Cardinals survive late push to win district title


SAN MARCOS — After a total of 18 runs, 22 hits and five errors committed by both teams, Shiner St. Paul claimed the TAPPS District 4 – Div. V championship, knocking off Bracken Christian last Friday 10-8 in a tiebreaking game to determine first place.

“It was a big win for our school, for our team, [to] keep the confidence rolling that we’ve been getting through district and carry into the playoffs” St. Paul head baseball coach Charlie Meischen said after the game. “It’s something that we need and it looks like we’re headed in the right direction, we’re getting big plays from the middle and bottom of the lineup, we’re getting what we need from the top of the lineup. When you can have the whole team playing, you’re going to have pretty good success.”

Zak Johnson started the game, pitching four innings, striking out five batters while giving up eight hits, three walks and five earned runs.

“I think we played pretty hard, that was a pretty good baseball game,” Johnson said. “It’s going to happen sometimes where we got to battle through it. It’s a big win like coach said for district, got to be district champs. I hope that it pays off in the future, in the playoffs.”

A big moment came in the third inning where the Cardinals plated five baserunners with two outs on the board. Of the six batters who went up to the plate with two outs, three of them had two strikes on them before making it to base. The team took advantage of multiple dropped flyballs by Bracken Christian.

“Honestly, there were some balls that should have been caught, but it’s just you got to credit us for hustling the bases,” Meischen said. “Fly balls you can just easily jog them out, but when they’re in the air, we teach our guys to hustle. If you can take extra bases until they drop an easy fly ball, you got to do it and that’s attribute to our guys just hustling and wanting it.”

Down 7-6, the Cardinals scored two runs in the sixth and added two more in the seventh to take the 10-7 lead.

Dalton Jahn came in the fifth inning to pitch, finishing out the game with four strikeouts, two hits, three walks and one earned run.

Jahn struggled in the seventh inning, walking the first two batters and hitting the third. However the Cardinals defense was able to catch two baserunner stealing before throwing out a third baserunner at home to win the game 10-8.

Jahn ended the game with the win, despite throwing 17 balls to four strikes in that final inning.

“I’ll be honest with you, Dalton is someone we’ve been working with,” Meischen explained. “I just have a lot of confidence in the kid where when it comes down to it, he’s going to buckle down and get it done. Did he struggle? Yeah. Was there a backup plan in mind? Absolutely. But I got to let it ride with one of my best pitchers and he’s a top for me, you got to let him do what he can do.”

At the plate, Jahn finished the game going 3-for-4 with two RBIs. Sean Humes, Zak Johnson and Sam Benese each had two hits.

The Cardinals defeated Rice Consolidated Tuesday 11-4 in a playoff warmup game. The team is scheduled to host a playoff game next Tuesday, May 7, against Conroe Covenant Christian. First pitch is set at 6 p.m.

SPH      105 002 2 – 10 12 4

BRCK   203 110 1 – 8 10 1