Saints, O’s baseball claim first round district victories
Albeit in significantly different manners, the Concordia High School and Saint Paul Lutheran High School baseball teams advanced to the second round of their respective district tournaments with victories last week. The second-seeded Orioles dominated seventh-seeded Lutheran (Kansas City) High School in the first round of the Class 2 District 16 tournament, winning 17-0 in 5 innings, while the fifth-seeded Saints edged out Lexington High School 4-3 in their Class 3, District 15 matchup.
Concordia - Quarterfinals, Class 2, District 16
Thursday May 19 - West Platte High School
(7) Lutheran High School (Kansas City) 0
(2) Concordia 17
The runs came early and often for Concordia, as the Lutheran (Kansas City) Knights allowed six runs on six hits after the Orioles slugged eight hits and 11 runs in a long first inning that saw all but two O’s cross the plate. By the time it was all said and done, every starter scored at least one run and one hit, while all but two collected tallied RBI as well.
Junior Lane Mueller had another stellar game at the plate, going 3-3 with two doubles and a triple. He also walked once, stole a base and tallied three runs, in addition to driving in three more. Sophomore Brayden McGinnis stroked two doubles in his 2-4 game, collecting two RBI and scoring three times in the process. He reached via error in his other two plate appearances. A pair of juniors — Matthew Gatewood and Cameron Kelly — were joined by freshman Austin Droege, as well as other Orioles, to tally multi-hit games, with one of Gatewood’s being a double.
Four O’s hurlers registered innings, as the early offensive explosion gave CHS plenty of wiggle room with pitchers. McGinnis tallied two innings, striking out three of four hitters in the second inning and four total. He did have some control issues, walking two hitters and hitting two more despite not allowing a hit.
Orioles pitchers combined to end 11 of 19 plate appearances with strikeouts, allowing only one hit, three walks and two hit batsmen along the way. Gatewood struck the side out in his inning of work. Both Droege and sophomore Peyton Moore threw an inning, with each striking out two.
The Knights couldn’t secure their second win of the season in this one, falling to 1-12 with the season-ending loss.
The Orioles advanced to 14-7 with the victory. They will play three-seed I-70 Conference foe Crest Ridge High School in the semifinal matchup. Their last matchup leaves this one with big shoes to fill, as Crest Ridge snuck away with a 2-1 victory in 8 innings.
Saint Paul - Quarterfinals, Class 3, District 15
Saturday May 12 - Higginsville High School
Saint Paul 4
An excellent pitching performance paved the way for victory in this battle, as the fifth-seeded Saints took down the fourth-seeded Lexington Minutemen with a go-ahead run in the sixth inning.
Junior Micah Lemmons was money from the mound, allowing just four hits, two walks and a hit batter en-route to earning the complete game victory. Lemmons threw first pitch strikes to half of the hitters he faced.
The Saints got the scoring started in the third inning, when a one-out triple by senior Alex Beck and a walk (followed by a stolen base) from senior Brett Mueller put ducks on the pond for sophomore Luke Roepe, who delivered a two-RBI single to put the Saints ahead.
The Minutemen returned fire in the bottom of the third inning with a run of their own, but SPLHS was able to score another run when Mueller drove in sophomore Jonathan Grass, making it a 3-1 ballgame. But runs in the bottom of the fourth and fifth inning quickly tied the game up at three.
The Saints would get the go-ahead run in the sixth inning when junior Aiden Mueller came in as a courtesy runner for Roepe. Mueller advanced to second on an error, and then scored from second on another error. The run gave them a 4-3 advantage, and Lemmons would go on to finish out the game from the mound, getting out of a small jam in the bottom of the sixth and handling the Minutemen in the seventh.
Sophomore Aaron Kirby hit the team’s only double, while Beck’s triple was the only hit of it’s kind, as well. Roepe and Lemmons were the only Saints to finish with multiple hits, each picking up two singles.
The Minutemen finished their season at 5-14. Despite defeating the Saints in their only regular season matchup, they couldn’t knock Saint Paul off when they needed to.
The Saints march to 8-10 with the victory. They will play again on tonight, May 16, at Higginsville High School against the district’s top seed, Carrollton High School.