Cale Spangler threw a seven hitter, struck out 10, walked one and hit a batter and got a great catch by rightfielder Blake Nichols as the Sacred Heart Gremlins shocked second-ranked Concordia 8-4 in the semifinals of the Class 1Distrct 15 Tournament Monday night at Centennial Park.
Spangler was in complete control early, retiring the first six Oriole hitters in order before giving up a single to Austin Beydler to start the Concordia third.
Sacred Heart jumped on Concordia for three runs in the top of the second. Clint Spangler doubled and scored on a single by Mason Kelchner to give Sacred Heart a 1-0 lead. Nichols singled to drive in a run and Rock Curry singled, one of his three hits in the game, to give the Gremlins a 3-0 lead.
As the KMMO radio play-by-play man said, “the Orioles find themselves in unfamiliar territory,” as they trailed 3-0 after two innings.
The second-ranked Orioles came into the game 14-4 and saw their season end with the shocking loss to the Gremlins.
Sacred Heart added more shock to Concordia. Sacred Heart plated five runs on four hits, three Concordia errors and a walk to open up an 8-0 lead after 2 ½ innings. Curry, Caleb Tanguay and Garrett Strange had RBI singles and Clint Spangler smacked a run-scoring double to left center Only two of the five Gremlin runs were earned in the inning as the rattled Orioles’ defense misplayed two ground balls and added a throwing error in a wild inning.
Concordia had an answer. In the third inning, Beydler and Dan Miler singled offs Spangler with one out. One out later, senior Collin Werths hi a screaming liner over the wall n left-center for a three-run home run and the Orioles were within 8-3.
Concordia’s Austin Hon came in to pitch in relief to start the Gremlin fourth. The junior right-hander tossed four innings of scoreless relief to keep his team in the game.
The Orioles threatened in the fourth with two-out, back-to-back singles to put the southpaw Spangler finished the inning with a strikeout as fanned the side.
Concordia designated hitter Cory Meineken, singled in a run in the bottom of the fifth but again Spangler shut the door with a fly out to shallow left and a strikeout, leaving twole runners stranded at second and third.
Concordia had two runners in scoring position in the sixth, but Nichols made a great catch running toward right-center to save two runs.
“Blake hasn’t gotten to play much,” said Sacred Heart coach Steve Goodwin.”Our starting rightfielder. Ben Smeltzer injured an ankle and is out. Blake has stepped in and taken advantage of the opportunity.”
Spangler gaveup a hit in the sixth but stranded the runner with two whiffs and a grondout. Concordia out runners on first and second with hits to start the seventh and moved up a base on a wild pitch. Spangler once again shut down Concordia with two strikeouts and a popup to strand two more Oriole runners and advanced the Gremlins to Wednesday night’s championship game against Santa Fe.
Sacred Heart improved to 13-4 on the season.
Santa Fe, 18-1 and ranked first in Class 1, beat Lone Jack 5-1in the other seminal Monday night.
Sacred Heart last played in and won the district baseball title in 2010. Photos by Randy Kirby, Sedalia News Journal.