Shelby Miller-ed

Fatima celebrates after winning the district championship.

WARDSVILLE --- Let's recap the offense for the Blair Oaks Falcons on Wednesday.

Logan Bax had a single to start the game.

That is all.

In other words, the Falcons were Shelby Miller-ed.

After allowing the lead-off single, Patrick Schnieders didn't allow a hit the rest of the way as the Fatima Comets beat Blair Oaks 3-0 in the championship game of the Class 3 District 13 Tournament at the Falcon Athletic Complex.

In the biggest game of the year, Schnieders came up huge.

"He was amazing," Fatima coach Scott Kilgore said. "It's as good as I've ever seen him ... he's capable of doing that. He was on top of his game.

"He wanted it and was not going to be denied."

In case you don't follow the St. Louis Cardinals --- or baseball at all, for that matter --- Shelby Miller allowed a lead-off single to the Colorado Rockies last Friday, before retiring the final 27 batters.

Oddly enough, the final was 3-0.

Schnieders did not pitch a perfect game, however, after giving up the opening hit.

He walked one.

"I hate walking people," he said with a grimace.

This guy is good. The senior righthander did not breathe easy, however, until getting the 21st out.

"You can never put Blair Oaks behind you, they always fight," Schnieders said. "I didn't even think about it until the last out.

"But I had faith in myself and I did it."

His gem took 100 pitches and no less than 19 of those --- 19! --- came in a first-inning at-bat against his future teammate in college, Kyler Maxey.

The two will join forces at Jefferson College (located just south of St. Louis in Hillsboro), a school known for its baseball prowess.

"That was a battle," Schnieders said. "He's a great hitter and I just kept going after him."

Finally, after no less than 13 foul balls by Maxey --- 13! --- Schnieders froze him on a 3-2 curve. That was one of 11 strikeouts for Schnieders, including the politically incorrect sixth inning --- KKK.

"He was lights out; he was really dealing tonight," Falcons coach Harv Antle said. "He moved the ball around in the zone with his fastball, and made us chase a little bit with his curve.

"He was just dynamite; he's a senior and a quality young man."
The Comets (19-5), who will host either Holden or Sherwood in the sectionals on Monday, didn't muster much offense, either, against Maxey and Ryan Abbott.

Two walks and a passed ball in the third inning led to a sacrifice fly by Reid Kesel to make it 1-0. In the fifth, an RBI double by Kesel --- who had two of Fatima's six hits --- and another RBI two-bagger made it 3-0.

Oh, forgot to mention ... the latter was supplied by, who else, Schnieders.

"He did it with his pitching, he did it with his bat," Kilgore said. "That's all you have to say."

The score was 3-0 going to the seventh. It felt like 33-0.

"(Schnieders) started well," Antle said, "and just got progressively better."

When the final out settled into the glove of center fielder Ryan Mebruer, the Comets were moving on. But for the Falcons, it was time to say good-bye to nine seniors.

"They're hurting right now," Antle said. "But of all the clubs I've had over the years --- and I've been doing this for about 20 years now --- they're one of my favorites.

"These young men are going to be extremely productive members of our society."