Area district baseball games prove dramatic, historic

The Meadow Heights baseball team poses following the first MSHSAA district championship won by the Panther Program. Meadow Heights rallied to beat state-ranked and host Chaffee 9-5 on Wednesday after getting past Bismarck 3-2 in the semifinal just hours before.
photo provided

Saxony Lutheran out-hit Charleston 9-2 in its MSHSAA Class 3 District 2 baseball semifinal on Wednesday at Saxony Lutheran. However, the Bluejays rode a phenomenal eight-inning pitching effort by senior Dawson Crawford to force the game into extra innings before falling 2-1 on heroics from Crusader senior Eli Brown, who was tremendous in his own right.

Tied at one run apiece, Charleston replaced Crawford with fellow senior Luke Nichols after Crawford had thrown 102 pitches, including 75 for strikes.

Brown led off the inning with a single to Crawford, who had switched positions with Nichols in center field. It was Brown’s second hit of the game.

Saxony Lutheran junior Wilson Lodge connected for his lone hit, an infield single, which moved Brown to second base.

Nichols got Crusader junior Jacob Johnson to ground out, but not before Brown and Lodge advanced into scoring position.

Saxony Lutheran sophomore Carson Birk had struck out earlier in the game but had also managed a hit off of Dawson. He came through with his second hit, this time off Nichols, for a game-winning single into left field, which scored Brown.

The Crusaders, who are ranked No. 1 in Class 3, move on to face Kelly for the championship today at 4 p.m. at Saxony Lutheran.

The Hawks (19-6) pounded Woodland in the other district semifinal 12-2.

Saxony Lutheran beat Kelly 6-1 last month during the regular season.

Crawford, who is a Southeast Missouri State signee, allowed six hits and just one earned run. He struck out 11 Crusaders and walked only two.

Nichols took the loss after allowing three hits and one earned run in the ninth inning.

Brown not only joined Birk and Johnson in pacing his team with two hits, but he was dominant on the mound, as well.

He worked 8 1/3 innings and gave up just two hits, one earned run, struck out 10, and walked four.

Brown threw 109 pitches, with 71 going for strikes.

Saxony senior Tanner King worked the final 2/3 inning and struck out two, while not allowing a hit.

Brown had a run and an RBI, while Hunter Hamilton scored the first Crusader run in the first inning after drawing a walk.

Brown hit an RBI single in that inning to give the hosts a quick 1-0 lead.

Tanner King added a Saxony hit, while Joel Koening also had one.

Crawford hit a home run in the third inning off of Brown to tie the game, while Bluejay senior Nick Crisel added a hit in the loss.

Charleston finishes its season 12-13.

Meadow Heights 9, Chaffee 5

Meadow Heights trailed host Chaffee 5-3 entering the sixth inning of the Class 2 District 3 championship game. However, the Panthers rallied to score six runs in the final two innings to claim the first district championship in program history.

Morgan Lincoln, William Green, and Tristen Mayfield opened the sixth inning for Meadow Heights (12-8) by drawing walks before junior Kade Lindgren brought Lincoln and Green home with a two-RBI double to tie the game.

Lincoln scored the go-ahead run in the seventh inning on an RBI single by Nicholas Hindman, while the final offensive punch was made on a Lindgren home run, which also scored Mayfield.

Lincoln had three hits and scored twice, while Lindgren (two hits, five RBI, one run, one walk), Green (one hit, three runs), and Mayfield (one hit, one run) also contributed.

Lindgren threw the initial four innings while allowing four earned runs, striking out five, giving up seven hits, and walking six.

Green was stellar over the final three innings. He did not allow a run, while giving up three hits, striking out two and walking one.

Peyton Atkins, Brennen Fowler, and Alec Brown each had three hits for the Red Devils (17-6).

Thomas Stidham added a hit, while Brown (one run, one walk), Fowler (two runs, two walks), Levi McKinnie (one run), Jagger Sadler (one hit, one run, two RBI, one walk), Atkins (one RBI), Levi Crowe (one RBI), Drew Swinford (one hit, one RBI), and Kade Atkins (one walk) also contributed for Chaffee.

Brown worked 5 1/3 innings for the Red Devils and allowed six hits, two earned runs, striking out nine, and walking four.

Fowler, Saddler, and Isaiah Fitzgerald combined to close the game for Chaffee.

The Panthers advanced to the title game by beating Bismarck 3-2 in the semifinal preceding the win over Chaffee.

Meadow Heights moves on to face the winner of Crystal City and Principia in the Sectional on May 24.

Gast shuts down Tigers

Cape Central managed to out-hit Notre Dame 5-4 in its Class 5 District 1 opener, but Bulldog senior pitcher Austin Gast was outstanding in limiting the Tigers to no earned runs in the 2-1 Notre Dame win.

The Bulldogs (11-13) will now face Farmington in Farmington, today at 6:30 p.m. in the semifinal.

Gast pitched a complete game and five hits and struck out 13.

Notre Dame scored a run in the fourth and fifth innings to take a 2-0 lead, which held as the Tigers (15-12) managed a run in the fifth.

Jon Dohogne, Connor Wissinger, Jakob Besand, and Will Dodson had Notre Dame hits, with Dohogne and Besand scoring the runs.

Cape Central senior Kevin Robinson had three hits and an RBI to lead his team, while Carter Crosnoe and Walker Daum added Tiger hits.

Wyatt Brinkopf worked the first four innings for Cape Central. He allowed three hits, two earned runs, four strikeouts, and four walks.

Ty Thatcher and Robinson collaborated over the final three innings.

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