Jays throttle Tigers, will face Ft. Zumwalt West for state title
O'FALLON, Mo. —
A great week just keeps getting better for Grant Wood.
The Jefferson City senior --- who was named the Gatorade Missouri Player of the Year on Tuesday ---pitched a seven-hitter, Gaven Strobel belted a grand slam and Tyler Bise collected three hits and two RBI as the Jefferson City Jays ripped the Lee's Summit Tigers 9-2 in the Class 5 semifinals Friday night at CarShield Field.
The Jays will meet unranked Ft. Zumwalt West (24-14) --- which advanced with a 4-3 win over third-ranked Vianney (31-7) --- at 1:30 p.m. Saturday for the state championship.
Top-ranked Jefferson City (30-2) --- winners of 20 straight and ranked No. 13 in the country by MaxPreps --- broke open a scoreless pitchers' duel with five runs in the top of the fifth.
Bise --- the No. 9 hitter who entered the game batting .243--- led off the inning with his second hit of the game, this one a single after he'd doubled in the third.
Jacob Weirich tried to sacrifice bunt, but the bunt was so good --- and coupled with Weirich's speed --- it turned into an infield single. Payton Bodenstab also bunted, and this one was muffed by the pitcher to load the bases with nobody out.
After Wood walked to force home a run and make it 1-0, Strobel belted a 2-2 pitch --- he had been in an 0-2 hole --- over the fence in right center for a grand slam to bust it open at 5-0. It was his fourth home run of the season and gave Strobel the team-high in RBI with 36, one ahead of Wood.