Okawville scored two runs in the third Saturday and rode Brendan Killion’s complete game to the third-place trophy at the Class 1A state baseball tournament.
Killion, one of three seniors on the Rockets, struck out 11 in a 5-0 victory over Catlin Salt Fork at Dozer Park. Okawville captured its third state baseball trophy and second in the last two years; the Rockets finished second in 2015.
“Four teams get to end on a win, and, us being one, that’s something special,” said Killion, a 6-foot-2 right-hander headed to Division II Missouri Science & Technology. “We’d like to be (playing in the title game). We’ll take going to state every year.”
Killion mixed in a menacing fastball with a loopy curveball against the Storm (23-17). Four of his 11 strikeouts were on batters caught looking. Colton Baird’s leadoff double in the second inning was their only hit.
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Four teams get to end on a win, and, us being one, that's something special. We'd like to be (playing in the title game). We'll take going to state every year.
Brendan Killion, Okawville pitcher
Baird was erased when he was thrown out at third base trying to extend that double into a triple.
Okawville (20-14-1) scored the only runs it needed in the third. Josh Madrid and Alec Wisneski hit back-to-back singles to put runners at the corners. Kaskaskia College recruit Brad Fuhrhop drove in the first run off a sacrifice fly to center. Wisneski stole second base and went to third on the sac fly. He came home on a wild pitch from Salt Fork starter Josh Kimbro.
The Rockets added a run in the fourth and two in the fifth for the final margin.
Wisneski was 2-for-3 for the Rockets while Noland Crane capped a 5-for-8 state tournament by going 2-for-4 with two RBIs. Shane Ganz also had two hits for Okawville.
Salt Fork coach Ryan High said his team played with a bit of a Friday afternoon hangover.
“I think it was more disappointing (Friday). (Saturday), of course, you’re still playing for a trophy, but, the goals were to be playing the second game (Saturday),” he said. “You could just tell the mood of the team, the motivation wasn’t really there at the start. You try to get ‘em going, but, ultimately, they’re the ones in charge of what happens.”