Bishop Carroll rode their pitching staff to the 5A State Championship game and it was the one thing they leaned to in the title game.
Just a five seed in the tournament, the Golden Eagles Matt Henning and Seth Holman kept Blue Valley-Stilwell at bay for a 4-3 5A State Championship at Eck Stadium, Saturday.
"I'm so happy for these seniors, they are a great group of kids," said Charlie Ebright, Bishop Carroll head coach. "They've worked really hard at the process of the game of baseball and it worked out for them tonight."
Henning took the win for the Golden Eagles and Holman got the save.
The game could not have started better for Bishop Carroll, snagging two great defensive catches to end the first inning before ripping into Tiger pitcher Drew Ferguson. Tyler Palmore, Nolan Barrientos and Taylor Sanagorski all bringing runs across in the bottom of the first to lead 3-0. Those runs gave Carroll a huge boost and ripped any momentum the Tigers had coming in.
Henning wasn't great but he was good enough on championship day to hold the Tigers back. Their run in the second inning was his only blemish on the boxscore.
"We were hoping to get four (innings) out of him, we got five and he just pitched incredible," Ebright said. "He worked that changeup and kept them off balance."
Carroll had several chances to score runs but stranded runners in bases loaded situations, relying heavily on their defense.
"We ran ourselves out of some innings," said Ebright. "The fact that it was such a close game, comes down to defense and pitching and we had it."
Ebright took a risk in the sixth inning with one runner on third base, he chose to gamble with a suicide squeeze and it worked to as the Tiger catcher missed the tag of Jacob Schwindt giving them a 4-1 lead.
Holman came in relief in the sixth inning for six outs and crown but it wasn't that easy. BV Stilwell loaded the bases and scored once on an error at first then another when the bloop single gets out of the infield, cutting the lead to 4-3.
Quick call the mound settled the Golden Eagles defense for the final out. Holman delivering the chopper to second base for the final out and celebration begins.
"Playing on your home turf, Wichita Kansas and I love being out here playing," said Matt Henning after the game. "Come out here as little kids watching game and now we won on this field."