It wasn’t looking like a nail-biter, not after Lee’s Summit West put up five runs in the first inning of the Missouri Class 5 baseball third-place game on Friday.
It certainly seemed more definitive after Lee’s Summit West built a nine-run lead.
But drama was lurking when Lindbergh had its own five-run rally in the fifth inning and added three runs in the seventh. Lindbergh even had the go-ahead run in scoring position, then the Titans notched the final out and won the game, 9-8, at CarShield Field.
Lee’s Summit West, 24-11, struck for five runs on four hits in the bottom of the first inning — the big blow being a two-run double off the right-field wall by Jacob Katzfey. A single by Alex Brough and Dusty Stroup’s sacrifice fly brought home two more runs in the second, and Brough doubled home another run and scored on a Cole Dunham single for two more runs in the fourth inning.
That produced a Lee’s Summit West 9-0 lead.
“It’s never in our mentality to shut it down,” said Katzfey, a Wichita State signee. “We always just try to keep putting it on them. We weren’t hitting, and they were.”
Lindbergh, 22-11, was getting baserunners, and the Flyers had the bases loaded in the first inning. LS West ended that threat with a 1-2-3 double play. In the fifth, Lindbergh broke through for five runs on five hits, including a two-run single from Zeb Roos that cut the Titans’ lead to 9-5.
“Lindbergh, they’re here for a reason, too,” Lee’s Summit West coach Jay Meyer said. “They took advantage of bad pitches high in the zone or getting behind in the count. The only way you can get back in a game is by hitting, and they were hitting.”
Lindbergh’s first three baserunners in the seventh inning reached on two singles sandwiched around a throwing error. The second hit scored a Lindbergh run, a throwing error produced the second and a fielder’s choice brought in the third run.
Lindbergh had runners on first and second when Talbott Buford — LS West’s third pitcher in the game — coaxed a fly ball to center to end the game. Meyer said he wasn’t worried about running out of pitching, even after using two pitchers in Thursday night’s 6-1 semifinal loss to Francis Howell.
“We had four or five more,” Meyer said. “There were nerves; even though it’s a third-place game. There was still some pressure.”