Dierks brought the Outlaws, but St. Joseph brought the guns Friday afternoon.
The Bulldogs sprayed baseballs all over Fayetteville’s Baum Stadium on the way to a 13-3 mercy-rule victory over Dierks (25-4) to claim the Class 2A state baseball championship.
It was the first state baseball title in school history for St. Joseph (25-4), which revived its baseball program 17 years ago.
The Bulldogs broke things open with three runs in the fourth and four in the fifth and four more in the sixth, pounding hits at the corners and up the middle off three Dierks pitchers, two of whom had earned run averages under 1.3.
"It’s been a dream for a long time," said St. Joseph coach Luke Davis. "I thought we had it (a state title) a couple of times when I was playing. It was 17 years in the making. I’m speechless."
Andrew Beck overcame three walks that allowed a run in the first and hurled a six-hitter, striking out six to gain the win. He helped himself at the plate with two doubles and three RBIs, including ending the game with a two-run double to deep center in the sixth. His efforts earned him Most Valuable Player honors.
The Bulldogs began their shelling of Outlaw pitching in the fourth, breaking a 2-2 tie with three runs on four hits.
Bates and Taylor Schrekenhofer had back-to-back singles and advanced on a nicely executed sacrifice bunt by Sam Massery. After a walk to Jacob Lampe, Dylan Shrekenhofer singled up the middle to drive in two runs. Britt Stroth, who was three for three with four RBIs, drove in another with a double.
St. Joseph broke the game open in the fifth with four runs on a double by Cole Schichtl, RBI singles by Drew Bates and Massery and a two-run single up the middle by Stroth.
The Bulldogs invoked the mercy rule in the sixth with four runs, ending the game with the bases-clearing double by Beck after Davis successfully appealed an out call at third after the umpire was out of position.
The game began to turn in the top of the fourth inning on a clutch pitching performance by Beck, Both teams loaded the bases with one out that inning. St. Joseph was the most productive.
With the bases loaded and one out, Beck got McClain Moore on a called third strike, then Alex Sharp lined to short.
In the St. Joseph fourth, the Bulldogs got key hits with the bases loaded.
Dierks scored a run in the first on three walks by Beck and a single by Andrew Sirmon.
The Bulldogs got the run back in the bottom of the third on a double by Stroth, who had four RBIs.
"Every game we have, we say our prayer, put on our caps and say ‘It’s a great day for baseball.’" said Davis. "It was beautiful today."