The Vianney Golden Griffins started celebrating a little early.
The team rushed out of the dugout in the bottom of the seventh inning just as catcher Jason Hagerty dropped a pop fly everyone thought would be the final out. Vianney had to wait two more batters before winning on an out at first.
The Golden Griffins beat Rockhurst 9-6 on Saturday night at Taylor Stadium to claim the Class 4 championship.
Rockhurst (26-3) scrambled all over the field in the fourth as the Griffins (22-7) scored five runs on five hits.
Nick Schmidt hit a two-run double to right field then scored on a passed ball after advancing to third on Joe Leake’s sacrifice bunt. Richie Estopare hit a two-run single three batters later.
Josh Syberg (6-0) got the win, allowing three hits and striking out five in six innings. Syberg, a sophomore left-hander, threw a no-hitter into the sixth. Ryan Bennett broke it up with a single down the third-base line. Rockhurst scored its first runs later in the inning on David Belefonte’s three-run double.
Rockhurst added three runs in the seventh off Vianney reliever Jim Klocke, including another two-run double from Belefonte.
— Tammy Portnoy
OZARK 8, MICDS 2
The top of the order for Ozark did its job, and the rest of the Tigers followed suit.
Ozark earned its first Class 3 championship by defeating Mary-Institute Country Day School.
Seniors Lucas Harrell and Zane Montgomery, the Nos. 1 and 2 hitters, sparked the Tigers (29-4) by going 6-for-6 with two walks combined.
“Senior leadership,” Harrell said. “We’ve been leading the team all year, and we knew it was the last game, so we had to go all out.”
Said Ozark coach Mike Essick: “They’re the only two seniors we got, so it’s nice to see your only two seniors step up and be a big part of the championship game.”
Trailing 2-1, Harrell and Montgomery started the third inning off with back-to-back singles off MICDS starter Tyler Short (3-1).
After Dylan Ream got his second sacrifice bunt to move both runners into scoring position, Thomas Stilson hit a hard grounder past diving second baseman DiMarcus Wilson to drive in Harrell to tie the game at 2.
Derek Walster followed with a sacrifice fly to left field that scored Montgomery to give Ozark a lead it wouldn’t relinquish.
“We won because we moved the runners on base,” Essick said. “You got to get the hits with two outs and runners in scoring position, and that’s what we did.”
MICDS (23-4) took the lead in the second inning by taking advantage of Ozark errors.
Jon Potts started the Rams rally by drawing a walk, then moved to second on Tyler Short’s single. Both runners advanced into scoring position on a wild pitch by Tigers starter Thomas Stilson.
Stilson struck out John Sedgwick on a pitch in the dirt, but it got past catcher Dallas Hord. Sedgwick ran to first as Hord fired the ball over the head over first baseman Ream.
Robbie Mandel then hit a fly ball to the warning track that scored Short to give MICDS its only lead, 2-1.
Stilson (11-0) held the Rams scoreless from then on as Ozark added one run in the fourth on a Montgomery RBI single, and two runs in the fifth on Mike Pyle’s double.
Then in the eighth, Harrell walked, stole second and moved to third when Montgomery singled. Two batters later, Stilson hit a dribbler in front of the plate, but catcher Matt Kramer’s throw sailed into right field, allowing Harrell to score his third run.
Montgomery came home for the second time as Walster singled to center for the game’s final run.
Stilson pitched six innings, allowing four hits, two unearned runs, one walk while striking out nine.
SIKESTON 11, GRAIN VALLEY 8: Sikeston jumped out to a big lead in the first two innings and held on to win the Class 3 third-place game.
The Bulldogs (27-2) jumped on starter Chris Jenne (6-2), who lasted one inning; Sikeston led 9-0 through two innings.
Lance Rhodes (9-0) pitched a complete game for the Bulldogs, and Jacob Priday had three hits and three RBIs.
Jenne and Ryan Hedrick hit home runs in the loss.
— Jim Margalus
HAZELWOOD CENTRAL 3, HELIAS 2: DeRon Putnam scored on a throwing error in the top of the ninth to help Hazelwood (22-7) to a third-place victory against Helias (19-6).
Putnam scored after third baseman Josh Wilson’s throwing error with two outs.
Josh Malin (3-2) pitched 5 1/3 innings of scoreless relief for Hazelwood. Jason Lansford (4-3) pitched a complete game in the loss.
— Jim Margalus