Baseball Season Ends with Lopsided Loss

Jacob Mueller of St. Pius X runs into Brentwood catcher Steven Sadler while trying to cross home plate in the first inning. Mueller was called out and ejected from the game for malicious contact. (Photo by Steve Bowman)

By Steve Bowman
Editor, The Brentwood Spirit

Dylan McGehee gets the sign from catcher Steven Sadler in the fourth inning. He took the mound in the second inning in relief of Connor Hancock. (Photo by Steve Bowman)

Two years ago it was a big deal when the Brentwood High School baseball team won its postseason district tournament. After all, it was the Eagles’ first district title since 1994.

Now Brentwood has won three district titles in a row, and while it’s still great to advance to the sectional, the new “big deal” would be to win it. That made it all the more frustrating for BHS fans on Monday when the Eagles lost their third sectional in a row. And not only lost it, but were buried 14-2 by St. Pius X at West City Park in Festus.

Credit superior hitting and pitching by St. Pius, but don’t forget that the Eagles simply forgot how to play defense. They committed six deadly errors in five innings.

However, there was at least one defensive highlight, and it was a doozy. The Lancers were up 1-0 in the first inning when their best hitter, Jacob Mueller, rounded third and headed for home. The throw from Brentwood third baseman Blake Kelley reached catcher Steven Sadler in time but Sadler would have to make the tag.

Strangely, Mueller − who has 11 triples, so he knows how to run bases − didn’t slide but slammed full speed into the crouching catcher. Somehow Sadler held on to the ball and made the tag before falling backward in pain. Mueller was called out and then was ejected from the game for malicious contact.

“You have to either slide or avoid colliding with the catcher,” explained Brentwood coach Mike Imergoot.

Spectators were silent as Sadler lay on his side in the dirt then slowly got to his feet. Wincing in pain, he walked a half dozen steps toward third base, retrieved his catcher’s mask and returned to home plate, ready to play. Impressed by his toughness, fans for both teams spontaneously applauded. One spectator was Tyler Jones, a freshman at Mizzou who was known at BHS for his toughness in wrestling, football and baseball.

“The way he stood his ground yet kept his concentration − that’s athleticism,” Jones said. “It was a combination of coordination and mental toughness.”

Brentwood was behind 5-0 in the third inning when it started to make a comeback. With two outs, Dylan McGehee and Sadler hit back-to-back singles. Tyler Pryor-Hall responded with a single that scored McGehee and Lucas Jones, who was pinch running for Sadler.

But 5-2 was as close as the Eagles would get. The Lancers struck for three more runs in the bottom of the third to make it 8-2, and six runs in the fourth.

Imergoot used three pitchers and none of them could silence the Lancers’ bats. Connor Hancock was pulled with two outs in the second inning and the score 5-0. McGehee surrendered three runs in the third and was relieved by Bradley Jones in the midst of the six-run avalanche in the fourth.

Brentwood ended up with a record of 11-7. St. Pius X, 12-9, advanced to today’s state quarterfinal game against New Madrid County Central.

Catcher Steven Sadler is knocked over at home plate by Jacob Mueller of St. Pius X. This photo was taken several seconds after the image of Sadler and Mueller above. (Photo by Steve Bowman)
With Brentwood coach Mike Imergoot showing concern in the background, Steven Sadler tries to “walk off” the pain of being bowled over by Jacob Mueller of St. Pius in the first inning. Sadler not only immediately resumed play but hit a single in his next at-bat. (Photo by Steve Bowman)
Third baseman Blake Kelley releases the throw to Steven Sadler at home plate that put out Jacob Mueller of St. Pius X in the first inning. (Photo by Steve Bowman)
Connor Hancock releases a pitch in the first inning. He lasted two innings before being replaced by Dylan McGehee. (Photo by Steve Bowman)
Tyler Pryor-Hall races to first base in the second inning. His single in the third scored Brentwood’s only two runs of the game. (Photo by Steve Bowman)
Coach Mike Imergoot confers with pitcher Connor Hancock in the second inning. Later in the inning Hancock was replaced by Dylan McGehee. (Photo by Steve Bowman)
Shortstop Eric Suntrup fields a hit and throws to first base in the second inning. (Photo by Steve Bowman)
Dylan McGehee hits the single that would lead to him scoring a run in the third inning. (Photo by Steve Bowman)
Lucas Jones (left) is congratulated by Dylan McGehee as he crosses home plate in the third inning. Tyler Pryor-Hall scored both Jones and McGehee with a single. (Photo by Steve Bowman)
Second baseman Tyler Pryor-Hall dives to stop a hit in the third inning. (Photo by Steve Bowman)
Marc Powells eyes a pitch in the fourth inning. (Photo by Steve Bowman)
Coach Mike Imergoot visits the mound to talk to pitcher Dylan McGehee (middle) in the fourth inning as Bradley Jones offers support, (Photo by Steve Bowman)
Bradley Jones pitches for Brentwood in the fourth inning. Replacing Dylan McGehee, he was the Eagles’ third pitcher in the game. (Photo by Steve Bowman)
Roland Floyd tries to return the ball to the infield before another run scores in the fourth inning. Brentwood outfielders were busy in every inning. (Photo by Steve Bowman)
Outfielder Nick Featherston chases down a hit in the fourth inning. (Photo by Steve Bowman)
Tucker Schoeberlein pinch-runs for a teammate in the fifth inning. (Photo by Steve Bowman)
Senior Josh McGehee gets the last at-bat of his high school career, in the fifth inning. (Photo by Steve Bowman)
Brentwood players’ body language told the story during a team meeting after the game. Players pictured are (from left) Lucas Jones, Nick Featherston, Josh McGehee, Roland Floyd and Marc Powells. (Photo by Steve Bowman)

 

 

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