GLEN CARBON - Gabe Smith struck out eight batters and had two RBIs, while Jackson Rodgers had a pair of hits and also drove in two runs as Father McGivney Catholic defeated Carrollton 9-3 in the IHSA Class 1A baseball sectional semifinal Wednesday afternoon at Griffins Field.

The win advances the Griffins to their first-ever sectional final, where they will host Greenfield Northwestern, a 4-0 winner over Okawville in the other semifinal, which will be played Friday afternoon at 4:30 p.m.

The Hawks took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first, but McGivney countered with four in the home half to go ahead, Carrolton cut the lead to 4-3 with a run in the third, but the Griffins scored five times in the fifth to go on to the 9-3 win.

Besides Rodgers, McGivney got two hits and an RBI each from both Luke Deakos and Daniel Gierer, two hits each from Austin Callovini and Matthew Gierer, a hit and two RBIs from Smith and a hit from Drew Sowerwine.

The Hawks got a hit and RBI from both Grant Pohlman and Brady Cox, while Harley Angel had the only other Carrollton hit.

Smith struck out eight on the mound in six innings, while Sowerwine fanned the side in the seventh. Cox struck out two while on the mound for the Hawks.

The Griffins are now 27-6 and advance to the Round of 16 in Friday's final, while Carrollton's season ends at 4-11.

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