STATE CHAMPIONS: Senior pitches complete game, gives Westside its second straight spring title

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Senior Jake Meyers has been the picture of consistency for the Warriors all season. On the mound, he was the Class A leader in strikeouts. At the plate, he was Westside’s leadoff hitter, and more often than not helped start a Westside first inning scoring frenzy. During the Class A State Championship Game Thursday, May 22, Meyers, who will be playing college baseball at the University of Nebraska Lincoln next year, did just that, while taking the start for the Warriors, picking up a 7-3 win over Creighton Prep.

“[Jake’s play has] been pretty consistently good for a long time,” said head varsity coach Bob Greco. “I can’t even remember back to last year when Jake lost. I don’t think he lost all summer.”

 

In the bottom of the first inning, after pitching a one-two-three inning, Meyers, who fanned 12 batters in the game, started out a four-run inning for the Warriors with a single to right-center field. He would later score, one of two runs he scored in the game, when senior Drew Fitzmorris hit an RBI single. Next, junior Alex Nielsen hit a two-RBI single to shallow left field, bringing home Fitzmorris and senior Devin Stueck. Then, to put the Warriors up 4-0, senior Luke Biggs,  who was pinch running for Nielsen, scored on a Creighton Prep error. To end the inning, Creighton Prep tagged out junior Mike Waldron at home plate.

jake’s play has been pretty consistently good for a long time. ”

— Bob Greco

In the top of the second, Meyers struck out three Creighton Prep batters for another one-two-three inning, keeping the Warriors ahead 4-0. Creighton Prep was able to put its first runner on base in the top of the third, but junior Will Patterson made a catch in right field to end the half inning, with Westside still leading 4-0.

Meyers would once again pitch a one-two-three inning in the top of the fourth before Westside scored its final three runs of the night. Meyers brought home junior Matt Waldron with an RBI double to right field, then made it home on an RBI double to right field by Stueck. To give the Warriors a 7-0 lead, Stueck would cap off the Westside scoring when Fitzmorris hit an RBI single to bring him home.

In the top of the fifth, Creighton Prep threatened to score, as it loaded the bases with two outs. But Meyers found the pitches to get out of the jam, striking out a Junior Jay batter. Meyers would end the top of the sixth, too, by striking out a Creighton Prep batter. Then, leading off the bottom of the sixth for Westside, Meyers would help the Warriors, still leading 7-0, to load the bases. But Creighton Prep got junior Will Patterson to fly out to right field to end the inning.

 

In the top of the seventh, with the game and state championship on the line, Creighton Prep needed to score seven or more runs, or watch its rival take home the state title. Prep was able to score three runs, on a two-RBI triple and a sacrifice fly to right field, before Meyers got a Creighton prep batter to ground out to third. With the throw from senior Brock Nemecek, the third baseman who fielded the play, to sophomore Mitch Hagan, Westside’s first baseman, Westside claimed its second straight spring state championship, and Westside’s first state championship of the 2013-2014 school year.

“You know, it’s one thing to have talent, but it’s another thing to come out and perform and play hard and do it in the correct way,” Greco said. “You know, that’s probably what I’m most proud of.”

This is the seventh state championship in baseball for Westside, which finishes the season with a 35-3 record. Meyers finishes the season with a 9-0 record.

The team, which could have the majority of its seniors stay on the team for the summer season, will look to continue its winning ways this summer and try to win its region.

“We set a goal that we want to get to that world series,” Greco said. “That was our goal. We went one time, that was all since I’ve been coaching. And it’s a neat experience, so that’s been our goal the whole year, since we started.”