Riding a 22-game winning streak and bringing the No. 1 pitcher in to face a bases-loaded, one-out situation felt right to Bishop Carroll baseball coach Charlie Ebright.
Topeka Seaman’s Ryan Colombo had other ideas and smacked an RBI single up the middle to open a seven-run seventh inning.
With the 10-3 victory, Seaman won its first state championship since 2010 and also the seventh in the last 13 seasons.
“A great win for us and a great win for our program,” Seaman coach Steve Bushnell said. “I couldn’t be more happy for our 13 seniors that we’ll send out as state champs.”
A Zeke Palmer two-run homer in the fifth inning tied the game 3-3 and gave Carroll a much-needed boost.
Bushnell turned to Colombo, the reigning Class 5A pitcher of the year who pitched Thursday.
The Vikings’ senior made quick business of Carroll in the sixth and started the rally in the seventh with his bat.
“We knew we had Ryan for five (innings) coming in to today,” Bushnell said. “We were hoping to get it to him in the sixth with a two-run lead at 3-1. When it got to 3-3, we had to stop the momentum they had and we went to him. It paid off with the big number in the seventh.”
Matthew Henning walked Tyler Bushnell to load the bases with one out, then Ebright turned to Braden Larkey, his ace.
Thinking back, the walks issued by the Golden Eagles senior stand out but Ebright credits Larkey for assisting Carroll on the season run.
“Larkey’s our ace,” Ebright said. “He said he felt good all day and he threw yesterday. If I had known he wouldn’t have thrown strikes, I wouldn’t have put him in there. Braden’s one of the big reasons we’re here and he’s a senior. You’re going to go out with your best guy on the mound, but that’s baseball.”
T. Seaman 10, Carroll 3
|T. Seaman||300||000||7||—||10 6 0|
|Carroll||001||020||0||—||3 9 2|
W — Colombo. L — Henning.
Carroll 5, Mill Valley 4
|Mill Valley||020||000||2||—||4 9 3|
|Carroll||220||001||x||—||5 6 2|
W — Miller. L — Hatch.