Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Howell Faces West for District

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Howell Faces West for District

Article excerpt

In recent years, the baseball teams from Francis Howell and Francis Howell North high schools have produced some interesting ballgames.

If one team would win in the regular-season, the other would come out on top in district play. Not this year.

Top-seeded Francis Howell held off the Knights 7-4 Tuesday in the Class 4A District 9 semifinals at C-H Park. Howell also won last week in regular-season play, coming away with a 10-0 victory.

"After last week, we knew Howell North would be coming at us stronger than ever," Howell assistant coach Tony Perkins said. Howell North coach Bob Dunahue "didn't give us a chance to see Jaime Shelton pitch and that was a good move on his part. Shelton threw one helluva game today."

But Howell (14-5) came away victorious, advancing to play St. Charles West (15-8) in the title game 4:15 p.m. today at C-H Park.

Howell, the defending district champion, went on to finish third in Class 4A a year ago. West, which is making its first title-game appearance in nine years, knocked off Fort Zumwalt South 9-2 in Tuesday's other semifinal game.

Howell beat West 10-2 in a Gateway Athletic Conference game played April 13.

Both Howell and Howell North played a little tight Tuesday. Howell struck first, getting a lead-off triple from Sean Lewis and a run-scoring groundout from Charlie Bogard in the first.

Howell North answered with an unearned run in the bottom of the inning.

The game's turning point came in the Howell third. With two on and two out, the Vikings' Matt Stack hit a fly ball to left.

Looking into the sun, Howell North outfielder Scott Simpkins got a late break on the ball and couldn't make the play. Two runs scored and Stack ended up on third.

"It was a routine play, but Sean Lewis and Zac Schiller were hustling all the way," Perkins said. "And so was Stack. …

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