The Concordia High School finished its 2012 season with only two blemishes.
The second one, which happened Saturday, was the hardest because it prevented the Panthers from claiming the 2012 Class 4A state championship.
The second loss of the season came Saturday night, 17-0 to St. James Academy, in the Class 4A state championship game.
Saturday the Panthers opened the day by defeating Ottawa 10-5 to propel itself into the championship game against St. James Academy, which won its semifinal contest 10-2 over Mulvane.
Ottawa finished off its season with a 24-9 win over Mulvane in the consolation championship just prior to the Thunder earning the 17-0 win over Concordia.
"As far as hitting wise (St. James Academy) really hit the ball well," Concordia coach Brandt Hutchinson said. "To be in the state championship game is something to be really proud of and it is something that these kids will remember for the rest of their lives."
Ottawa beat Mulvane 24-9 in the consolation championship game.
Ottawa led off the game by scoring an unearned run on one hit in the top of the first inning. The Cyclones actually loaded the bases with two out but only managed one run on one hit and one Concordia error. Ottawa shut down the Panthers in the bottom of the first 1-2-3 and added two more runs on a single hit in the top of the second for a 3-0 lead.
Concordia knots the score 3-3 with a 3-run, 2-hit rally in the bottom of the 2nd inning.
The Panthers score a single run on two hits in the third inning to go in front 4-3. Ottawa comes back with a single run on a single hit in the top of the fourth to tie the score once again at 4-4.
Concordia broke the game open when it scored four runs on three hits in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Ottawa tallied a single run in the top of the sixth to climb back to within 8-5 but the Panthers added two more to their lead in the bottom of the sixth and held the Cyclones off the board in the seventh to earn the victory and earn its berth in the state championship game.
St. James Academy jumped in front of Mulvane early when Alex King roped an RBI single to left field in the top of the opening inning.
Ryan McCourt roped a two-run triple to key a 3-run, 4-hit second inning for St. James, which increased its lead to 4-0.
St. James added three more runs in the top of the third to build its lead to 7-0.
Mulvane was set down in order, 1,2,3 in the first three innings but Nolan Smith led off the bottom of the fourth with an infield single up the middle.
St. James plated three runs in the top of the fifth to take a 10-0 lead into the bottom of the inning, needing only to shut out Mulvane again to win by the 10-run rule and end the game early, but Mulvane’s Alex Evans led off the bottom of the fifth with a solo home run over the left field fence to prolong the game. The Wildcats added another run in the bottom of the fifth making it a 10-2 game going into the sixth.
But neither team scored in either of the final two innings and St. James earned its berth in the Class 4A state championship game against Concordia.
Ottawa’s Taylor Graf had the key hit for the Cyclones in a 4-run, 4-hit second inning as he roped a 2-run single to left field giving the Cyclones an early 4-0 advantage.
The Wildcats came back with two runs on two hits and a Cyclone error to plate two in the bottom of the second, but that was all Mulvane managed but Ottawa was able to plate an insurance run in the top of the third.
Ottawa added three more runs to its lead in the top of the fourth when the Cyclones scored three runs on three hits and one Mulvane error.
The Wildcats came back with two runs on two hits in the bottom of the fourth to make it an 8-4 contest heading into the fifth inning.
Kaden Shaffer had a bases loaded double which plated three runs for Ottawa in the top of the fifth inning which saw the Cyclones score eight runs on eight hits to pull ahead by more than the 10 runs needed to end the game after five innings of play.
Mulvane came back with a 2-run home run by Tyler Redington in the bottom of the fifth and the Wildcats loaded the bases with nobody out but only managed one more run. But that one more run cut the Ottawa lead to 16-7 keeping the Wildcats from being run-ruled.
Ottawa’s Connor Goedert keyed an eight-run outburst in the Cyclone sixth inning with a 3-run home run over the centerfield fence which made it a 24-7 contest.
Mulvane was able to score two runs in the bottom of the sixth but those weren’t enough to keep the game for another inning.
"Our pitching had been a strength all year," Mulvane coach Daniel Myears said. "We pitched the ball well, but I have to give credit to both teams because every pitch we threw up they had an answer for. I thought our pitchers did what we asked them to do but those are two teams that hit the ball well and those are the breaks in baseball. This is not how we envisioned today going, but we did well."
The Thunder’s first two batters got out in the game but St. James followed those two outs with scoring four runs on four hits and one Panther error as St. James batted around in the opening inning as Alex King, David Maddock and Andrew Muehberger all had RBI hits in the opening inning.,
Concordia sent five batters to the plate in the bottom of the first and had three singles but had their only scoring chance gunned down at the plate.
The Thunder sent 10 more batters to the plate in the second inning, this time taking advantage of three hits and two Concordia errors to plate five runs and build its lead to 9-0.
St. James finished its roll off with an eight run, five hit inning that had another Concordia error in the third inning to make it a 17-0 contest, which with the 15-run after three innings rule ended the game.
"We will have some kids coming back," Hutchinson said. "Our community loves baseball and we will be OK."