Francis Howell punches ticket to second-straight state semifinal
CREVE COEUR, Mo. (KMOV) – On Saturday afternoon, the De Smet Spartans baseball team played host to the Francis Howell Vikings in the Missouri Class 6 State Quarterfinal. Francis Howell has made it a trend to play their best baseball in the postseason and Saturday was no different.
Headed into the 4th inning it was tied 1-1, but a failed pickoff attempt would be the start of a big inning for the Vikings. Next up, Caleb Miller would hit a grounder right through the middle of the infield and into the outfield. It would end up being a 2-run single. That made it 4-1 Vikings. Then Leo Humbert would almost hit it in the exact same spot for an RBI single making it 5-1 Francis Howell. Then Mizzou football signee Brett Norfleet blew the game wide open.
“When that 4th inning came through top to bottom all the guys were hitting, all the guys were mashing,” said Norfleet.
Well, it was Norfleet who did the real mashing. He would send a shot over the left field wall that may have ended up on De Smet’s football field. That three-run shot made it 8-1 Francis Howell.
“We came together as an offense and we put a hurt on them.”
That fourth inning put a hurt on De Smet that they couldn’t bounce back from. Francis Howell never looked back. They defeated De Smet, 8-1. The Vikings now advance to back-to-back state semifinals. After the game, head coach Tony Perkins told his team it was the school’s 13th appearance in the final four. He made sure to let them know that they just beat a really good team to punch their ticket.
“We’ve been working really hard. And to hit that quality of pitcher, who I knew was a great pitcher in (Josh) Cunningham, I was very happy with our guys and the swings we took there,” said Perkins. “We played small ball and got people on base, moved people around the bases, swiped a couple bases. All the little things add up.”
Francis Howell will now play Jackson on June 2.
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