EDWARDSVILLE – Edwardsville's summer baseball season came to an end a bit earlier than they would have liked Sunday as the Tigers dropped a 9-8 decision to the Quakes in the DSP Midwest Classic semifinals at Tom Pile Field.

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The Quakes the Tigers lost to were a younger version of the team the Tigers played twice this season; that team featured several recent Edwardsville High graduates.

Despite the loss, Edwardsville coach Tim Funkhouser was very happy with how the summer season went overall. “Overall, our guys came to play every day and had a very good summer,” Funkhouser said. “We went out, played hard, learned from the mistakes we made and gained confidence every time we played.

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“It's a chance for us to get to know the players, how they play and how they are personally. It also gives us a chance to see their strengths and weaknesses and what they need to work on to become better players.”

Sunday's game got off to a good start from Edwardsville's point of view, Cole Cimarolli, Andrew Yancik and Joel Quirin all doubling in the first inning to help stake the Tigers to a 3-0 lead. But the Quakes rallied soon after, putting up five in the third before Edwardsville battled back to take the lead. The Quakes, however, bounced back and scored several times in the late going to take the win.

“Both teams hit the ball around pretty good at the start,” Funkhouser said. “It was a well-played game; we just couldn't push home the runs we needed.”

Edwardsville finished the summer 15-11 and Funkhouser is looking forward to seeing his players improve during the break. “We have the kids hit the weights hard when our off-season work gets started in the fall,” Funkhouser said. “Some of our kids will be playing other sports, of course, and we want them to do that. Some will play fall baseball; the main idea is for our kids to progress and mature both as persons and as players.

“We had kids who saw some varsity games during the spring; Collin Clayton and Joe Wallace really saw a lot of time. Other kids didn't get to play as much during the spring, but we'll be looking for them to make contributions next year. We want them to be the very best player and person they can be and work as hard as they can to get to the level we know they can get to.”

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