Modern-Day Dynasty Born at Francis Howell After Vikings Handle Jeff City

by Nathan Gerdts | Posted on Saturday, June 4th, 2016


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The Francis Howell Vikings are used to celebrating a championship after winning their fourth baseball state title

The Francis Howell Vikings are used to celebrating a championship after winning their fourth baseball state title

The Oakland Raiders have a large sign hanging on the wall of the tunnel to their home field that reads “TRADITION OF EXCELLENCE.”

It doesn’t really apply to the Silver and Black anymore, but it might be suited best painted in purple and gold and hanging in a hallway in St. Charles, MO.

The Francis Howell Vikings continued a tradition of excellence on the baseball diamond by defeating the Jefferson City Jays 8-2 in the MSHSAA Class 5 Championships final on the afternoon of June 3 at CarShield Field in O’Fallon.

Both starting pitchers, Justin Perkins for the Vikings and JT Bohlken for the Jays, cruised through the first two innings.

Bohlken seemed to have another scoreless frame completed after retiring the first two men he faced in the third, but FHHS had an epic two-out rally coming.

Justin Perking got hit by a pitch to start the charge. Kyle Grantham bunted for an infield single, and Ryan Perkins walked to load the bases.

Luke Kahle made JCHS pay for the carelessness with his only hit of the game, a single into right center that plated two. McGwire Dean slapped a base hit to center that drove in Ryan Perkins, and Luke Wildschuetz went the other way for a double down the line that scored Kahle and made the lead 4-0.

The game would stay scoreless until the sixth, with Bohlken regaining his form and Justin Perkins continuing to keep Jeff City at bay

In the top of the sixth, Dean smashed a triple to right center to lead things off. Chase Beiter doubled him home with one out and scored on a subsequent double from Joey Land.

Luke Kahle (in catcher's gear) tackles Braydon Cook after recording the final out in the MSHSAA Class 5 championship game

Luke Kahle (in catcher’s gear) tackles Braydon Cook after recording the final out in the MSHSAA Class 5 championship game

Trevor Rhodes had a bloop base hit fall to bring Land home. After Justin Perkins walked and Grantham bunted his way aboard, Ryan Perkins hit a deep fly ball to center for a sac fly to drive in Rhodes. Blaine Meyer, who had come in to relieve Bohlken, got the last two outs of the inning.

The Jays would get on the board in the bottom of the sixth. Tyler Bise singled with one out and moved to second on a walk by Cole Ahrens. Meyer reached on an infield single to load the bases. Jacob Weirich got a hold of a pitch but could only turn it into a sacrifice into deep center that plated Bise.

Logan Schmitz came up with a two-out pinch-hit single to score Ahrens, but Grant Wood grounded out to short to end the threat, and Bryce Beckley’s pinch-hit double would be the only runner to reach in the last inning before Brayden Cook retired the side to seal Francis Howell’s victory.

Perkins took the victory on the mound for the Vikings, giving up seven hits and four walks while striking out seven. Cook had one K and two hits allowed in the last inning and two-thirds.

Bohlken, despite long stretches of dominance, allowed seven runs on seven hits and two walks in 5 2/3 innings along with five punchouts. Meyer gave up two hits and a run in two-thirds of relief, and Hayden Hirschvogel pitched a scoreless seventh for Jefferson City.

Bise, Meyer and Gaven Strobel had two hits each to lead the Jays at the plate. Wood walked twice for Jefferson City, which ends the year with a record of 28-7 and finishes second in the state for the second time in school history.

Justin Perkins fires a pitch. Perkins allowed just two runs in 5 2/3 innings for Francis Howell

Justin Perkins fires a pitch. Perkins allowed just two runs in 5 2/3 innings for Francis Howell

McGwire and Grantham were the only players with multiple hits, but seven different Vikings collected a knock in the win. Ryan Perkins scored once and had two RBI. Francis Howell left only six runners on base in winning its first state title since 2013.

The Vikings’ four state titles are the third-most amongst any MSHSAA team behind Notre Dame (Cape Girardeau)’s five and New Bloomfield’s seven. All four championships have come since 2003.

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