Griffins Baseball Team Breaks Tie In Third, Score Five Times In Fifth To Defeat Nokomis 10-5, Now 17-5
GLEN CARBON - The Father McGivney baseball team broke a 3-3 tie with two runs in the home half of the third, then scored five times in the bottom of the fifth to break open the game and go on to a 10-5 win over Nokomis in a Prairie State Conference baseball game Monday afternoon at Griffins Field.
Although the game was in doubt for much of the day because of unsettled weather conditions and possible storms that were forecast in the St. Louis area, none materialized, although there was a steady rain before the game. Nevertheless, the Griffins clicked on all cylinders in going on to their win.
"It was a good win tonight," said McGivney head coach Chris Erwin. "Everything's clicking well. We finally got back to conference games, so we wanted to make this the focus for the final two weeks of the season."
The uncertainty of playing the game entered into Erwin's mind throughout, but the team was ready to play once the green light was given.
"It was an odd game tonight," Erwin said. "really simply because of the weather was so unpredictable, and we weren't sure if we were going to play tonight, We got the field ready, then it started raining again, so we tarped the field, and it stopped raining right before the game started."
Once the game got underway, the Griffins used timely hitting and good pitching, a recipe that has spelled much success for the team this season.
"It did," Erwin said. "it seems like a common answer, but we kept our approach at the plate simple, and really focused on getting our pitch to hit."
That approach paid off, as Austin Callovini, Luke Deakos, Matthew Gierer, Jacob McKee, Jackson Rodgers and Drew Sowerwine all had two hits in the game for the Griffins, with Callovini, McKee and Gabe Smith all driving home a pair of runs each, with Daniel Gierer, Rodgers, Sowerwine and A.J. Sutberry also driving in runs on the day.
Rodgers also pitched well for McGivney, going five innings and giving up three runs on three hits, walking three and striking out 11 Redskin batters. Ryker Keller threw the final two innings, and also did well, allowing two runs on two hits, also walking three and fanning two.
"The pitch count got a little bit high for Jackson," Erwin said, "so we took him out a little sooner than we wanted to. But when you have that many strikeouts, you tend to get into long counts. And then, freshman Ryker Keller came in relief of Jackson and pitched really well."
The Griffins are now 17-5, and are looking forward to the upcoming postseason, where the IHSA will hold a state tournament series with a much different format this year. Erwin has submitted his team's information and record to the IHSA office for an official ranking that he hopes to hear by Wednesday, and it may help the Griffins host some regional and sectional games.
It's a part of the new format adopted by the IHSA, where top-seeded teams in different parts of the state will host early round games, leading into the supersectional game, which will be held at Lakeland Community College on June 14, and the Class 1A state finals at Redbird Field at Illinois State University in Bloomington-Normal, set for June 17. Erwin is very optimistic about the Griffins' chances in the state series.
"We do," Erwin said. "We think we have a good team, we're competitive and we can play with anyone. In the playoffs, you need good pitching and good hitting with a little luck. We've got the first two, now we need a little luck."