DECATUR (WCIA) — Effingham baseball is headed to state for the first time since 1942. The Hearts shutout Central 4-0 in the Class 3A Millikin super-sectional Monday night in a historic moment for the program in a season where many didn’t give them much of a chance to advance. The Hearts are 22-15 on the year, losing four out of their last games heading into the postseason before getting hot the past two weeks.

“Just to see the way we’ve battled through everything, even when things weren’t going well, it’s just awesome to see,” Effingham senior pitcher Josh McDevitt said. “We all know how hard we’ve worked and it’s really cool to see the hard work pay off. To be able to do something we haven’t done since 1942, we all knew we had the potential. I don’t think we actually thought it would happen, but the last couple weeks, the way we’ve come together as a team and just kept battling, it’s been awesome. I’ve never played with a group of guys that continues to fight this much.”

“We knew that we had something special, we really did and we knew that it was going to take a lot of hard work and effort to get to this point,” Effingham head coach Curran McNeely said. “But the groups that came in front of us, they really set the stage for us.”

Effingham will face Grayslake Central in the Class 3A state semifinals Friday morning at 10 a.m. in Joliet at Duly Health & Care Field.