struck out. Ryan went to third on a passed ball, and Zack Pomatto drilled a two-run double to the fence in right center, scoring Simmons and Ryan to make the score 3-0. In the fifth, a dropped third strike allowed Ryan to reach first base, scoring Jose Granados to make it 4-0, and Jolie Catholic scored their final two runs in the sixth, when on a grounder hit by Granados, an error by the pitcher allowed both Pomatto and Zach Bertler to score to make it 6-0 for the Hillmen.

Gimbel rolled right along on the mound, throwing four innings, fanning eight, and striking out the side in the first and fourth innings. Grant came in the fifth, and fanned the side in the fifth and seventh, allowing only a lead-off single in the seventh by Chase Alwardt to save the win for Gimble.

Lucas Krebs, Alwardt, and Evan Moore had the only three hits for the Tigers in the game.

In the completion of the suspended game, in which Waltenberger hit a third-inning solo homer for what turned out to be the only run of the game, Baugh was thrown out attempting to steal third to start the resumption, and Waltenberger was called out on strikes. Baugh came in to pitch in the sixth, and got the side out in order, and in the top of the seventh, got out of trouble, when Aiden Nohava singled and Nolan Rambley reached on an error, getting Ryan Hartz to pop out to the first baseman, then got Derrick Holmes to ground out to third to get the save and give the Tigers the 1-0 win.

The Hillmen are now 2-0, with the Tigers meeting up with New Trier Saturday morning at 10 a.m.

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