Stillman Valley baseball delivered the program’s first sectional title in grand style, beating Burlington Central 3-2 in Sterling in a thriller to advance to the 3-A Super-Sectional.
The Cardinals got a complete game gem from senior Andrew Wilhite – the future Minnesota Golden Gopher threw a complete game with ten strikeouts.
After falling behind 1-0, Wilhtie helped himself out with a sacrifice fly in the top of the third. The game stayed tied at one until the top of the fifth, when Jack Riley’s grounder ate up the Rockets’ infield, and scored Austin Dowty. After Burlington Central ended the threat with a strike ’em out, throw ’em out double play, they tied the game in the bottom of the fifth after a dropped strike three with the bases loaded.
The Cardinals regrouped, and retook the lead on an Adam Wenberg RBI single – Austin Dowty scored for the third time, and Stillman Valley handed Wilhite a 3-2 lead for the final two innings. A Jacob Rose to Jack Riley groundout, eerily similar to the Kris Bryant to Anthony Rizzo Game 7 final out for the Cubs in the 2016 World Series, sealed the victory for Stillman Valley.
Now the Cardinals head to Augustana College in the Quad Cities on Monday for the 3-A Super-Sectional against Morton. First pitch is scheduled for 6:00 pm with the winner advancing to the 3-A state semifinals in Joliet.