Westminster Advances to 3rd Consecutive Title Game

By Jack Witthaus
Prep Baseball Report Writer

The rain-delayed game took two days to play, but that didn’t bother Brennan Hehner. 

Hehner, who was told yesterday morning he’d complete the game in place of Westminster starter Ben Lovell, cruised through the final five frames of the resumed game for the 4-1 Class Four semifinal victory over Logan-Rogersville. 

“He was phenomenal today,” assistant coach Andy Benes said. “Great poise, changed speeds and located the ball exceptionally well.”

Hehner scatted four hits and walked one, striking out five and not allowing a single run. 

“My change up was really working for me,” Hehner said. 

Coach Rich Van Gilst said he didn’t want to start Lovell again because he didn’t feel Lovell would be comfortable in Saturday’s situation. 

“You go with what you know. (Lovell) in three years has never pitched two days in a row,” Van Gilst said. “We (went) with a fresh guy (Hehner) and he only had five innings to throw. I thought the odds were in favor for us.” 

Offensively, Westminster found its groove against Logan-Rogersville’s starter Justin King, who started the day prior. In the fourth, Westminster chalked two up on the board. Brett Bond doubled to center field. Then, Caleb Hicks singled Bond home. Hicks later scored on an Andrew Colgrove knock. 

Bond raked at the plate, going two for three with an RBI and a run. 

Up 3-1, Westminster finished scoring in the next inning, plating a run with the bases loaded and two outs. Bryce Bell started the inning off, reaching on an error and then stole second. Shane Benes walked and the hot-swinging Bond singled to put the ducks on the pond. 

Travis Ralls singled up the middle to score Bell, but Benes was tagged out at home on the 8-2 play. 

King pitched four innings and was charged with three earned runs in the loss. 

“My lineup hits the heck out of the ball,” Hehner said. “It’s really easier to pitch with the lead.” 

Westminster will vie for its third consecutive State title on Sunday at 12:30 p.m. as it takes on Oak Grove. 

“The only State championship that matters is the one tomorrow,” Van Gilst said. “That’s the one we’re focused on. What happens in the past is not going to affect what happens tomorrow.”