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State baseball: ‘Awesome’ pitching effort leads Millard West past Millard South in familiar matchup

By Luke Mullin, Lincoln Journal Star, 05/18/21, 8:00AM CDT


Millard South must be getting sick of facing the Millard West Wildcats.

The Wildcats won the 2019 state championship over Millard South, and they also won both regular-season contests last month.

No. 5 Millard West did it again Monday, as Drew Borner’s seventh-inning RBI single led the Wildcats to a 4-3 win in the Class A state baseball tournament at Haymarket Park.

"It almost felt like that game two years ago in the championship; until you get that last out, no lead is safe,” Millard West coach Steve Frey said.

The game-winning hit for Millard West (26-11) came in the top of the seventh inning when Maddux Fleck doubled and Borner followed with an RBI single that ricocheted off the second baseman into center field.

“I just had a little feeling we were going to get something going, and I knew Borner was going to come in and win the game for us,” Fleck said.

Both Fleck and Borner went 2-for-4 at the plate as Millard West totaled seven hits. Meanwhile, one swing accounted for all of Millard South’s (31-5) offensive production as the No. 1 Patriots mustered just two hits. After West took a 3-0 lead in the top of the third inning, South sophomore Camden Kozeal pulled a high fastball 350 feet to right field for a three-run homer.

Wildcat starting pitcher Jaxson Cahoy didn’t allow another hit over the next two innings as he finished with a total of 10 strikeouts in five innings of work.

“Cahoy did great; he missed one pitch and gave up a bomb, but other than that he was awesome,” Fleck said. “… I think we all knew we were going to come back and win the game.”

When Cahoy left the game, relief pitchers Drew Deremer and Mason Koch combined to ensure Millard South’s final 14 at-bats ended without reaching base. Dermer earned the win, while Koch struck out all three batters in the seven inning to pick up a save.

Millard South drops to the losers’ bracket and will face Archbishop Bergan at 4 p.m. Tuesday, while Millard West will take on Bellevue West at 7 p.m., though the game could start earlier with a rolling schedule in effect.