Boys Varsity Baseball
Game Summaries & Headlines.
- Game Date
- May 17, 2019
- STARS: 10
HAZELWOOD CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL: 9
FLORISSANT — McCluer North sophomore catcher Jaylen Whitfield admitted his iron faith in his team's resiliency was shaken Friday as he watched Hazelwood Central snatch the lead in the top of the seventh inning.
But it never broke.
Whitfield delivered a walk-off double Friday as McCluer North knocked off Hazelwood Central 10-9 in the Class 5 District 5 baseball championship at McCluer North High School.
"Listening to my teammates helped boost my confidence," Whitfield said. "I went to the plate, took a deep breath, and drove in the runs."
McCluer North (11-14), which won its first district championship since 2005, advanced to play host to De Smet (10-13-1) in the Class 5 sectional round Tuesday.
Whitfield had a front-row seat as he watched Hazelwood Central (8-11) start its charge in the seventh. He watched the Hawks score six runs with two outs to take a 9-5 lead heading into the bottom of the seventh.
But while his team took a gut punch, McCluer North coach Timothy Ryan said he knew his team wasn't done.
"I told them that every rally begins with one," Ryan said. "One base runner and then another. If you think in terms of one and build on that, everything else kind of follows. The thing about these kids is that they're so resilient. They're one of the most resilient group of young men that I've ever had the pleasure of coaching. There is no quit in them — all fight, no quit. You have to put them out."
The Stars' rally started with a one-out walk to senior Desmond Woods before a two-out walk to Markell Dixon got two runners on.
A wild pitch on ball four to Cyrus Riddle gave the Stars two runs to cut Hazelwood Central's lead to 9-7.
North's Joe Cambron then took his 18th hit by a pitch after teammate Jhabre Coleman-Taylor was drilled with a pitch to load the bases.
After junior Tyler Jenkins drew a walk to trim Central's lead to 9-8, Whitfield took a 3-2 pitch and drove it up the middle for a walk-off double.
It was Whitfield's second double of the game. He went 2-for-4 with two RBI. Dixon went 3-for-3 with an RBI for the Stars.
"Really, I was just trying to put the ball in play," Whitfield "Get it out of the infield, a base hit, really anything to get a run in."
Ryan lifted starting pitcher Alex Henagean after 6 2-3 innings. He allowed four earned runs on five hits, striking out seven.
"I feel like my fastball I was controlling well and my offspeed was working well and keeping them off-balance," Henagean said.
Trailing 5-3 and down to their final out, the Hawks got a two-out single to extend the game.
They worked a two-out walk to get the tying run on base and chased Henagean from the game.
"We talked about taking a strike, having good at-bats and being ready to get extra bases and putting the ball in play," Hazelwood Central coach Tracy Schmidt said. "We executed a couple of bunts and got some things to happen, but we just took what they gave us."
After being stymied to just three runs on five hits in the first six innings, the Hawks scored six runs on four hits with two outs in the seventh inning to take the 9-5 lead before McCluer North answered with its own stunning rally.
"It's kind of hard to lose with this kind of sting, but we really played well outside of one-half inning," Schmidt said. "The game is seven innings and we just couldn't close it out. I'm proud of the way we played and the proud of the way we improved all year."