With the Class 4, District 10 seed meeting on Monday, the Rock Bridge baseball team needed a big road win on Saturday against Jefferson City to solidify its chances for a No. 2 seed and a first-round tournament bye.
After a 12-0 loss to the Jays, though, the Bruins were left to wonder how to rebuild momentum heading into the season’s final week.
Bruins coach Justin Towe said he had no idea how his team would be seeded.
“I know (the loss) won’t help any,” he said. “But we’ll play where were going to play. It should help us that we get to play at home, so we won’t have to worry about travel and things like that.”
Towe said he was disappointed to see an opportunity to solidify the Bruins’ district resume crumble in such distressing fashion.
“We could be seeded anywhere between two and four is what I told the kids,” he said. “That’s just the way it’s going to be. We had a chance to make a strong case for a bye today and we couldn’t do it.”
Rock Bridge (10-6) had won four of six games entering Saturday’s game, including dramatic wins against Hickman and Helias. It won 12-9 against Francis Howell on Friday in the first game of a doubleheader, but lost the second game 14-1, playing mostly reserves. They also lost in the Sells Development/Red Weir Classic, falling 3-2 on April 27 to eventual champion St. Dominic.
Outfielder Jack Campbell said the loss of momentum was the biggest disappointment coming out of Saturday, but he also said the defeat could be a positive.
“It was good for us to get a wakeup call,” Campbell said. “Maybe now we’ll start playing every game like our season is on the line.”
Towe said he hopes his team can adopt that kind of mentality throughout the rest of the season.
“I guess we’re going to find out if they can put it behind them,” Towe said. “We’ll see where there maturity level is. High school kids tend to get over it in about 15 minutes. It’s the coaches that hang on to it longer.”
Jefferson City (16-5) also beat Rock Bridge 7-1 on April 25 in Columbia, and regardless of seeding, the Bruins will likely have to beat Jefferson City if they hope to win the district tournament and compete for a state title.
“They’re at the top of the mountain right now,” Towe said. “If we want to win districts, Jefferson City is a team we’re going to have to beat.”
Campbell said he doesn’t think the losses to the Jays will have any affect if the two teams meet again in the district tournament.
“After a 12-0 loss, we’ll be ready to go,” Campbell said. “After losing to them twice, we’re going to be ready if we have to play them again.”