Facing its second state-ranked team in three days, the St. Francis Borgia Regional baseball Knights triumphed Wednesday at St. Dominic, 8-5.
“It was a big win for us for a couple of reasons,” Borgia Head Coach Rob Struckhoff said. “We’ve played a grinder of a schedule so far and I don’t think our record is indicative of how good we are. We wanted to prove this to everybody. It definitely was big for our goal of winning conference. Also, it gives us confidence moving forward that we can compete and win games against great teams, like St. Dominic.”
Borgia (6-4, 3-0) was ranked eighth in the most recent Missouri High School Baseball Coaches Association Class 4 state poll. The Knights lost to second-ranked Helias Monday, but was able to beat the Crusaders, ranked sixth.
In Wednesday’s game, St. Dominic scored a run in the bottom of the first and that lead held until Borgia scored four times in the top of the fourth.
The Knights added a run in the fifth, and needed it as St. Dominic scored four times in the bottom of that frame to tie it, 5-5.
Borgia broke the tie with three runs in the top of the seventh.
Even with the rally, Borgia needed some big plays to seal the win.
“Bryce Mayer made one of the best catches of the season so far,” Struckhoff said. “He laid out to catch a pop up down the third base line to get the first out of the seventh. It was an incredible play. Cody Tuepker ended the game with a running, over-the-shoulder catch in left. We got great defense at the end.”
Borgia used two pitchers in the win. Nick Helfrich started and went five innings, allowing five runs (two earned) on eight hits and three walks. He struck out two.
“Nick Helfrich had another great start,” Struckhoff said. “He gave up some hits, but was able to work through most jams. We made some mistakes behind him that cost us some runs, but we also made some outstanding plays.”
Brandon Stahlman earned the win. Over two innings, he allowed a hit and a walk.
“Brandon Stahlman was his usual self in relief pumping strikes,” Struckhoff said. “I like his presence on the mound.”
Borgia had 10 hits to nine for the Crusaders. Each team made three errors.
“We had numerous offensive stars,” Struckhoff said. “Joe Schmidt and Tyler Glosemeyer had some big hits in big spots. Joe’s leadoff triple in the seventh got that rally going. Adam Molitor laid down a perfect squeeze bunt in the seventh to get us some insurance. Louie Eckelkamp, Nick Helfrich, and Spencer Hunter, also, did some damage at the plate. It was good to see production up and down the lineup.
Schmidt and Glosemeyer each had three hits for the game. Schmidt tripled. Glosemeyer doubled.
Eckelkamp had two hits, both doubles.
Hunter and Helfrich singled.
Hunter walked twice. Jack Czeschin, Eckelkamp and Molitor each walked once. Molitor sacrificed and Glosemeyer stole a base.
Schmidt and Eckelkamp each scored twice. Hunter, Glosemeyer, Josh Garbs and Wil Heggemann scored once.
Glosemeyer had two RBIs. Eckelkamp, Molitor and Helfrich each drove in one.
Ryan Foley and Sam Stahl pitched for St. Dominic. Foley started and went four innings, allowing four runs on six hits and three walks.
Stahl took the loss and went three innings, allowing four runs (two earned) on four hits and two walks. He struck out four.
Jack McCormack had three of the St. Dominic hits. He also walked and stole a base.
Borgia returns to action Monday, hosting Sullivan at 4:15 p.m.