Bring on the postseason.
St. Francis Borgia Regional (17-7) completed its regular season this week with games at Parkway Central and at home against Lutheran South.
The Knights shut out Parkway Central Tuesday, 9-0, but lost to Lutheran South Wednesday, 16-5.
Borgia is the top seed for the Class 4 District 4 Tournament in Union and will open play in the semifinals Saturday against either fourth-seeded Owensville or No. 5 St. Clair. First pitch at Wildcat Ballpark is set for 2 p.m.
Spencer Hunter continued his hot hitting Tuesday by hammering two more home runs in a 9-0 win over Parkway Central.
“Spencer had a huge day,” Borgia Head Coach Rob Struckhoff said. “First, he doubled home Joe Schmidt in the first to give us the lead. Then, he extended the lead with solo homers his next two at-bats. Parkway Central has good-sized field and his two homers were legit. They were big at the time, also, because they gave us a 3-0 lead which we finally extended to 9-0 in the seventh.”
The game was much closer than the score indicated. Borgia scored single runs in the first, third and sixth before erupting for six runs in the top of the seventh.
Hunter knocked out four hits, including the two home runs and a double in the victory.
Adam Molitor, Joe Schmidt and Brandon Stahlman each posted two hits. Schmidt and Stahlman doubled.
Tyler Glosemeyer also singled.
Borgia drew five walks as Bryce Mayer walked twice. Louie Eckelkamp, Glosemeyer and Molitor walked once.
Nick Helfrich added a sacrifice.
Hunter scored three runs. Schmidt crossed the plate twice. Eckelkamp, Glosemeyer, Mayer and Molitor each scored once.
Hunter drove in four while Stahlman contributed three RBIs. Schmidt drove in one.
“Schmidt, Stahlman, Molitor and Glosemeyer also had some good plate appearances,” Struckhoff said. “Stahlman broke it open in the seventh with a bases-loaded double. Somebody is always picking up the team. It’s not just the top of the order. It’s good to be getting some at-bats this time of year especially with all the rain we’ve had.”
Mayer started and earned the win, going four innings. He allowed four hits and one walk while fanning three.
Stahlman pitched three innings for a save. He allowed one hit and struck out one.
“This was a good win for us,” Struckhoff said. “Both teams were preparing for districts this weekend so there were plenty of different pitchers available. Luckily, Bryce and Brandon were very efficient. They combined to only throw 70 pitches in the game, which is incredible. They were helped by our defense. Joe Schmidt made some nice plays at third. We also turned three double plays to get out of innings. Our defense has been solid all year.”
In a rematch of last year’s district title game, Lutheran South blasted the Knights at Borgia, 16-5.
“I was proud of our effort on offense,” Struckhoff said. “We didn’t lay down after they scored seven runs in the first. We battled back with a double from Bryce Mayer and a single from Joe Schmidt. Then Spencer Hunter hit a home run to get us back in it, 7-3. He has been on fire the last week. Definitely a good time of year to get hot.”
While there weren’t many positives for the Knights, one was Hunter’s hitting. For the third game in a row, he homered. Hunter also singled to end with two of Borgia’s five hits.
Mayer doubled while Schmidt and Stahlman singled.
Zach Czeschin, Josh Garbs and Tyler Glosemeyer walked.
Czeschin, Mayer, Garbs, Schmidt and Hunter scored the runs.
Hunter drove in two while Schmidt, Louie Eckelkamp and Stahlman each had one RBI.
“Brandon Stahlman and Louie Eckelkamp were able to drive home a couple more runs with a single and sac fly, respectively, in the sixth after Jack Czeschin and Josh Garbs worked walks and Spencer Hunter singled. It was good to see us keep having quality at-bats til the end.”
Hunter started on the mound for Borgia and went one inning, allowing eight runs on nine hits and a hit batter.
Cody Tuepker was next and went two innings, allowing three runs on three hits and two walks.
Eckelkamp pitched 1.1 innings, allowing one run on four hits. He struck out one.
Molitor threw 1.1 innings, allowing four runs on four hits and one walk. He struck out one.
Blake Wheelock got the final out, a strikeout.
“We were not able to stop them, though,” Struckhoff said. “They really swung the bat well. We made a couple errors, also, which didn’t help the cause.”
Brandon Hager spearheaded the Lutheran South offense with a pair of home runs and two doubles. He drove in five runs.
Brendan Kuhlmann had four hits with one being a double.
Vito Orlando had three hits, including a double.
David Howard was the winning pitcher for Lutheran South, going 5.2 innings while allowing five runs on four hits and three walks. He struck out six.
Conor Biggs got the final out and allowed a hit.
Lutheran South is the top seed in the Class 4 District 3 Tournament and there will be a rematch should both schools win their district titles.
The Lancers opened with seven runs in the top of the first, but Borgia responded with three in the bottom of the inning.
Lutheran South added one run in the second, three in the fourth, one in the fifth and four in the sixth before Borgia added two final runs in the bottom of the sixth. The game ended after that inning on the run rule.
“We knew coming in this would be a tough game against a very good Lutheran South team,” Struckhoff said. “It was our third game in three days and we’ve been holding down our pitchers’ pitch counts all week to get ready for districts on Saturday. We threw five different guys in six innings today to get through.”