For the second year in a row, Maplewood Richmond Heights beat Brentwood for the Class 3 District 4 baseball championship. Last year’s championship was the first for MRH since 1963, now Coach Jonathan Webb will have returning players who have done it twice.
Senior Zech Biship, who relieved in last year’s district final, pitched a complete game Saturday afternoon at Heine Meine Field in Lemay, dominating the Eagles with a no-hit, 10-strikeout performance, and a 4-1 win. See also: MRH baseball takes Districts over Brentwood: been a while
“He’s been everything we hoped he could be today,” Webb said. “It takes a lot for a kid to face your rival in a district title game like this—and throw a no-hitter? Incredible.
That’s as impressive a pitching performance we’ve had a Maplewood.”
Biship said he didn’t know he was going to have a district no hitter.
“Came out real jittery, thought I was going to have a couple mistakes here and there, but any mistake I did have it was picked up by my defense and offense.”
In the bottom of the fifth, left fielder Riley Sporleder ran down a deep pop fly by Brad Jones, then Gabe Jackson took one to right, and first baseman Mike Langston made the last out of the inning unassisted.
MRH scored on seven hits, with runs in the third, fourth and fifth innings.
Seven stolen bases helped the Blue Devils’ cause.
“We came in with a mindset of being aggressive,” Webb said. “When you’ve got a strength, and aggressive base running is one of those, we thought we had a chance to run on their catcher and it worked out the way we hoped.”
Biship made it interesting in the bottom of the seventh, walking the first two batters and hitting the third, loading the bases with no outs.
“I started dropping my elbow a little bit and not coming over the top. Once I learned that, and my catcher, Dan (Williams), told me about it, went straight back to it, got em out.
“We played as a whole, and I believe this is the first time we’ve actually done that all year, and it’s a great time,” Biship said.
Webb agreed on both counts: “I thought we played a pretty compete ballgame for the most part. It was a lot of fun.”
Brentwood Coach Mike Imergoot said some of his batters weren’t quick enough with the bat.
“You see a big shot like this pitching, you gotta be quick to the ball,” he said. “We had a couple with long swings, and that millisecond is the difference between making contact and striking out.”
Skylar Sappington started for the Eagles and Brentwood’s only senior, Brad Jones, relieved in the fifth. Imergoot said Brentwood was young this year. “We’re going to be dynamite next year.”
MRH senior Zach Siebert said the team was working toward to this game all year; he said Brentwood took MRH off their schedule so this was their first meeting.
“It’s my last time to compete against Brentwood in my high school career, and I’ve had a lot of good games against them,” Siebert said. “I’m glad this is the memory I get to go out with.”
Brentwood finished the season at 14-5. MRH stands at 13-10 and will play the West County Bulldogs (16-7) Monday at 4 p.m. at West County, in Park Hills, MO, in sectional play.