Oct 8, 2019 3:25 PM
EAST PEORIA – The Liberty Middle School eighth-grade baseball team won Edwardsville’s second state baseball championship of 2019 on Monday afternoon with a 3-2 win over Normal Chiddix to take the Illinois Elementary School Association Class 3A title at Eastside Centre in East Peoria.
The Panthers spotted Chiddix a 1-0 lead in the top of the third inning, tying the game in the home half of the fifth and scoring twice in the sixth to take the lead, then holding off a late rally, where Chiddix scored a run in the top of the seventh before taking the championship.
Kolton Wright was one-for-three with a two-run double in the sixth that proved to be the championship winner for Liberty, while Austin Yannitz had two hits on the day, with a double, Alec Marchetto also doubled, and Bryce Meyers, Peyton LeVasseur and Lucas Huebner all had hits for the Panthers.
LeVasseur started on the mound for Liberty, and pitched two-and-a-third innings, while Tristan McMean threw three-and-a-third innings in relief, striking out four. Wright threw two-thirds of an inning to get the win, with Evan Moore picking up the save.
The Panthers started their journey at the state finals with a 5-1 win over Champaign Edison, scoring three times in the third to help clinch the win. Wright had a two-RBI double to help Liberty’s cause, while Marchetto had two hits, including a solo home run, Yannitz had a double, Huebner had a hit and an RBI, and Meyers and Trey Schroeder also had hits in the quarterfinal.
Marchetto pitched five shutout innings to get the win, allowing only two hits and three walks while fanning six. Tristan McMean struck out a single batter, while LeVasseur struck out two while on the mound.
In the semifinal, the Panthers struck for three runs in the second and two more in the third in going on to a 10-0 win over Bourbonnais UGC in six innings, with the game being terminated due to the 10-run rule. LeVasseur went three-for-four with two RBIs, while Moore had two hits, including a double, and an RBI, and Meyers, Huebner, Cameron Love and Marchetto all had RBIs in the game. Wright, Moore, and Marchetto also had two hits apiece for Liberty.
Meyers threw a complete-game shutout, allowing four hits and one walk while striking out 11.
The Panthers ended the season with the state championship, going 18-3 on the season. It’s Liberty’s second consecutive state title for head coach Mike Sabatino team in their third overall appearance in the finals.back