JOLIET, Ill. - “Everything doesn’t always work out perfect,” Edwardsville baseball head coach Tim Funkhouser said after a 2-1 loss to Providence Catholic in the state semifinals Friday afternoon at Duly Health and Care Field.

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The Tigers were going for a third straight state championship, but as Funkhouser alluded to, it wasn’t meant to be.

The Celtics plated a run in the first inning and then the go-ahead run in the top of the seventh, while Edwardsville was held to just one hit on the day.

The Tigers put Tony Eberlin on the mound to start the game and he opened things off with a leadoff walk. That walk proved to be the go-ahead run as a ball was dropped in the outfield, allowing the run to score.

The Tigers equalized in the bottom of the sixth when Logan Porter reached on an error, allowing Evan Moore to score, who was pinch-running for Bryce Beyers.

It was a 1-1 game after five.

A sacrifice RBI scored the game-winning run in the top of the seventh, getting to the final 2-1 scoreline.

The Tigers squandered bases loaded with one out in the bottom of the sixth after a flyout and groundout to end the inning.

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Providence Catholic pitcher Cooper Eggert only allowed one hit, one run (unearned) with six strikeouts and two walks. He threw a complete, 85-pitch game.

Meanwhile, Eberlin finished the day with 6 ? innings pitched allowing seven hits, two earned runs with four strikeouts. He finished the day with 103 pitches before Hunter Baugh closed things out.

Postgame, Kolten Wright spoke on what made it so difficult to hit Eggert.

“He was locating really well,” Wright said. “He was throwing all the pitches well. Had us working away. He just had good stuff today.”

Edwardsville fell to 31-9 on the season and will now play in the third-place game for the first time in program history. The Tigers have been to the state tournament nine times now, this was the first time they’ve lost in the semifinals.

“When you’re in the competitive arena, there’s nothing guaranteed,” Funkhouser said. “It’s just good to be in that setting.”

The Tigers will take on the York Dukes of Elmhurst on Saturday, June 8 at 4 p.m. for third place in the Class 4A state tournament.

The Tigers beat York 7-3 in last season’s state semifinals. York would finish fourth after a 9-4 loss to New Trier.

A special thanks to our sponsors Gori Law Firm, Edison’s Entertainment Complex, and Play It Again Sports for supporting’s coverage of Edwardsville Tigers baseball.

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