SPRINGFIELD | Despite an early three-run deficit in the third-place game of the Missouri Class 4 tournament on Saturday, Rockhurst’s boys baseball team was determined to end its season on a high note.
And thanks to a strong pitching performance from starter Henry Weiler, some stellar defense and some well-timed hits, that’s exactly what the Hawklets did as they rallied back for a 4-3 victory over Oakville at Meador Park.
Weiler found himself in some trouble from the get go, when Oakville loaded the bases with only one out in the first inning. But he escaped, thanks to a strikeout and the first of several nice defensive plays by shortstop Nate Goodwin, who made a diving stop on a floater up the middle.
Oakville finally got to Weiler for three runs in third inning, but Rockhurst tied it up at 3 almost immediately, thanks to a RBI double by Devin O’Rourke and RBI singles by Tommy Mancuso and Andrew Watts. Matthew Stacks ultimately gave the Hawklets a 4-3 lead they wouldn’t relinquish with a solo shot off Oakville starter Chad Gendron to right in the bottom of the fourth.
From there, the Hawklets had a couple of chances to add to the lead. But Goodwin was stranded after a two-out triple in the fifth, and Patrick Burns and Jeffrey Termini were stranded at second and third with two outs in the sixth, as well.
Good thing Weiler was cruising for the Hawklets. After allowing three runs in the third, he didn’t allow another hit in a complete-game victory that gave Rockhurst, 23-4-1, its first third-place finish since 2004.
“These seniors really wanted to win (state),” Weiler said. “But ending the season with a win is great.”