Stillman Valley baseball wins first sectional title in school history

STERLING, Ill. (WIFR) -- Stillman Valley's historical season continues after its 3-2 win Saturday against Burlington Central in the Class 3A sectional final at Gartner Park in Sterling.

The Rockets got on the scoreboard first with an unearned run when Caden Scott's first inning hit got past Matthew Mandzen at shortstop, allowing Peter Cieslica to score.

Following an Andrew Wilhite sacrifice flyout in the third, Jack Riley gave the Cardinals the lead in the fifth. It was a similar play to the Mandzen error in the first, where Burlington Central's shortstop couldn't make the play, allowing pinch-runner Austin Dowty to cross home plate.

Stillman Valley junior Adam Wenberg enjoys the big spots. In the sixth, Wenberg gave his team the lead for good, when he smacked a sharp grounder into center.

The cardiac Cardinals have a flair for making things interesting in the playoffs, though. Wilhite loaded the bases in the bottom of the seventh, before getting a pair of strikeouts. The last, against Scott, was his tenth of the game.

Wilhite then got Andrew Griffin to groundout to third baseman Jacob Rose to end the game. It's Stillman Valley's first sectional title in baseball in its third attempt. Their 30th win also sets a school record for most victories in a season.

The Cardinals will play in the Super-Sectional at Augustana College in Rock Island on Monday night.