Baseball advances to championship behind dominant Twehous

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Brett Stover

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Bruin players wait in the dugout before today’s state semifinal win over Blue Springs South. Photo by Brett Stover.
For the second time this school year, Logan Twehous found himself leading his team in the state semifinal in hopes of advancing to the championship.
This time, however, he found the path much easier.
Unlike the six interceptions he threw against Hazelwood Central on the gridiron, Twehous pitched a gem against Blue Springs South (23-12) on the diamond, helping the Bruins (23-12) to a 2-0 victory. He pitched seven scoreless innings for the second time this postseason, giving up three hits and two walks while striking out seven. Despite his dominance, Twehous didn’t feel like he was pitching his best.
“I didn’t have my best stuff by any means,” Twehous said. “I wasn’t able to locate the fastball like I wanted to, or the curveball. My changeup was pretty good today. It’s just a bunch of battling. My defense made some plays, like the big double play [in the third inning]. It was just getting better as the game went on.”
After stranding several baserunners in the early innings, the Bruins were able to support Twehous in the top of the fourth. After a Jaguar shortstop Colton Pogue’s throw sailed high of first allowing Matt Widhalm to reach, Hayden Johnson bunted him to second. An infield single by Cole Evans moved Widhalm to second, and Michael Buxton laid down the suicide squeeze to bring him home.
“We’re pretty known for bunting and squeezing, playing the short game and putting pressure on defense,” Towe said. “We’ve been doing that for years, [but] we got away from it a little bit this year. We knew going into this game – we had a pretty good idea that it was going to be a low-scoring game. So having said that, it might come down to moving a runner and hitting a ground ball to get him in, which is what we did. Just playing small baseball, that’s what we’re trying to do. Put some pressure on them defensively, they had a couple cracks there, and then we capitalized on them.”
The Bruins added another in the top of the fifth. Connor Brumfield, who went 3-4, got things started by hammering a leadoff double off the tall scoreboard in right field. Avery Jenning’s second sacrifice bunt of the day moved him to second, and he sped home on Kyle Teter’s (2-4) RBI infield single. That run wasn’t needed, as Twehous wouldn’t allow another runner to reach second for the rest of the game.
“Logan was phenomenal,” Towe said. “He’s tired. He’s had a long week, a long couple of weeks, and he just battled it out. I can’t say enough about the willpower he’s got, just going out there and winning a baseball game.”
Despite delivering his brilliant outing on only 82 pitches (54 strikes), Towe said that Twehous would be unavailable to pitch in tomorrow’s championship game. He stressed, though, that his bat was important to keep in the lineup.
“He’s done. I wouldn’t do that,” Towe said. “We’re just gonna have to … get some work in just so he can play shortstop tomorrow, because we’re going to need him in the field. But, having said that, we’re in a great spot.”
As the first Rock Bridge baseball team ever to make the state final, everyone knows they are playing for history.
“Our goal is always just a district championship, and then our dream is a state championship,” Towe said. “Very few teams at any level, any state, anywhere get to actually have a chance to fulfill their dream, and that’s what I keep telling the guys. We have 21 more outs, and then you’ll have something no one can ever take away from you.”
The Bruins will face a tough test in defending champion Francis Howell, however. The Vikings (29-10) defeated Vianney (29-8) 3-1 today. They will send Braydon Cook (4-2, 2.00 ERA) to the mound tomorrow to face Rock Bridge, according to STLToday. Towe said that he feels good about his team’s pitching situation, and that he has a variety of option, including sending a different pitcher out each inning. The two teams will meet at 1:00 at TR Hughes Ballpark in O’Fallon, and the spirit bus will leave at 10:00 a.m. Tickets are $7.
Twehous was at a loss for words to describe his feelings about the team’s accomplishments.
“I don’t even know what to say,” Twehous said. “Football was in the state championship. Baseball – now I’m in the state championship, and I’m just trying not to get second again.”
By Brett Stover