Summit Christian Academy had its wobbles early, but nothing a six-run outburst couldn’t cure.
After giving up two unearned runs on errors in the first three innings, Summit Christian took control with a six-run fifth inning — three of them on a double by Robbie Suhr — and then held on for a wild 11-7 victory over South Callaway on Wednesday night in the Class 3 state baseball semifinals at CarShield Field.
Summit Christian, 26-2, will face Mountain Grove for the state title at 1:30 today. If the Eagles win, it will be the school’s first state team title in any sport.
“It was a knockdown, drag-out on both sides,” Summit Christian coach John Gage said. “The thing that was nice about it, was after we scored the big inning we scored a little bit more.”
South Callaway jumped ahead 1-0 right away when Kaden Helsel reached on a bobbled ball by the Summit Christian shortstop to lead off the first, and Peyton Leeper followed with a smash that landed at the right field wall for an RBI-double.
Summit Christian answered with a run in the second. After Luke Moehle walked, Russell Cook tried to bunt him over. The throw from the catcher sailed high, and Cook wound up on second. Matthew McWilliams brought home Moehle with a double and Cook was tossed out at the plate.
South Callaway got another unearned run in the second and took a 2-1 lead. Landon Horstman led off with a double and scored when the Eagles tried to throw him out rounding third on a grounder and the ball sailed away from the third baseman.
Summit Christian loaded the bases in the fourth with one out on a leadoff double from Cook, a bunt single and a walk. South Callaway starter got out of the jam by getting a strikeout and a ground-out.
Then came the fifth. A throwing error, a wild pitch and a bases-loaded walk brought in the first three runs. The Eagles loaded the bases again, and with two outs, Suhr lashed a hit to deep center field that cleared them.
Cook’s second double of the game, a bases-loaded walk and a hit batter brought home three more runs for Summit Christian in the sixth.
Suhr, the Eagles’ starting pitcher, held South Callaway scoreless after the first two innings until the Bulldogs struck for one more in the bottom of the fifth, and four more in the sixthwith a bases-loaded walk, Leeper’s two-RBI single and an RBI on an infield single.