EMPORIA — As the Sedan Blue Devils stormed toward home plate to celebrate a dramatic 11-10 victory over Pittsburg Colgan in the Class 2-1A baseball championship Saturday, coach Rick Chrisman grabbed his cell phone.
"I can't believe what just happened," he yelled. "I still can't believe it!"
Those statements will likely be repeated as the story of Sedan's first state title since 1973 is retold. Not only did the Blue Devils complete a 26-0 season, they did so with two exciting, come-from-behind victories that required extra innings.
The Blue Devils first came from two runs down in the bottom of the ninth to defeat Flinthills 7-6. Then, in a championship game that started an hour early because of weather concerns, they kept the magic going by scoring four runs in the bottom of the eighth to beat Colgan, ending the Panthers' seven-year reign as 2-1A baseball champions.
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"We battled," Chrisman said. "There's no quit in that team right there. We were down and out in both. We should have been playing for third place. We didn't quit."
Not in any way.
Even after watching the potential game-winning run slip away in the seventh on a close call at first base, in which Austin Rees all but beat out a throw that would have scored Austin Filtinberger. Even after allowing three Colgan runs in the eighth. The Blue Devils stayed confident, no matter the odds.
"Three runs, that's kind of hard to overcome," Chrisman said. "But I knew it could happen."
After winning several close games throughout the year, and coming from behind in the final inning of five of them, the Blue Devils knew what could happen if they stayed in the moment.
"Our team, we were behind in a lot of games this year and we came back to win them all," said senior Brady McCoy, who was the winning pitcher in both games. "We never give up. We keep fighting and that showed tonight. We came back and won the state championship. I can't ask for a better team."
Six players were involved in Sedan's game-winning rally. Jacob Chrisman got it going with a single, Shon Pinard walked, Casey Holt loaded the bases with a single and McCoy tied the game with a double to the left-field fence.
Just like that, the game was tied, and momentum shifted.
"As soon as I hit that double, I knew the game was turning in our favor," McCoy said. "They let up after that."
But the Blue Devils weren't done. Sam Powell singled to move McCoy to third, and Kolby Gorby put down a well-placed bunt to score McCoy and win the game.
It was a fitting end to a season that went Sedan's way from start to finish.
"It was kind of in the stars this year," Chrisman said. "It was just one of those things. It was destiny happening."
Flinthills (18-6) got a shutout from Scott Lyon to defeat Salina Sacred Heart 11-0 in the third-place game. Lyon allowed one hit.
Pittsburg Colgan (22-4) 140 101 03 — 10 8 3 Sedan (26-0) 025 000 04 — 11 12 1
Salina Sacred Heart (21-5) 000 00 — 0 1 5 Flinthills (18-6) 041 6x — 11 4 0
Flinthills (17-6) 003 100 002 — 6 12 2 Sedan (25-0) 000 202 003 — 7 11 0
Salina Sacred Heart (21-4) 100 000 0 — 1 4 3 Pittsburg Colgan (22-3) 110 410 x — 7 6 0