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Seven-run fifth inning helps top-ranked Millard West win Frank Ryan Invitational

By OWH, 04/07/19, 8:45AM CDT


Millard West remained the only undefeated team in Class A on Saturday while handing Lincoln Southwest its first loss.

The top-ranked Wildcats moved to 12-0 by defeating the second-ranked Silver Hawks 8-7 in the final of the Frank Ryan Invitational. Millard West used a seven-run fifth inning to rally past Southwest (7-1).

“We’ve been squaring up the baseball pretty well,’’ Millard West coach Steve Frey said. “And it always helps to have that south wind behind us.’’

The Silver Hawks led 5-1 in the fifth, largely on the strength of a three-run homer by Treyton Randall. He got a ball up into that strong wind, and it sailed over the left-field fence.

But Millard West answered in the bottom of the fifth, sending 11 to the plate. Kyan Lodice and Jackson Meier had two-run singles, and Max Anderson belted a two-run homer to left.

“Max had the big hit,’’ Frey said. “He struggled a little early in the season, but he’s been seeing the ball well lately.’’

Anderson, a Texas A&M recruit, said that inning jump-started the Wildcats.

“That really woke us up,’’ he said. “We hadn’t been able to get anything going before that.’’

Four walks and three errors also didn’t help the Silver Hawks in that seven-run inning.

The score remained 8-5 until the top of the seventh, when Southwest scored a pair to make it close. Creighton recruit Cam Frederick singled, and Luke Sartori followed with a two-run homer.

That brought Randall to the plate representing the tying run. But Millard West reliever Seth Claybourne caught him looking for the final out.

Southwest coach Mitch Vernon said he was pleased to see his team rally. The Silver Hawks came back from a 7-1 deficit Friday night to defeat Millard South 8-7 in a tournament semifinal.

“We preach that you’ve got to play hard for seven innings,’’ he said. “We came up a little short, but this was a big learning lesson for us.’’

Claybourne picked up the victory, throwing four innings of relief. He allowed just one hit and one run until the final inning.

“He comes in and throws strikes,’’ Frey said. “That’s something I definitely like to see.’’

The 12-0 mark is the best start for Millard West since it won its first 12 games in 2014.

“This is a step in the right direction for us,’’ Anderson said. “Southwest is always tough, so this is something we can build on.’’

Frey said it also was nice to win the school’s own tournament, renamed this year to honor former coach Frank Ryan.

“It’s huge to win this tourney,’’ he said. “To play another undefeated team in the final and win it is big for us.’’

Lincoln Southwest (7-1)..............013 010 2—7 6 5

At Millard West (12-0).................001 070 x—8 8 2

W: Claybourne. L: Randall. 2B: LSW, Buss, Petersen. HR: LSW, Randall, Sartori; MW, Anderson.