Late heroics kept Southeast Valley baseball team's inaugural season alive here Saturday night.
Fighting off elimination, the Jaguars (21-6 overall) rallied for a 7-5 victory over St. Edmond in a Class 2A, District 4 final at Rogers Sports Complex.
With a trip to Principal Park on the line, Southeast Valley - in its first year as a combined program between Southeast Webster-Grand and Prairie Valley - will now face Maple Valley-Anthon-Oto (18-10) in a Substate 2 final on Tuesday at 7 p.m. in Carroll. The Rams advanced with a 5-1 triumph over Ridge View.
Messenger photo by Britt Kudla
Southeast Valley’s Clayton Taylor waits for the ball at home plate as Ryan Szalat tries to score on Saturday night at Rogers Park during a Class 2A district final. For more photos, please visit CU?at www.messengernews.net
"I was probably more nervous that the kids were," said Jaguar co-head coach Brad Anderson. "They just keep finding a way when everybody counts them out. Our guys have a lot of fun and continue to show resiliency night in and night out."
After seeing a three-run lead slip away in the bottom of the sixth, Southeast Valley answered right back with a four-spot in the seventh. Clayton Taylor's double to deep left field brought home Myles Davis with the tying score for the Jaguars.
Pinch runner Joe Phipps later crossed the dish with the winning run on a throwing error to the plate by the Gael shortstop.
SOUTHEAST VALLEY 7, ST. EDMOND 5
Southeast Valley 201 000 4-7 5 3
St. Edmond 000 004 1-5 9 5
Andrew Dorage (W, 7-0; 6 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 0 BB, 5 K), Curt Castenson (S, 2; 1 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K) and Clayton Taylor; Jason Setterdahl (2+ IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K), Hank Crimmins (L, 6-5; 5 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 5 BB, 10 K) and Matthew Bocken.
2B-SV: Dorage, Taylor; SE: Ryan Szalat, Crimmins. SB-SE: Robert Flattery. LOB-SV 8, SE 6.
SEHS was unable to overcome five defensive miscues in the game.
"You can't win if you can't execute," said St. Edmond head coach Joe Shanks. "We gave (SEV) too much all because of our defense. Missed opportunities really hurt us."
Sophomore Andrew Dorage (7-0) posted the win on the mound for the Jaguars, scattering eight hits, four earned runs and five strikeouts over six innings. Senior Curt Castenson notched the last three outs in relief for his second save of the season.
"Dorage did a nice job of throwing inside and outside," Shanks said. "It seemed like everything we hit was right at them."
Dylan Anderson, a No. 7 batter, went 2-for-4 with two RBI for Southeast Valley, which has now won seven straight and nine of its last 10 games. Davis also contributed a single and three runs scored.
"I knew we'd have a good team coming into the season, but I've been impressed with how we've meshed together so well," said Anderson, whose squad dropped a 9-5 home decision to the Gaels last month. "This is a great group of kids to coach."
Ryan Szalat, Hank Crimmins and Jason Setterdahl each delivered a pair of hits for St. Edmond (15-16), which finished its season 2-8 down the stretch. Crimmins helped his own cause with two runs scored, while freshman Logan Fear added a clutch two-out, two-run single to deadlock the contest in the sixth.
Matthew Bocken briefly gave the Gaels a lead by coming home on a successful double steal with Fear.
Defensively, Southeast Valley third baseman Dakota Jaeschke made an impressive lunging catch to his left to end the first. Davis also had a highlight-reel diving stop behind second, flipping the ball to Castenson for a 6-4 force out.
For the Gaels, Cal Coleman turned in a sparkling diving grab in right field.
Despite falling short, St. Edmond actually outhit the Jaguars, 9-5.
Crimmins and Coleman each wrapped up their careers on the diamond for the Gaels. Crimmins (6-5) took the loss in relief, allowing three hits and three earned runs - with five walks and 10 strikeouts - over five innings.
"Hank and Cal will both be missed," Shanks said. "They've helped us win a lot of ballgames over their careers."