In a defensive dual that lasted across the regular innings, Nashville was able to hold on until an eighth inning score put the Carterville Lions on top to claim the section semifinals Wednesday at home.
The game remained scoreless up until the top of the eight when the Lions pitcher Drew Petska shot a lead-off base hit. Catcher Ben Haake drove a standup double into the right field gap to score the only run in the game.
Hornet starting pitcher Buzz Ritzel threw a remarkable seven-inning game. Ritzel had no runs on four hits and no walks. Petska, meanwhile, had nine strikeouts and allowed two hits.
Petska was looking at a no-hitter game into the sixth inning before Boomer Harris blasted a two-out single down the right field line.
Nashville tried to rally in the bottom of the eighth, and even had a runner at third with one out but ultimately came up short.
The Hornets finished the season 23-10 and 10-0 in conference play. This year marked another Southern Illinois River-to-River championship.