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South Callaway semifinals preview

South Callaway baseball (File)

The South Callaway Bulldogs are making their second straight trip to the Class 3 Final Four, starting with a semifinal date with Knob Noster at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at CarShield Field in O'Fallon.

Here are some facts and figures about the Bulldogs and the other teams in the Class 3 Final Four:

WEDNESDAY'S SEMIFINALS

SOUTH CALLAWAY (26-5, ranked second) vs. KNOB NOSTER (20-5, T-10th), 6:30 p.m.

The Bulldogs are back in the Final Four for the second straight season (they finished fourth last year) and the third time in six seasons, which are the only appearances in school history. South Callaway won the Class 2 state championship in 2012. ... South Callaway has rebounded nicely from a late-season "slump," when it lost three of four. But all three setbacks would all be considered "quality" losses --- to Fatima, Hickman and Fulton. The Bulldogs avenged the loss to Fatima with a 5-2 victory over the Comets in the district title game. ... Pitching wins championships --- the Bulldogs have allowed just nine runs in their last five games since the start of district play, and five of those came in the 6-5 win over Mountain Grove in the sectionals. ...

Despite only getting three hits, South Callaway rolled over Strafford 8-1 to advance to the semifinals. ... State rankings certainly haven't meant much in Class 3 this season. While the Bulldogs have been either No. 1 or 2 all season, Knob Noster (the Panthers) are the only other ranked team to make it to the Final Four --- and they're end a three-way tie for 10th. ... The path to the Final Four for the Panthers included wins over fourth-ranked Mid-Buchanan in the quarterfinals, 12-6, and defending state champion and No. 1 ranked Summit Christian in the sectionals, 3-2. ... The Panthers have won 12 of 13. ... This is Knob Noster's first trip to the Final Four.

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