TOLONO (WCIA) — Monticello baseball is headed to Sectionals for the first time in nearly a decade, after their 11-1 win over Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley on Saturday in the Tolono Regional.

Jack Buckalew struck out nine batters and only allowed two hits. Their last Sectional Semifinal appearance was back in 2014, the year the Sages advanced all the way to the Supersectional. Before that, they had gone 21 years without a Regional title.

“Players have been focused,” says head coach Chris Jones. “We had a really good week of practice. I think if they continue that focus and we continue to practice the way we did we’ll be okay. Same approach at the plate that we’ve been doing for most of the year. I think that we’ve had some guys go hot early in the year kind of cool off and some other guys have picked up. Right now it seems like we’re all seeing the ball fairly well and putting a good swing on.”

Monticello will play Eureka on Thursday at 5 p.m. at Millikin University.