Rockwood Summit Pulls Off The Upset to Advance to Their First Championship Game
Fri June 1, 2012
Reported by Jack Witthaus
First it was Vianney in the District finals. Then, Parkway South. But tonight, the Rockwood Summit Falcons pulled the biggest upset of them all, thrashing the No. 1 team in Missouri, the Liberty Blue Jays, 10-3 in a rain-soaked ballgame.
"They're resilient," head coach Ken Droege said. "They refuse to give in. They refuse to be doubted. They are going out there and playing relaxed and confident. Most importantly, they're having a lot of fun playing together. It's taken us to a very elite level right now."
A pickoff in the first inning seemed to spark the fire for the team and for Falcons starter and winning pitcher Brian Quasebarth. Quasebarth went four innings, striking out one, and gave up three runs.
Rockwood Summit put the momentum in their sticks. The Falcons chalked the first of ten tallies on the board in the second inning. A couple of bunts and a base hit loaded the bases for the Falcons with no outs. First baseman Ryan Fritz sharply grounded into a double play, which drove home a left fielder Eric Beisel.
"I knew we were going to win from the start," said Beisel, who reached base at every at bat. "I had no doubt. No fear. ... We are relentless right now (offensively). We can't be stopped."
Summit climbed to a higher lead in the third, staking in two runs and widening the score, 3-0. Designated hitter Matt Kaysinger assisted the Falcons with a sacrifice fly to deep right field, scoring center fielder Clayton Evans. Evans swung the hot stick for the Falcons, going four for five with a triple, three singles, two runs, and an RBI.
After Jays starting pitcher Spencer Schwandt gave up a pair of walks, shortstop Jacob Manier beat out an infield hit to score another run.
The steady stream of runs continued for the Falcons in the fourth. Evans tripled to deep right field with one out and slid safely into home on second baseman Kyle Younger's suicide squeeze. Then, Quasebarth singled home Younger to make it 5-0 Falcons.
Schwandt went three and a third innings for the Jays, burdening five earned runs.
The runs didn't end there. After a Beisel base knock, right fielder Nick Bamvakis walked home Kaysinger. Then, Schwandt's relief pitcher Max Miller skipped a ball, which allowed yet another run, making the score 7-0 Falcons.
Miller was yanked after a mere three hitters. Relief pitcher Robby Henrichs continued the walk-fest, giving first baseman Ryan Fritz a free pass for an 8-0 Summit lead. On the day, Liberty issued nine walks.
Liberty finally stirred to life in the fifth when No. 8 hitter Jacob Francis smacked a 2-run moonshot over the left field wall near the crimson scoreboard. Quasebarth got the hook after giving up two more singles. His relief man Joey Schenk walked a man to load the bases and then second baseman Taylor Harmon grounded to second to score a run.
The Liberty rally ended with a 3-6-3 double play. The score stood at 8-3, as the rain began to really fall at Meador Park.
After a rained died down, the Falcons came back, tacking on two runs in the bottom of the sixth.
Reliever Rudy May closed out the game for Summit in a bases-loaded jam, and a dog pile ensued on the soggy grass near the first base line.
"You're in what people talk about," Evans said about entering the State championship game tomorrow. "The whole community is down here watching us. We're doing it for them. We're doing for ourselves. We're doing it together. And we're going to give our best."
Summit will play the winner of the Parkway North-Willard 7:25 p.m. game tonight.