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The Salem Wildcats open up Class 3A Regional play today with a home game starting at 4:30 against the Centralia Orphans.  You can listen to the game starting just before 4:30 on Q92.1 FM.  The winner will advance to the Mt Vernon Regional semifinal on Wednesday when they take on the top-seeded and host Rams.  You can listen to the game with Toby Gullion on Q92.1 FM.

Salem is coming off a double header split on Saturday with Civic Memorial.  Salem won the opener Riley Martin went 3-3 at the plate, helping Salem to a 4-3 win.  He singled in the first, doubled in the third and homered in the fifth.  The home run gave Salem a lead after Cole Steward tied the game with a 3-run homer in the bottom of the third.  Zach Consolino worked the last inning for the walk.  Brenden Boles earned the win allowing 3 runs over six innings and striking out 5.  

In the 2nd game, Salem fell 12-5.  Cole Steward racked up two more RBI on two hits homering in the third inning and singling in the fifth.  

Also today in regional openers, Civic Memorial will host Triad, Cahokia welcomes East St Louis, Alton Marquette plays at Highland, Marion hosts Carbondale, Mattoon hosts Paris, Herrin is at Massac County and Taylorville welcomes Springfield Southeast.

Seniors Dre Hill (left) and Brett Harmeier (right) taking a bit out of another regional title.

KINMUNDY - It was nothing new for the South Central Cougars who seemingly find themselves in position for regional championships every year.  Despite entering their own 1A regional as the 5th seed in the sub-sectional, South Central relied on their youth growing throughout the season that was filled with bigger schools, and that came to fruition on Saturday at Lions Field in Kinmundy.

Already defeating the 3rd seeded Dieterich Movin' Maroons in the semifinal, the Cougars faced #2 Neoga in front of their home fans winning a wild game 13-8 with five runs in their final at-bat. 

The Cougars jumped out to an early lead playing as the guests on the scoreboard as Trevor Markley and Ryan Matheny had RBI singles to give SC an early 2-0 lead.

Neoga answered back in the bottom of the inning on Cougars starter Gavin Ratermann who has been out with an ankle injury for a couple weeks, making his first start since coming back.  Neoga plated 2 runs on 2 hits but Ratermann battled and stranded the bases loaded.

Neoga would break through in the second with four more runs on 3 hits to take a 6-2 advantage.

The Cougars got a run back in the third on an RBI single from Trent Geiler.  After holding Neoga scoreless in the bottom of the third, South Central got a little closer with RBI hits from Ratermann and Brett Harmeier made it 6-5.  

The Indians got a run back in the fourth increasing their lead back to 7-5.  That's when things started to get crazy.

South Central, sensing their season coming to an end, played with a focus at the plate in their final two at-bats.  In the sixth, Ryan McCown was hit by a pitch with one-out and Avery Davis followed it up with a single.  Ratermann was then walked to load them up for senior Brett Harmeier who came through with an RBI groundout to make it 7-6.  

Trent Geiler then added a 2-run single to get the Cougars their first lead since the opening inning at 8-7 and it appeared as though things were going to be ok in Cougar Nation.

Neoga battled and tied the game with a run in the sxith inning setting up the final inning.  

South Central opened up the game with five runs in the inning including RBI hits from Ryan McCown, Harmeier and Geiler and South Central finished off Neoga 13-8.

The Salem Lady Wildcats open up their softball post season today when they travel to Olney to take on the Lady Tigers this afternoon at 4:30.  The winner will travel to Centralia tomorrow to take on Marion.

Also in 3A regional quarterfinal matchups today, East St Louis is at Cahokia, Mascoutah hosts Civic Memorial, Mt Vernon plays at Massac County, Taylorville welcomes Springfield Southeastand Triad hosts Marquette.  

In small school regional championships on Saturday in Class 1A at St Anthony, the hosts knocked off Stewardson-Strasburg 5-4 and will advance to tomorrow's Altamont Sectional where Casey Westfield opens with Okaw Valley at 4:30 followed by St Anthony and Raymond Lincolnwood.  

In 2A regional championships on Saturday, Nashville defeated the hosts at Pinckneyville 3-1.  The Hornettes advance to their own Sectional where they will take on Carmi White County tomorrow.  At Shelbyville tomorrow, Flora takes on Macon Meridian.

Salem Tennis Cats Season Ends

The Salem Wildcats tennis season came to an end this weekend at the Belleville West Sectional as they failed to score a point in the team standings finishing 7th.  West nipped Belleville East 18-17 to win the championship with Mascoutah 3rd at 12 points followed by Centralia, Althoff, Waterloo and then Salem.

The State Bass Fishing Tournament was held this weekend at Carlyle Lake.  

Elkville caught a two day limit of 10 fish for a total of 21 and 5/16 pounds.  Highland #1 finished 2nd just ahead of Highland #2.  

Carterville was 11th, DuQuoin #1 was 21st, Centralia was 44th, DuQuoin #2 was 51st and Woodlawn 54th.  

The Big Bass of the weekend were caught by Highland's Jake Freeman on Friday and Chris Thompson of Sandwich on Saturday. 


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