Four new champions wear home the baseball crowns and medals for 2011. In a week of booming bats, big innings, home run records and exciting finishes. Take a look…
The first semifinal game was a classic. The Francis Howell Vikings and Vianney Golden Griffins put on a hitting clinic. If you like hitting, you would have been in heaven! There were 27 runs, 34 hits, 7 home runs, 12 doubles. Howell jumped out to an 8-2 lead after 4 innings. Home runs by Jake Ivorty (3rd) and Brett Graves (4th) provided this cushion. Vianney sliced off 1 run in the 5th to make it 9-4 Howell. A huge 5 run 6th inning that featured the second home run of the day by Ryan Snyder tied it at 9-9. Now the real fun begins…Vianney scored two runs in the top of the 7th, Howell answered with two to tie it as Jake Ivory drove home the 11th run and tie it up at 11-11. Vianney has a lead off HR in the 8th inning by Zach Knese and they pushed across another run to grab a 13-11 lead. In the bottom half of the 8th, with two out and a runner on first, Zac Perkins blasted his first HR of the year over the center field fence to tie the game at 13-13. At this point, even with two out, one could feel a huge momentum leap into the Viking dugout. Sure enough, three batters later Brett Peel blasted a double to right center sending home Jacob Rhodes with the winning run. It was a great game! All the fans, players, coaches (and announcers) were exhausted as the emotions of the game had drained everyone. Yet, there were three more games still on the docket.
The other semifinal game had the Liberty Bluejays jump on the Ozark Tigers immediately! The first five batters of the 1st inning reached base and scored as the Bluejays snatched a 5-zip lead. Ozark rallied in the top of the 4th to cut the lead to 6-3 but when Liberty answered with four runs in the bottom of the inning, the outcome seemed decided. The Bluejays scored three more runs in the 5th to close out a 13-3 victory. Zach Pirello was 3-4 with 3 runs scored at the top of the order and home runs from Todd Hinkley and Dylan Stevens provided the muscle in this one.
The sizzling bats of the Howell Vikings burned Liberty for four runs in the opening inning of the Championship game. Liberty closed the gap to 4-3 in the top of the 3rd inning as Dylan Stevens poked another blast over the boards. Howell, sensing the challenge, answered with four runs of their own and stretched the lead to 8-3. This inning saw four hits, an error, walk and
The first semifinal saw the Westminster Christian Academy Wildcats follow a familiar script. As in the quarterfinals, the Cats have a HUGE early inning to set the tone. In the semifinal against Kennett, WCA scored 8 runs in the 2nd inning as they galloped to a 9-2 lead. Tate Matheny and Connor Einertson went yard in this inning. Kennett kept fighting! The Indians scored in each of the first six innings and actually closed the gap down to trailing only by a 11-9 score as WCA came to bat in the 6th. Three walks, two hits and a sacrifice pushed the WCA lead back to the final score of 15-9 during the home half of the 6th. Jeffrey Dollins (3 run-HR), Thomas Stillman and Alex Bohnert (2 run HR) all homered for the Indians in this game that had five home runs.
The other semifinal game was an abbreviated, 6 inning, 15-5 win by the Savannah Savages over the Springfield Catholic Fighting Irish. It was a 6-5 lead for Savannah when they scored 7 runs in the 5th inning to break this one wide open. Three walks, two
The Championship game of class 3 was an unusual one for this Championship series. There weren’t any home runs or any big innings! Westminster used more of the small ball tactics and capitalized on some defensive miscues to grind out a 6-3 championship victory over Savannah. Each team had seven hits but Savannah hurt themselves with five errors. For the second consecutive night, Alec Mitchell starred in his relief appearance for WCA. He hurled 2.2 innings of hitless baseball to tighten things down for WCA. On Friday, he had thrown 2 innings of hitless baseball! What a weekend for him! It was the first trip ever to the final four for Savannah and the first championship for WCA in its 3rd trip.
The Cinderella team of this class, the Charleston Bluejays (16-9), entered the final four waters after upsetting the #1 ranked Valle Catholic Warriors 1-0 in the quarters. It looked like the magic would continue for the Bluejays. New Bloomfield took a 4-1 lead into the 7th inning. Charleston crossed the plate twice and had the tying run on 3B when a pinch runner was picked off to end the game. Ugh… New Bloomfield dropped Bluejays star pitcher, James Naile’s record to 9-2 with the loss.
It was all Summit Christian Academy(23-9) in the other semi. SCA scored five in the 1st, 4 in the 2nd and 3 in the 3rd in route to a 12-2 win over Clever(17-12). Matt Vershelden gave up only two hits as SCA coasted into the championship game. Johnathan Finch had two doubles and three ribbies to lead this offensive assault.
The Championship game had another unusual twist. New Bloomfield, seemingly feeling great after escaping the Charleston 7th inning, fell behind 2-0 to Summit Christian. The Wildcats grabbed a 3-2 lead in the 3rd inning. They scored in the 4th, 5th, and 6th to hold a 10-2 margin entering the final inning. New Bloomfield “batted around”, and more, as they scored ten runs to waltz home to a very deceptive 20-4 victory in class 2 championship. Brenden Bailey was six for six, scored 5 runs and drove home three more to lead the Wildcats. Skyler Lucas went 4-5 and Jacob Rieken was 4-6 as New Bloomfield pounded out 25 hits on way to the championship.
Both semifinals and the Championship games were all one run games! Liberal (20-4) scored two runs in the 6th to take a permanent 6-5 lead and win over the Oran Eagles (23-3). An error and three hits was the formula for the winning inning for the Bulldogs. Liberal handed Oran’s starter, Zac Chasteen his first loss of the year as he finishes at 7-1 for the year.
The 9-8 LaPlata win over St. Elizabeth in the other semifinal was a triller! The Hornets of St. Elizabeth grabbed a 7-4 lead after 3 innings. Austin Heckemeyer’s two run single was the major hit of the 6 run 3rd inning for the Hornets. The Bulldogs scored 3 runs in the top of the 5th to tie it up at 7-7. Clayton Heckemeyer’s triple gave the Hornets back an 8-7 lead. Taylor Wheeler’s single drove home the 2nd run of the 7th inning to give LaPlata(21-2) a thrilling 9-8 victory.
LaPlata got a taste of its own come-from-behind medicine but somehow survived in the Championship game. The Bulldogs were ahead 7-2 after 5 innings and “all was good” for the Dogs. In the 6th, Liberal scored a run when Garrett Miller tripled and scored. But it wasn’t over, Liberal’s Timothy Splitter tripled and Brian McNaught doubled as Liberal scored three runs but it wasn’t quite enough. Laplata won the Championship 7-6.
What a week of baseball and what a year for Prepcasts. We’re concluding our 8th season of high school coverage with over 500 HS and college games in the books for the 2010-11 school year! We now have a 2900 game library of games for you to choose to listen. It’s all on www.prepcasts.com. We’ll put aside our “Flash” pen until late August. Have a great break and when it’s time for high school sports—you know where to find them—www.prepcasts.com