DU QUOIN — Trent Williams drove in four runs and pitched the final two innings to pick up his first save to lead Carmi-White County to a 5-3 win over Nashville in the semifinals of the Du Quoin 2A baseball sectional Thursday.
"Trent had an outstanding ballgame to drive in four runs, score the other and get the save, but its not just about Trent," said CWC coach Craig Winter. "It's about every single one of these guys beating one of the best teams in the state. This was a signature win for me and a big win for our program. We believe in ourselves right now."
Carmi-White County (17-10) advanced to its second sectional championship game in the last three years and will play Murphysboro (19-12) Saturday at 11 a.m. for the right to advance to the Sauget Super-Sectional.
Williams was coming off a three-hit, four RBI performance in the regional championship game and duplicated that feat, going 3-for-4 with two doubles.
"I'm kind of rolling right now," Williams said. "I was really slumping until about four or five games ago, but something has clicked."
The Hornets (27-6) out-hit the Bulldogs 10-8, but Easton Stewart and Williams stranded nine runners, including five at second base and one at third in the fourth.
"We squared up some balls nice, but 10 more feet here and 10 more feet there those balls are down for extra bases and RBIs," said Nashville coach Chad Malawy. "Hitting was the only aspect of the game we beat them, but not necessarily with runners in scoring position. In their big inning we gave away free bases and that translates into runs."
Nashville (27-6) took the early lead in the bottom of the first. After Hayden Heggemeier doubled to lead off but was called out at second base when he came off the base, Cody Bauza reached on an infield hit. He later scored when shortstop Zach Vaught's throw to first was wild trying to complete a double play.
Williams got that run back in the second inning when Ryan Brink walked Justin Lamp with one out and Williams doubled off the top of the fence in right center one out later.
Stewart (7-1) gave up another leadoff double in the second to Austin Anderson, but stranded him. In the third, he gave up two-out back-to-back singles, but got out of that jam on a fly ball to right.
The Bulldogs took the lead in the fourth when Brink walked Vaught and hit Lamp to start the inning. With runners at the corners, Williams doubled off the glove of the center fielder to clear the bases and end up at third on the throw home. He later scored on a wild pitch.
Nashville got one run back in its half of the fourth on a leadoff double by Anderson and a two-out double by Heggemeier. After advancing to third on a wild pitch, Stewart stranded him there by getting Bauza on a comebacker.
Anderson took over for Brink in the fifth and gave up a one-out double to Lamp. Anderson then committed a balk to send Lamp to third, where Williams drove him home on a two-out single.
In the bottom of the fifth, Brady Bultman made it a two-run game again with a solo home run.
Williams came in to pitch after a leadoff single and hit the first batter, but he got the next two, the last when Lamp made a dazzling over-the-shoulder catch of a Bauza fly ball.
"I normally play infield, but I can play all the positions, so if they need somebody in the outfield they stick me out there," Lamp said. "I knew he made good contact and I thought I was under it, but it kept going and I kept running."
In the bottom of the seventh, Vaught snagged a hard hit ground ball and made a strong throw for the first out. Lamp then made a catch on his knees coming in on a pop fly for the second out.
After Bultman doubled, Vaught sealed the win by a grab in the hole and first baseman Tucker Gray handled his one-hop throw to nip Jacob Woodrome.