Jordan Maxson stepped up to the plate in the bottom of the eighth inning with two runners on base. Maxson crushed a double off of the center-field fence to score Bradyn Wiens from second base and give Maize South the 2-1 win over Bishop Carroll in the Class 5A baseball regional championship game.
“I knew they were going to throw me a fastball,” Maxson said. “I wasn’t looking for anything else, with an 0-2 count I had to shorten up and I saw the pitch I wanted and drove it.”
Just before Maxson stepped into the box, Maize South coach Chad Christensen asked Maxson if he wanted to bunt the runners over to second and third.
“He’s the type of kid who makes you look good as a head coach,” Christensen said. “I asked him if he wanted to bunt and he said, ‘No coach, I got ‘em.’ ”
Maize South (20-2) struck first, scoring a run in the bottom of the first inning, and from then on it was a pitchers duel between Carroll’s P.J. Henning and Maize South’s Bryce Sell. Henning went 6 innings, giving up two hits. Sell finished with seven innings, striking out eight and allowing one run on five hits.
“Both guys threw the ball really well and were keeping each other off balance,” Carroll coach Charlie Ebright said.
Carroll, trailing 1-0 in the seventh, received a do-or-die RBI single from Brayden Whitchurch. Whitchurch was stranded at second base to end the inning and give Maize South a chance to take the win.
McCae Allen came in in relief for the Golden Eagles after a one-out walk was issued. Allen picked off the runner at first, followed by a strikeout and then a ground out to send the game into extra innings.
Maize South’s Matt Chapman came in in the eighth inning and set the Carroll batters down in order.
Wiens and Jack Wagner both reached base in the bottom half of the inning to set up for Maxson’s hit.
The Mavericks advanced to the class 5A state tournament for the second straight season and will receive the No. 1 seed with the best record.
|Eisenhower||000||000||0||—||0 4 1|
|Carroll||001||000||0||—||1 3 1|
W — Ensz. L — Minor.
|Goddard||000||000||0||—||0 3 1|
|Maize South||001||030||x||—||4 8 1|
W — Hampton. L — Cohens.
|Carroll||000||000||10||—||1 5 1|
|Maize South||100||000||01||—||2 4 0|
W — Chapman. L — Allen.