SPRINGFIELD - Father McGivney senior pitcher Drew Sowerwine scattered three hits and stuck out nine as he got out of a pair of jams, while Austin Callovini and Aaron McKee both drove in runs as the Griffins won their IHSA Class 1A baseball super-sectional game over Camp Point Central 4-0 Monday evening at Claude Kracik Field at Lincoln Land Community College in Springfield.
The win puts McGivney into the state finals for the first time in any sport in the school's history, and head coach Chris Erwin couldn't be any prouder of his team.
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"We are extremely excited and extremely blessed," Erwin said. "Words cannot express how proud I am of the team, the coaches, and the seniors."
Sowerwine's performance on the mound was wonderful, as his curveball was working well to keep the Panther batters off-balance when his fastball wasn't working as well.
"It was just short of perfect, and it was definitely phenomenal," Erwin said. "He didn't have the zip on his fastball that he usually has, and Drew just pitched his butt off."
Central pitcher Peyton Clampitt also threw a strong game, allowing five hits while striking out 10.
"They had a pitcher that was tremendous," Erwin said. "It really was a pitcher's duel; we scratched and clawed some runs, got key hits, and came out victorious."
Callovini and McKee had hits and RBIs on the day for the Griffins, while Matthew Gierer and Sowerwine also had hits. Sowerwine went all the way on the mound with his nine strikeouts, giving up the three hits while walking only one.
The win was very typical of the kind of season McGivney has enjoyed in 2021, a team win all around.
"It really was," Erwin said. "The guys dug deep and they've got this never-say-die attitude. That was a big win. There are only four teams left, and we're one of them."
While the Panthers end the season 13-8, the Griffins are now 30-6 and will play in the semifinals against Newark, a 5-3 winner over Sterling Newman Central Catholic in nine innings in the Rivets Stadium super-sectional at Rockford, in the first semifinal at Illinois State University's Duffy Bass Field in Bloomington-Normal, starting at 10 a.m. The winner goes to the final against the winner of the second semifinal between Mt. Pulaski and Farina South Central that night at 7 p.m., while the two semifinal losers meet in the third and fourth place playoff game at 4 p.m.
"I'm just super proud of the way the team responded," Erwin said. "I love these guys, and they're great young men."
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