2A State Semi-Finals: Pleasant Plains, Williams Advance Past Aurora Christian; Teutopolis Back in Title Game

By Drew Locascio
Illinois Scouting Director

Pleasant Plains rode the left-arm of Mason Williams, earning a spot of the 2A State Title Game. Williams, only a sophomore, went 6.1 innings strong innings on the mound, propelling Plains to a 6-3 win over Aurora Christian. The win secures the Cardinals of Pleasant Plains a spot in the state title game, for the first time since they won it all in 2014.

Williams battled throughout his start, scattering five hits, three runs, fanning six and walking five. Williams toughest inning came in the top of the third inning when he allowed two runs. After a leadoff hit-by-pitch, Williams gave up an RBI triple to opposing starter, MJ Stavola. Sam Tickel followed with a sacrifice fly to center field, scoring Stavola.

Aurora Christian threatened once again in the fifth, with runners on second and third, and one out but Williams struck the next two batters out swinging, to thwart the rally.

With the score tied at two in the bottom of the fourth, Pleasant Plains broke the game open, scoring four runs with two outs. A flurry of run-scoring singles and a walk led to the rally. Corgan Greer had a two-run single in the frame while Joe Lee and Joel Niermann collected run-scoring singles of their own.

Lee, single handedly led to the first two runs of the game for Pleasant Plains. Lee walked, stole two bases and scored on a wild pitch in the first inning. Then in the bottom of the third, Lee walked again, stole two bases and scored on a two-out single up the middle by Nierman.

Aurora Christian battled in the seventh, forcing Williams out of the game but a strikeout by sophomore reliever Aiden Hamerlink sealed the win for the Cardinals.

Lee finished the game 1-for-2 with four stolen bases, an RBI, three runs scored and two walks. Niermann had two RBI singles and Greer’s one hit on the day was the clutch two-run single in the fourth.

Stavola, who struck out eight in his 3.2 innings of work on the mound, had a big day at the plate, despite taking the loss. Stavola finished 2-for-3 with a triple, run scored and an RBI. Leadoff hitter, Trey Madsen went 1-for-2 with a walk and a run scored.

Pleasant Plains will play the winner of Rock Island (Alleman) and Teutopolis tomorrow in the 2A State Title game.

Game 2

Teutopolis is no stranger to Peoria.  The program has found success here year in and year out, and this year looks to be par for the course. Behind a strong two-way performance for Dawson Smith, and Clint Weber’s stellar day at the plate, the Wooden Shoes are back in the 2A state title game after defeating Alleman, 7-2, Friday night.

In the opening frame, Smith sent a grounder just past the pitcher and legged out an infield single to begin the charge for the Wooden Shoes. After Smith ended up on third, Weber gave Teutopolis an early 1-0 lead by plating Smith on an infield single of his own.

Teutopolis scored again in the second when Brady McMahon singled to reach, and Smith put his teammate in scoring position. An error by the catcher allowed McMahon to score, giving the Wooden Shoes a 2-0 lead.

Alleman made a run of their own when CJ Terronez reached and scored on an error by the opposing third baseman. Dominic Ferrari later scored on Anthony Glancey’s contributions off the bench.

Eventually, Teutopolis and Smith stifled any rally Alleman could muster. The Wooden Shoes added five runs throughout the rest of the contest to extend their lead. Weber added three total singles on the night. Evan Addis aided the Wooden Shoes with a pinch-hit single to help extend the lead further.

Teutopolis takes on Pleasant Plains for the 2A crown tomorrow afternoon.