CHS baseball clinches third straight district title

Wednesday, May 22, 2019
Players and coaches of the Concordia High School baseball team are all smiles after defeating Wellington-Napoleon High School in the Class 1 District 12 tournament championship. The victory punched the O’s ticket to more post-season play for the third straight year, and the fourth time in six years.
Contributed photo/Ramona Gatewood

The top-seeded Concordia High School Orioles baseball team competed in the Class 1 District 12 tournament in Marshall this past week. After a first-round bye and a semifinal round blowout over five-seeded Keytesville High School, the Orioles took down the two-seeded Wellington-Napoleon High School in the district championship, winning 3-2 on some late-game heroics.

Concordia started off slow offensively, picking up their first two hits in the fourth inning when junior Brayden McGinnis led off the inning with a single. With two outs in the inning, junior Hunter Wilckens came through with a big two-out double to drive in McGinnis.

The score would hold until late in the contest, when a one-out rally in the sixth inning propelled the Tigers ahead with a 2-1 lead.

After a scoreless CHS half-inning in the sixth and WNHS top half of the seventh, the Orioles found themselves down to their final three outs. Two hit-by-pitches and a single from freshman Jake Tagtmeyer set the Orioles up for success with the bases loaded, and an RBI-producing walk from senior Matt Gatewood tied the game up at 2-2. The next batter, McGinnis, fell behind 0-2 in the count, but sent the very next pitch beyond the left fielder’s reach for the walkoff single, sending Concordia to the state tournament for the fourth time in six years.

After a long, three-week rest in between appearances due to rainouts, Gatewood was still excellent. Despite allowing six hits, the senior struck out seven and walked just one over the complete game. His defense helped him out as well, and the squad was able to minimize impending damage multiple times thanks to the combination of good, sound defense and a dynamic arm on the bump.

It was a difficult day from the plate for the majority of the squad, but McGinnis especially saw the ball well, going 2-4 with an RBI. Wilckens collected an RBI with his double, while Gatewood did as well with a walk in the seventh inning.

The big-time victory improved the state’s No. 2 ranked team to 17-2 on the season.

Congratulations to the Orioles for the huge victory!

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