Let's head to the Sweet Sixteen.
The Illinois High School Association baseball sectional semifinals have set the field to 16 teams in the two smallest classes on Wednesday and Thursday nights. Eureka takes on Bloomington Central Catholic in Class 2A, while Henry will play in Class 1A. Hall is also still playing from the Peoria area.
Here's what is ahead in Saturday's sectional finals and how they won in the semis.
Eureka (30-2) vs. Bloomington Central Catholic (16-10)
What's next: Eureka puts its 27-game win streak on the line, meeting BCC at 11 a.m. Saturday in the Millikin University Sectional final. The Hornets, who haven't lost since a March 28 setback to Illinois Valley Central, are in the sectional for the fifth straight season. Eureka hasn't been to the Elite Eight since a 2013 fourth-place finish. BCC hasn't ever won a sectional since the school formed in 2001.
How they won: Eureka rallied twice from one-run deficits for a 7-2 victory over Tolono Unity on Wednesday. The Hornets took advantage of three third-inning errors to grab a lasting lead at 3-2. Zechariah Lapp's two-out, run-scoring single in the sixth gave Eureka some breathing room with a 4-2 advantage. Ben Jablonski set the final score thanks to his two-out, bases-loaded double. Eastern Illinois signee Slater Wilcox went the distance, giving up four hits with eight strikeouts and four walks on 115 pitches. BCC dominated Fithian Oakwood, 15-0 in four innings when the Saints sent 11 to the plate as part of a six-run second inning.
Hornets advance to the Millikin sectional final with a 7-2 win over @unitybaseball1. Senior @Slater_wilcox went the distance, striking out 8. Offensively, @BenJablonski3 and @zech_lapp both with huge 2 out hits. Next up, winner of Fithian(Oakwood) & Bloomington Central Catholic.
— Eureka Hornets Baseball (@EHSHornetsBB) May 25, 2023
Henry (21-6) vs. Heyworth (17-20)
What's next: Henry takes on Heyworth from the Heart of Illinois Conference in an 11 a.m. Saturday sectional title at Jack Horenberger Field on the Illinois Wesleyan University campus. The Mallards are playing for their first sectional championship since a 1993 Class A Elite Eight appearance. Heyworth had never won a regional prior to this season.
How they won: Henry avenged a 2022 sectional semifinal loss with a 3-0 victory over Delavan on Thursday. Lance Kiesewetter tossed a two-hitter for the Mallards, striking out 10 and walking two on 75 pitches. Colton Williams provided the only RBI with a first-inning sacrifice fly. Heyworth walked it off with a 4-3, nine-inning victory over Annawan/Wethersfield. Boston Katz picked up the game-winning hit with his RBI single to center.
2023 IHSA baseball brackets: Peoria-area postseason schedules, scores and pairings
Hall (22-8) vs. Sherrard (25-6)
What's next: Hall faces Sherrard at 11 a.m. Saturday in the Knoxville Sectional championship. Hall hasn't won a sectional championship since its 2018 2A state championship. Despite making the sectional for the 11th time, Sherrard has won just two sectional titles with the last one coming in 2014.
How they won: Payton Dye pitched a complete game as Hall beat Lewistown/Valley/Cuba, 1-0 on Thursday. He struck out eight in the seven-inning outing. The Red Devils scored its lone run thanks to Joel Koch stealing home in the second inning. Koch and Mac Resetich each had two hits to pace Hall. Sherrard knocked off Macomb and its ace Jack Duncan, 5-3 on Wednesday. The Western Illinois signee, who went 1-for-3 with a double, pitched 6.1 innings with six strikeouts, three walks and gave up four earned runs.
Red Devils 1
Payton Dye Complete Game Gem 7ip 8K’s 🔥
Resetich and Koch 2 hits apiece 🔥
Red Devils advance to the Sectional Championship on Saturday 5/27 @11AM
SWEET 16 Red Devils! pic.twitter.com/ptHHcrxJxL
— Hall Baseball (@baseball1_hall) May 25, 2023
Adam Duvall is a Journal Star sports reporter. Email him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @AdamDuvall.
This article originally appeared on Journal Star: IHSA baseball: Peoria-area teams in Class 1A, 2A sectional finals