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With the crowd on its feet, Cooper Eggert basks in biggest moment for Providence. ‘I had goosebumps everywhere.’

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Providence’s Cooper Eggert said he was trying to treat his start on the mound in the Class 4A state semifinals like any other game.

But as he looked to close out his complete game Friday in the bottom of the seventh inning, the junior right-hander experienced a sensation that was certainly beyond the norm.

“I couldn’t feel anything,” Eggert said. “I had goosebumps everywhere. That last out, when everybody in the crowd stood up, that was awesome.”

Eggert gave the Providence fans plenty to cheer about, tossing a one-hitter to lift the Celtics to a 2-1 victory over Edwardsville at Duly Health and Care Field in Joliet.

Mitch Voltz drove in the winning run for Providence (32-8) with a groundout in the top of the seventh. Creighton recruit Nate O’Donnell added an RBI triple, Oklahoma commit Enzo Infelise reached base three times and Eddie Olszta went 2-for-3 with a double.

The Celtics are the only baseball program in Illinois High School Association history to win three straight titles, doing so from 2014 through 2016. They will try for their sixth title and first since 2016 at 7 p.m. Saturday in the state championship game against Conant (30-7), a 1-0 winner over York.

Providence made sure Edwardsville (31-9), which was the two-time defending 4A champion, could not match its record, although coach Mark Smith said that was not a source of conversation.

“I never brought it up the entire week,” Smith said. “The focus wasn’t on that. It was on us advancing to the next game. I think our guys knew it, but it wasn’t something we talked about.

“We had to worry about us.”

Providence’s Cooper Eggert, left, and Enzo Infelise (9) celebrate after getting out of a bases-loaded jam against Edwardsville during the Class 4A state semifinals at Duly Health and Care Field in Joliet on Friday, June 7, 2024. (Vincent D. Johnson / Daily Southtown)

Eggert, though, made sure there was nothing to worry about.

“For sure, this is the best game I’ve ever pitched,” he said. “Of course it is. I showed everyone that I can do it. All my boys have confidence in me.”

Eggert also earned the victory in Monday’s 3-2 supersectional win over Mount Carmel, throwing two innings in relief. Afterward, he let his coaches know to give him the ball again Friday.

“I texted my pitching coach Jake Godfrey that I wanted the game unless I had a (pitch) limit,” Eggert said. “When I knew I didn’t have a limit, I was ready to go all the way.”

Eggert took a no-hitter into the sixth inning Friday, even though the game was tied 1-1 as Edwardsville scored a run on an error in the fifth.

In the sixth, the Tigers got their first hit and had runners on first and third with no outs after an error, and then had the bases loaded with one out after an intentional walk.

Providence picther Cooper Eggert flips a comebacker to first base against Edwardsville in the Class 4A state semifinals at Duly Health and Care Field in Joliet on Friday, June 7, 2024. (Vincent D. Johnson/for the Daily Southtown)
Providence’s Cooper Eggert flips a comebacker to first base against Edwardsville during the Class 4A state semifinals at Duly Health and Care Field in Joliet on Friday, June 7, 2024. (Vincent D. Johnson / Daily Southtown)

Eggert got out of it with a pop-up and a groundout.

“I knew they weren’t going to score,” Eggert said. “It’s almost just a mindset that you’re better than the guy you’re facing and you can’t let that guy take food off your plate. It’s all a confidence thing.”

Smith had faith in Eggert.

“This kid has stepped up all year long and came up with big pitches,” Smith said. “That was the game. We said, ‘If we hold them here, we’re going to score.’ If we didn’t, we were in trouble.

“He made a great pitch and got the out and then we did what we did in the seventh.”

Providence's Cooper Eggert releases the ball against Edwardsville in the Class 4A state semifinals at Duly Health and Care Field in Joliet on Friday, June 7, 2024. (Vincent D. Johnson/for the Daily Southtown)
Providence’s Cooper Eggert releases a pitch against Edwardsville during the Class 4A state semifinals at Duly Health and Care Field in Joliet on Friday, June 7, 2024. (Vincent D. Johnson / Daily Southtown)

In the seventh, Olszta had a leadoff single and pinch-runner Nolan Galla moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Blake Jenner and to third on single by Sammy Atkinson.

That set up Voltz, who ripped a hard groundout to first base to drive in Galla.

“I was able to pull it, and I was hoping it’d get down the line,” Voltz said. “He made a good play, but I was just so happy to see that run come home and know I did the job for my team.”

Eggert took it from there.

“I did that for my guys,” he said. “We’re going to a state championship game now, and we’re going to win it.”

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