Saints collect pair of nonconference wins
The Saint Paul Lutheran High School Saints baseball team played one game during the school week and a doubleheader on Saturday. Despite falling 4-3 against Lexington High School on Wednesday, they rebounded strongly on Saturday, knocking off Sacred Heart High School, 5-2, and Lincoln High School, 13-4.
After finishing their regular season this week, the Saints will take on St. Michael the Archangel High School on Saturday, May 11 at the Class 3 District 15 Tournament.
Wednesday, May 1 — Nonconference — Lexington HS
A comeback attempt came up just short for the Saints in their nonconference matchup against Lexington High School, falling 4-3 despite narrowing the Minutemen lead late in the contest.
The Saints struck first in the ballgame as a leadoff walk from junior Luke Roepe and hit batsman (senior Micah Lemmons) translated into two runs behind a double from junior Aaron Kirby and two-out single from junior Jonathon Grass.
It would be enough to get the Saints the 2-0 lead in the top of the first, but the Minutemen would get a run of their own in the bottom of the first.
Lexington would tie things up in the third inning, but would snag the lead in the fifth inning when they collected two more runs with one out in the inning.
Sophomore Peyton Arnold doubled with two outs in the sixth inning and senior pinch runner Aidin Muehler would score on an error, but the final out of the inning was recorded on the play, moving the score to 4-3. Despite a runner reaching second base in the seventh inning, the game would ultimately end without the Saints collecting the tying run.
Kirby collected a double and a single, while Arnold doubled in the sixth inning. The Saints struck out only three times in the game.
Lemmons went five innings from the mound, striking out seven while allowing one walk and four hits. Two of the four runs he allowed were earned.
The Saints fell to 6-12 (4-4) with the loss.
Lexington moved to 13-8.
Saturday, May 4 (Game 1) — Nonconference — Sacred Heart HS
In their first of two games in Sedalia on Saturday, the Saints whooped up on the Lincoln High School Cardinals, winning 13-4.
The Saints moved to a 2-1 lead after scoring in the first and third innings and allowing a run in the second, but a big fourth inning put the Saints ahead for good.
Doubles in the inning from junior Jonathon Grass and junior Aaron Kirby helped the Saints pick up five runs, as did four singles.
The Cardinals would cut into the lead in the bottom of the fourth, making it 7-4, but a pair of three-run innings eventually put the Saints ahead comfortably and permanently, 13-4.
Kirby finished with three hits, of which two were doubles. Grass and junior Avery Johnson hit doubles as well, while senior Micah Lemmons, sophomore Justin Griffith, and junior Josiah Kunkel collected two hits apiece.
Kunkel threw four and one-third innings of two hit baseball, walking three and striking out four. Kirby recorded the final eight outs, allowing a hit and a walk while striking out four.
The Saints advanced to 7-12 (6-6) with the victory.
Lincoln fell to 7-11 with the loss.
Saturday, May 4 (Game 2) — Nonconference — Sacred Heart HS
Sacred Heart 2
They didn’t put up the sheer amount of offense in the second game that they did in the first, but the Saints took care of the Sacred Heart High School Gremlins in game two of their doubleheader, getting ahead early and holding on for a 5-2 victory.
Sophomore Justin Griffith, senior Micah Lemmons, and junior Aaron Kirby each collected one-out singles and scored in the first inning. Junior Josiah Kunkel also collected an RBI when he singled before the end of the inning, advancing the score to 3-0 after the first three outs were collected.
The top of the second was prosperous, as well, as leadoff hits from sophomore Peyton Arnold and freshman Andrew Kueck turned into two more run in the second, moving the Saints lead to 5-0.
The offense would lack its early-game juice, but the damage was done. Two runs would cross for the Gremlins — one each in the third and seventh — but the Saints would hold on for the 5-2 victory.
Kunkel and Lemmons each recorded two hits to lead the Saints. Kunkel also collected two of the team’s five RBIs.
After relief appearances in the first two games of the week, Kirby got a start of his own from the bump.
The junior struck out three over 6.1 innings, allowing four hits and one walk in the process en route to the solid outing.
The Saints moved to 8-12 (8-8) with the victory.
Sacred Heart fell to 8-7 with the nonconference loss.