UPDATE: Both the baseball and softball regional championship games slated for Saturday morning have been rained out. They both will be played on Monday, May 22 at 4:30 p.m. in the locations previously listed.
The Gillespie High School baseball and softball teams are regional championship bound with both games scheduled at different locations on Saturday at 11:00 a.m. although weather forecasts predict looming rain. Baseball will play at Citizens Park in Belleville (112 Barney Elser Drive) on the Whitney Herzog Field while softball will play at their home diamond behind Ben-Gil Elementary School.
The baseball team (17-8) was seeded fourth in the Belleville Althoff Catholic Regional after finishing the regular season with 16 wins and 8 losses. Now the team will face Alton Marquette in the championship bout after Joey Carter’s bat sealed the fate of the Miners with a thrilling walk-off hit in the regional semi-final game against East Alton-Wood River.
Despite leading 6-1 after the second inning, the Oilers scored four runs in the third and another four runs in the fifth inning to take a 9-6 lead after the fifth inning. Gillespie eventually answered those eight runs in the sixth inning tying the game at 9 runs after Daniel Dobrino’s single crossed two runs. The team’s momentum spilled over to the seventh inning when Joey Carter’s RBI walk-off single sent the Miners into the regional championship with a 10-9 victory.
Gillespie accumulated 13 hits in the game with Nick Jarman, Tate Wargo, Dobrino (two RBIs), Carter and Rylee Bernot (two RBIs) each collecting multiple hits. Nick Wyatt also posted two RBIs for the team.
Bernot started the pitching duties for the Miners tossing four and one-third innings before being relieved by Wargo after surrendering eight runs. Wargo earned the win on the mound pitching two and two-thirds innings giving up one run, four hits and striking out one. Wargo and Bernot are expected to throw again on Saturday.
The Miners softball team (23-6) will host Hillsboro on Saturday after the number six seed beat Litchfield 5-1 to advance. Gillespie is ranked number one in the regional, has won eight of their last nine games, and ousted Carlinville 3-0 on Tuesday evening to punch their ticket to the regional championship.
Gillespie beat the Cavaliers with Addison Bryant on the mound who held Carlinville to only one hit over seven innings of play. Bryant struck out 12 batters and didn’t surrender any walks in the shutout victory.
The Miners collected five hits in the semi-final victory with Rylee Jarman having a two-hit afternoon. Jarman singled twice – once in the first inning when the Miners scored their first run and again in the sixth inning when Gillespie scored their other two runs. Megan Bray, Rylee Sarti and Mackenzie Kasarda also picked up hits against the Cavaliers.
Gillespie faced Hillsboro earlier this month on May 10 and beat the Hilltoppers 1-0. The pitching duel was a contentious battle with both teams combining for only four hits in the seven-inning battle. The Miners picked up three hits in that game, two from Jarman and one from Kasarda, and only one run which came in the second inning when Mackenzie Mix scored on an infield error.