Prep Baseball Report

1A/2A State Playoff Semifinals Recap

By: Diego Solares and Gavin Smith
PBR Illinois Staff

On Friday, June 2nd, the IHSA 1A and 2A state semifinal matchups took place at Dozer Field. Eight teams across both classifications competed for a spot in the state championship game and for an opportunity to hoist up the high school baseball’s most coveted prize. 

Our staff was on hand for all four games and you’ll find a recap of Friday’s action in its entirety below.


Our day started with a matchup between two schools that own plenty of state pedigree. 

Gibault Catholic captured the state championship in 2013, finishing as runner-ups in 2019. Goreville took home the title back in 2016, coming in second in 2010, with third place finishes in 2011, 2017, and 2018. 

Goreville scored the game’s first run in the bottom half of the first inning on a double from Tyler Suits (2024). 

Gibault Catholic responded immediately in an empathic fashion, throwing up a five spot in the top of the second inning. Seniors Kamren Hanvey (2023) and Daniel Darin (2023; Lindenwood) kicked things off, with the former singling, and the latter belting an opposite field two-run double. 

That brought three-hole hitter Hudson Blank (2024) to the table and, after a lengthy at-bat, Blank drove a missile over the left field fence for a no-doubt two-run blast. Trailing early, the Hawks now lead. 

Goreville answered with in the bottom half of the inning with a run of their own. Drake Moss (2024) tripled, coming around to score on an RBI single to left field from freshman Zech Green (2026). 

Neither team scored in the third, but the Black Cats did in the fourth and fifth. Nick Gower (2025) singled a run home in the fourth, and Drake Moss (2024) flicked a single down the right field line in the fifth, cutting the deficit to just a run. 

The first two Hawks’ batters reached base in the top of the sixth, turning over the lineup, and bringing the aforementioned Hanvey to the plate. He doubled, keeping it just fair inside the foul line, plating two runs that would ultimately prove key for Gibault Catholic. 

Goreville, like they did all year, didn’t go down without a fight. 

With one out, Ian Sopczak (2023) and Garrett Church (2026) each singled, bringing Green back to the plate. He delivered again, plating a pair of runs to bring Goreville within one and chasing Hanvey, the Gibault Catholic starting pitcher, from the game. 

In came Darin from center field, needing just one out for the save and to secure the Hawks a spot in the 1A state championship game. He walked the first batter he faced, loading the bases, but battled back quickly, inducing a game-ending strikeout on a slider. 

With the win, Gibault Catholic will face Henry-Senachwine in the state championship on Saturday at 11:30 a.m. Goreville will play for third place against Newman Central Catholic at 9:00 a.m. 


Game two of the 1A playoffs was a thriller, with the Mallards punching their ticket to the school’s first state title game in walk-off fashion. 

Henry scored the game’s first run in the bottom of the second inning on an RBI single from freshman Carson Rowe (2026). Rowe finished with two hits total, and it was him who scored the eventual winning run, too. 

The Comets responded with their first run quickly. The first two batters of the inning reached base, bringing lead-off man Garret Matznick (2026) to the plate. He battled, working a deep count, and squeaking a two-strike single back up the middle for an RBI. Newman Central Catholic threatened with nobody out and runners on first and second, but the Mallards’ quieted the rally to escape without any further damage. 

Neither team scored for the next three innings, and Henry blanked the Comets in the seventh, setting the Mallards up for a potential winner in the seventh. With two outs, the aforementioned Rowe and Zachary Barnes (2024) each singled, keeping the inning alive. Up walked freshman Jacob Miller (2026) to the plate and, after a few pitches, slapped a single back up the middle, scoring Rowe from second to secure the Mallards’ win. 

Both arms threw well for their respective squads. Mason Johnson (2023) picked up the win for Henry, allowing a run on five hits in a complete game effort. Kyle Wolfe (2023) was charged with only a run for the Comets, scattering five hits throughout 6 ⅔ innings on the hill. He struck out three and didn’t walk anyone. 

The Mallards will face off against Gibault Catholic in the 1A state championship game on Saturday at 11:30 a.m. Newman Central Catholic draws Goreville at 9:00 a.m. for third place. 


Back-to-back trips for the Eagles proved more positive this time around than last year. Columbia fell in their first state game last year to eventual champion Joliet Catholic, but the Eagles entered yesterday’s game with their eyes set on playing for the 2A crown. 

It all started on the mound, where staff ace Dominic Voegele (2023; Kansas) was dominant. The Kansas signee, and one of the state’s top prospects, hurled a complete game shutout, allowing four hits and no walks, while striking out nine. His fastball sat in the low-90s throughout the game, touching 94 mph early and again in the sixth. He kept a talented Rams’ lineup off balance throughout, mixing an array of secondary pitches in, including a sharp swing-and-miss slider and hard-running firm changeup. 

Columbia kicked things off in the first inning with Jack Steckler (2023) leading the game off with a single. Brody Landgraf (2026) drove Steckler in with an RBI triple, giving the Eagles the early 1-0 lead.

In the third inning, Alex Schreckenberg (2023; McKendree) reached on a single, and Tyler Rosecrans (2023) followed up with an RBI single, scoring Schreckenberg after he stole second. Schreckenberg would score again in the fifth inning on a loud double from the aforementioned Landgraf. 

The Eagles offense exploded in the sixth inning, scoring six runs, and putting this game away quickly. Brennen Weik (2023; St. Charles), Voegele, and Rosecrans all singled in the frame, with Voegele’s bringing home a run on his. Schreckenberg plated a runner with a sacrifice fly, and Reed Drabant’s (2023; Vincennes) double down the left field line scored two.  

Saturday’s 2A state championship game will be a rematch of last year’s semifinal, as the Eagles draw Joliet Catholic academy at 5:30 p.m. DePaul College Prep will play Quincy Notre Dame at 3:00 PM in the third place game. 


Joliet Catholic has now made back-to-back trips to the Class 2A state championship with their win over Quincy Notre Dame. The Hilltoppers, who won state last year, are looking to make it a repeat.

The Hilltoppers were led by ace and Louisville commit, TJ Schalgeter (2023), who also threw in last year’s semi-final game and earned them a trip to the championship game. In this outing, Schalageter took a no-hitter into the fifth inning, and he threw a complete game with eight punchouts, two walks, three runs and three hits allowed.

Tommy Kemp (2023) led things off for JCA with a double, and Trey Swiderski (2023; Louisville) reached on a walk. Vinny Sportofora (2023; College of DuPage) reached on a fielder’s choice which drove in Kemp, and Swiderski scored on a throwing error. The Hilltopers scored again in the third on an RBI triple from Brett Hulbert (2023). They added two more runs in the top of the fifth on a two-RBI single from Zach Pomatto (2025), giving JCA a 5-0 lead.

Quincy Notre Dame closed the gap in the bottom of the fifth, scoring three in the frame. Nolan Robb (2024) singled and Evan Kenning (2024) reached on a hit-by-pitch. Colin Kurk (2023; Quincy soccer) hit a double to the left-center gap, driving in both Robb and Kenning. Jake Schisler (2023; Missouri S&T) drove in Kurk on an RBI single.

The Hilltoppers solidified their semi-final win in the top of the seventh inning when they scored five runs, mostly on walks and hit-by-pitches. Kemp, who was mentioned above, delivered a single in the inning which drove in two runs. 

Joliet Catholic will play Columbia in the 2A state championship on Saturday at 5:30 p.m.