There was no real celebration after Wabash Valley clinched its second straight Great Rivers Athletic Conference baseball championship Thursday.
That can wait for later, perhaps in the post-season.
“It’s a big accomplishment. We’re playing well at the right time,” said WVC coach Rob Fournier after his club’s 7-2 win over Southeastern. “We just want to keep on going the way were doing things and keep getting better.”
The Warriors began the 3-game series, which concludes the regular-season with a doubleheader at Southeastern Saturday, needing just one win to wrap up an undisputed title. They wasted little time by scoring four runs in the first inning against the Falcons.
Thanks to Kaskaskia’s 4-2 loss to Olney Central, Wabash would have clinched the crown anyway. The Blue Devils dropped into a 3-way tie for second, now five games off the pace.
WVC (38-11, 17-5 in GRAC) plays a doubleheader at Southeastern Saturday to wrap up the regular season.
Fournier said the early wrap up gives him a chance to rest key players and have them fresh for the post-season run which begins next weekend with sectional play.
“We get to rest some of our pitchers who have been throwing a lot, and give an opportunity to some guys we think we’ll need down the stretch,” Fournier said.
Starter Travis Herrin, a 6-foot-3 freshman righthander from Lebanon, Ind., went five innings to get the win, allowing only two runs.
“We’re happy with the way he’s come on,” said Fournier of Herrin, who hurled three scoreless relief innings last week in a 6-4 win over Rend Lake, opening the door to a sweep which clinched a tie for the league crown. “That was a big lift for us.”
Tim Barry hit his 11th home run in the sixth, a leadoff shot that made it 7-2.
WVC will now carry the No. 1 seed into Region 24 play which begins next week with a best 2-of-3 sectional series against the No. 8 seed, yet to be determined. If they win there, it’s on to the Region 24 Final Four at Rent One Park in Marion.