EDWARDSVILLE – Edwardsville baseball pitcher Jonathon Yancik pitched perhaps his best game of the season in the Tigers’ 7-1 win over Jersey Friday afternoon at Tom Pile Field.

After giving up a run on three hits in the first inning, Yancik shut the door, striking out three and at one point retiring 12 in a row while allowing only one other baserunner in shutting down the Panthers’ offense.

“Yeah, I’m real happy,” Yancik said in a postgame interview. “The first inning, kind of a slow start, but after that, I just bore down, got my tempo going, and just got ground ball outs, fly ball outs, quick outs. They got me through the game.”

Yancik used a very effective two-seam fastball to help slow down the Jersey lineup and get hitters out.

“Two-seam fastball inside,” Yancik said.”They were getting jammed, they were rolling weak ground balls to my shortstop, my third baseman, and they just made plays all day.”

The defense did its part in helping Yancik, which included a spectacular diving catch by Hayden Moore in center field in the fourth as Yancik set down 12 straight, which ended with a two-out walk in the fifth. Yancik then retired the last four hitters he faced before giving way in the seventh. Yancik gave much credit to his defense.

“Our defense has been outstanding,” Yancik said. “Our pitching staff has done really great, but don’t forget that defense out there. They’ve been really key for us to win all these games.”

The Tigers, along with the IHSA Class 3A and 4A teams, are heading into the final week of the season, and Yancik thinks that the club is starting to turn things around, and is looking forward to starting the postseason.

“I mean, I’ve been confident all season that we could play like this,” Yancik said. “Some games, we start off a little slow, but right now. we’re playing the best baseball we’ve played all year, and we’re hoping to continue it all throughout the postseason.”

That, along with having a full and healthy pitching staff, could very well make Edwardsville a very dangerous team as the playoffs continue.

“We’ve got a full staff that can throw it any game that we put them out there,” Yancik said, “we’ve got a great lineup and a great defense, so we’re ready to go.”

About how he’s feeling about the Tigers’ chances this postseason, Yancik had an easy answer.

“I’m feeling great,” Yancik said.

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