TOPEKA — Just a little spark. That's all Bishop Carroll needed. Forget being down 2-0 to Bishop Miege, a team that entered the Class 5A baseball tournament eight games below .500. Forget your whole season and your ultimate goal — a state title — being on the line. Just go out and try to make a play.
"Somebody's got to step up," Carroll right fielder Brandon Weber said. "I figure that if you go out there and do your best, then good things will happen."
Weber stepped up and made good things happen for the Eagles on Friday, sparking a rally after Miege jumped out front in the first inning, going 2 for 3 with a triple, two RBIs and a run in Carroll's 5-3 quarterfinal victory.
The Eagles will play Lansing at 12:30 p.m. today in the semifinals.
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"We didn't panic when we got down, but there was definitely a sense of urgency," Carroll coach Charlie Ebright said. "We've had some experience having to play from behind this year, so we know we're capable of winning games like this."
Weber's second-inning triple scored Nolan Barrientos to cut Miege's lead to 2-1. Timmy Chadd's single scored Weber to tie the score at 2-2.
Zach Nielsen's single scored Tanner Carpenter to give Carroll a 3-2 lead. Weber added an RBI single later in the inning. Nielsen picked up the win for the Eagles, pitching six innings. Seth Holman pitched the seventh for the save.
"If you let yourself get frustrated when you get down early, that's when things fall apart," Nielsen said. "You take a deep breath, smile and remind yourself to have fun. And Brandon's triple didn't hurt, either."
Bishop Miege (7-16) 200 001 0 — 3 5 3 Bishop Carroll (21-2) 023 000 x — 5 7 2
Salina Central 9, Andover Central 3 — Andover Central looked lost from the start and never found its way in a quarterfinal loss.
With no score in the third inning, the Jaguars gave up five runs — four runs on two errors — to put itself in a big hole.
"I don't think that necessarily put us on our heels, but you could tell we were definitely tight after that," Andover Central coach Grant Bacon said. "You start expecting bad things to happen and that's never going to turn out good for you."
Andover Central rallied to trail 5-3 in the fifth after Evan Payne scored on a wild pitch and Jason Axtell followed that with a two-run single that scored Robert Warchuck and John Gentry.
Salina Central answered back right away in the sixth, tacking on three more runs, including scores on a throwing error and a wild pitch. Andover Central committed five errors.
Andrew Hewett took the season-ending loss. Daniel Backes was the winning pitcher for Salina Central, pitching a complete game while giving up nine hits, no walks and striking out three.
"You commit that many errors at this stage in the season, you're going to have a hard time getting a win," Bacon said. "Even when we had opportunities to make plays, we didn't make them."
Salina Central (14-9) 005 003 1 — 9 10 1 Andover Central (19-4) 000 030 0 — 3 9 5
Topeka Seaman 6, Great Bend 5
Great Bend (10-13) 030 011 0 — 5 6 2 Topeka Seaman (21-2) 100 003 2 — 6 10 3
Lansing 5, Mill Valley 3
Shawnee Mill Valley (14-6) 000 012 0 — 3 5 0 Lansing (18-3) 010 004 x — 5 8 1