Tolton baseball extended its historic season Wednesday, punching its ticket to the MSHAA Class 3 title game with a 6-3 semifinal win over Lawson at US Ballpark in Ozark.
With the win, Tolton reaches its first state championship in program history. The squad had nine players who made an Archdiocesan Athletic Association all-conference team, with eight of those nine making an all-district team or honorable mention. The Trailblazers are also led by Ehrich Chick, who was named coach of the year in the AAA for a second consecutive season.
Lawson had outscored its postseason opponents 42-2 heading into the contest, and the Cardinals wasted no time showing off their high-powered offense. The Cardinals tallied three runs in the top of the third to open the scoring.
Tolton roared back with a six spot in the bottom of the fourth. The scoring started after Logan Thompson hit a triple, with JC Putnam scoring Thompson with an RBI double. Tolton cut the deficit even further when Lucas Wietholder hit an RBI triple that scored Putnam and Justus Martin added an RBI single scoring Wietholder. Andrew Green added an RBI double, giving the Trailblazers the lead. An error allowed another run to cross home plate. Tolton racked up six runs on seven hits in the frame.
The Trailblazers did not allow another Lawson run to score, closing the game out to earn a chance at the championship.
Tolton will face Springfield Catholic in the Class 3 state championship game at 7 p.m. Thursday at US Ballpark in Ozark.
Southern Boone wins 33rd game, advances to state championship
Southern Boone kept its dominant season alive Wednesday after a marathon 11-inning 6-5 victory over Marshall in a Class 4 baseball state semifinal matchup.
The Eagles, now 33-2, were trailing nearly the entire game but chipped away at an early Marshall lead to force extras and steal the victory.
The Owls got the scoring started in the top of the second when they loaded the bases and Declan Weaver bunted for an RBI single. Marshall added another run from a Coy Smith sacrifice fly.
Marshall reloaded the bases in the top of the third. Aiden Coffman then hit one to third base, and a throwing error on the play allowed two more runners to score.
Southern Boone responded in the bottom half of the third when Austin Evans hit a ball into right for an inside-the-park home run.
The Eagles loaded the bases in the bottom of the fourth, and a sacrifice fly by Carter Karotka brought in one run, cutting the Marshall lead to two.
Marshall loaded the bases again in the top of the sixth and eventually added another run on a Seth Hoffman sacrifice fly, bringing the lead back up to three. The Eagles responded quickly in the bottom half of the inning, cutting the lead right back to two on a Karotka RBI, making it a 5-3 ballgame.
The run gave Southern Boone momentum, which it capitalized on in the bottom of the seventh. With Southern Boone down to its last out, Bradly Smith stepped up and delivered a two-run single, tying the contest and sending it to extras.
A tense few extra innings saw Southern Boone load the bases in the bottom of the ninth with just one out, but the runners ended up stranded. The Eagles didn’t waver, and a walk-off single from Evans in the 11th inning scored Smith and sent the Eagles to the championship game.
Southern Boone will play Logan-Rogersville in the Class 4 title game at 1 p.m. Thursday. Marshall will play in the third-place game against Kennet at 10 a.m. Thursday. Both games will be played at US Ballpark in Ozark.