The St. John Neumann baseball team has won the first district championship in school history after defeating Cowanesque Valley 4-3 in 8 innings Monday at Logue field. The Knights won their first ever District 4 Class A championship overcoming a 3-1 deficit heading into the bottom of the 8th inning.
The game was scoreless until the sixth inning as Neumann Senior Keon Burkholder and Cowanesque Valley pitcher McGwire Painter went blow for blow dominating from the mound and keeping both lineups at bay. Painter and Burkholder both finished the game with ten strikeouts respectively. After a Painter RBI single in the sixth inning to score the first run of the game Ryan Thompson led the bottom of the sixth inning off with his second hit of the day and would score three batters later on a Cowanesque Valley error to tie the game.
Jerval Weeks-Shuler would come on in the top of the 7th to relieve Burkholder after a statline of 6 IP, 10 strikeouts, and two hits. In the bottom of the seventh inning Neumann’s Jerval Weeks-Shuler led the inning off with a single but was thrown out trying to gain scoring position on the first pitch, something Shuler would hold on to for later redemption.
In the top of the 8th inning Cowanesque Valley looked poised to take home the D4 Single A Championship as back to back doubles, and a wild pitch gave CV a 3-1 lead. Cowanesque Valley’s inning was only ended on an appeal to third base after the baserunner left early on what would have been the fourth run.
The resilient Knights would battle back in the bottom of the 8th to put themselves in a position to secure the district title. With one out, trailing 3-1, Ryan Thompson, with two hits on the day was intentionally walked bringing the tying run to the plate for the Knights. A Caleb Neidig infield single and Kane Wright fielder’s choice left Neumann down to their final out. Naseer Dymeck was able to draw a walk after a 6 pitch at bat before Naz Smith who was 0-4 on the day with three strikeouts delivered in the biggest at bat of his day unleashing a game tying two out, two run single.
With the momentum back on their side, Weeks-Shuler stepped up to the plate and delivered with a walk off RBI single to hand Neumann their first ever district title game.
Stay tuned to read in depth about the resiliency of this Neumann Knights team led by Head Coach Corey Burkholder tomorrow.