GLEN CARBON, Ill. – The Father McGivney Griffins won their second sectional title in program history with a 4-0 win over Greenfield-Northwestern Saturday afternoon.

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McGivney tacked on a couple of runs in both the third and fourth innings as Kannon Kamp went the distance on the mound.

“It seems like a repeat from three years ago as far as Greenfield having a good team coming in,” McGivney head coach Chris Erwin said after the win. “They’ve just always played tough. Kannon was great on the mound today. One win away and we get a chance to go back and do something special.”

The two teams met in the sectional final back in 2021 when the Griffins finished second place at state. After that, the Griffins were bumped up to Class 2A per the IHSA success-factor ruling.

The Griffins failed to win a regional in 2022, losing to Breese Mater Dei in the regional final. Last season McGivney made it back to the sectional final, this time in Class 2A before being eliminated by Columbia.

“It’s huge,” Erwin said speaking about the program’s second sectional title.

“We had a chance to win one last year, but we ran into a great pitcher in [Dominic] Voegele from Columbia. I think all these guys, most of them were on that team, and that taste wasn’t very good.”

“Even though he was a great pitcher and wanted to beat us, you want to win those,” Erwin said. “They’re tough to win. They’re tough to get there and they’re tough to win, so it’s a very important piece in what we’re doing here at Father McGivney.”

McGivney, back down in Class 1A, beat Carrollton 10-0 and then Hardin-Calhoun 4-3 to win their second-straight regional title. They then beat Gateway Metro Conference rivals Christ Our Rock Lutheran 2-1, setting up Saturday’s sectional final against Greenfield.

Kohen Vetter started on the mound for the Tigers and went the first three innings. He gave up two earned runs on three hits with three walks.

McGivney struck in the top of the third with a bit of a two-out rally.

Drew Kleinheider singled then stole second to get things started. Nick Franklin then walked, and Kleinheider darted for third. He forced a throw to the bag that got away as he scored the game’s first run.

Isaac Wendler then hit an RBI single that scored Gerald Myatt who was pinch-running for Franklin to make it 2-0.

Greenfield then switched pitchers to Talon Albrecht, although he struggled early also.

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Nathan Terhaar led off the fourth with a double and then stole third on a wild pitch. Mason Holmes hit an RBI single to bring him home and make it 3-0.

Omar Avalos then singled followed by Kamp reaching on a squeeze bunt to load the bases. Kleinheider hit into a fielder’s choice and Holmes was out at home, bringing up Franklin. He grounded out but scored Kamp from third to get to the final scoreline.

That was one lowlight for the Griffins who could’ve and should’ve plated a couple more runs in that inning.

“I’d love to have scored in that inning when we had the bases loaded,” Erwin said. “I think that was the knock-out blow that I wish we would have landed. It’s always nice getting a couple more, but four ended up being enough.”

The highlight on Saturday was Kamp’s pitching. He threw a complete game with 12 strikeouts and no walks. He was pretty efficient and ended the game with 82 pitches.

“I think he just kept them off balance,” Erwin said. “He was mixing up his pitches. I thought when he needed to go a little more velocity on the fastball, he did and he was changing speeds with the fastball too which I think really kind of baffled them a little bit, getting so many by them.”

“I think just a good mix, a good, intelligent pitcher on the mound that knows how to pitch, and he did a great job,” Erwin added.

Kamp gave the credit back to his coach.

“It’s not anything particular today, just the whole season built up,” Kamp said on his performance. “Erwin prepared me for these types of games.”

“I think my fastball got better as the game went on,” Kamp added. “I started locating better, and I think when you can locate the fastball, you can beat anyone.”

Greenfield’s season ends at 23-13-1, meanwhile, McGivney moves into its second-ever super-sectional.

The Griffins will be taking on Jacksonville Routt Catholic (31-7) on Monday, May 27 in Springfield’s Lincoln Land Community College at 1 p.m.

Kamp seemed pretty confident heading into that one.

“We don’t really care [who we play], because we’re going to win. I believe in that.”

More like this:

May 22, 2024 - Koontz Closes Out 2-1 Win Over Christ Our Rock In Sectional Semis

May 20, 2024 - Father McGivney Comes Back To Win Program’s Third Regional Title

Apr 25, 2024 - Kamp Throws Five-Plus Hitless Innings, Griffins Clinch Share Of GMC Title

May 27, 2024 - Griffins Lose Extra-Inning Battle To Jacksonville Routt In Super-Sectional

Apr 22, 2024 - Roxana's Winning Streak Ends In 13-1 Loss To Father McGivney

 

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