Missouri State Championship Preview

Shon Plack
Missouri Scouting Director

The Missouri Championship Bracket kicks off today with games in Class 3, Class 2, and Class 1.  Class 4 and Class 5 will begin bracket play tomorrow. District winners need two more wins to reach the Final Four and four more wins to become state champions. The semifinals and state championship will be held at T.R. Hughes Stadium in O'Fallon next week.

On Friday, PBR-Missouri looked in on the #8 Forsyth Panthers (19-6) at practice.  They lookForsyth Panthers preparing for Missouri Class 3 State Championshiped loose and determined to make a statement this postseason, after a tough 1-0 loss to Fair Grove in the first round a season ago.  Forsyth is led by Jay Kaufman and MHSBCA's Newcomer of the Year, Layn Hurst.  Tonight they take on Ash Grove, and if they win, they get the winner of a key match up between.  #1 Springfield Catholic (24-2) and #2 Cuba (21-5). #4 Palmyra (20-4) would not see a ranked opponent until they get to O'Fallon if they can hold their seed. 

The 2013 state champion in the Class 2, #4 Harville (16-4), is still alive and could take on 2013 state runner up West Platte(15-6) in the state semifinals, if both survive. #1 Valle Catholic (27-3) has been ranked high all season and could possibly have to beat three teams with 20 or more wins just to get to the state championship.  #5 East Carter (20-2-1), #10 Bernie (20-3), and #9 Linn (20-4) all have theirs eyes set on O'Fallon as well.

In Class 1, defending state champion #3 Oran (16-10) won their district on an eighth inning thriller over Advance, 1-0.  They will take on Cooter (16-12) later today.  Oran's Seth Ressell enters the tournament with 53.2 innings pitched, a 1.97 ERA and 50 strikeouts.  At the plate he is hitting .377 with nine doubles, a home run, and 17 RBI.

#1 ranked Cairo (15-2) squares off against Green City today at 6 pm.  Cairo could meet up with #8 Santa Fe (13-8) in the second round.  Santa Fe is led by Keaton Graf, who has 65 strikeouts in 30.1 innings this season.  Also look for Payton Wright and Ben Hinz to contribute on the mound for Santa Fe.  They have combined for 68.1 innings for the Chiefs this season.  Offensively, the chiefs are batting .360 as a team and are averaging 7.1 runs a game. 

 If the top seeds win today, ranked teams would meet up on Wednesday.  #2 New Franklin (18-4) would face #9 Sturgeon (12-8) and #5 Dadeville would get #6 Lakeland (19-5).  Oran would get the winner of #8 Bakersfield (19-8) and Leopold (8-11).


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