After making a seventh-inning comeback for a 6-5 walk-off in its semifinal game, St. Thomas Aquinas had an abundance of momentum heading into the Class 5A state championship baseball game on Saturday at Eck Stadium.
But that momentum was cut short by returning state champion Topeka-Seaman.
Topeka-Seaman run-ruled the Saints 13-1 in five innings.
“We had a great season,” Aquinas coach Lorne Parks said. “We kind of ran out of that momentum today, but that happens sometimes in state championship games.”
Unlike the Vikings’ junior-and-senior-heavy rotation, the Saints had to fill big roles with young players due to unforeseen injuries at the beginning of the season.
On Saturday, the Saints were able to hold the Vikings to zero runs through the first three innings.
But Topeka Seaman got things going in the fourth inning and built a 7-0 lead.
And the Vikings extended their lead to 13-0 in the fifth. Aquinas managed to get one runner home, but it wasn’t enough to escape the run rule.
Even though the outcome in the final game wasn’t ideal, Parks said that he is proud of his team.
“It’s great for them to even make it to the championship game. Our kids hung in there,” Parks said. “I’m happy for what they did and what kind of people they are.”
Parks remains optimistic that the experience his young players gained from playing for a state title will help his team develop for next season.
“Hopefully it helped us a lot,” Parks said. “We know where our weaknesses are. We really started a lot of young players, so just to get here and get this experience is huge. It didn’t work out for us this year, but maybe next year.”