Benton Cardinals win 19th straight contest; advance in Class 4 State Tournament

May 21—While the city of St. Joseph was washed out with rain earlier Tuesday afternoon, the overcast skies held off during the Class 4 State Tournament in the sectional round as the St. Pius X Warriors made the trip to Missouri Western to take on the Benton Cardinals.

Despite what looked like a first inning run from the Warriors, it was wiped off the board and the Cardinals escaped 1-0 in a low scoring affair, advancing to the quarterfinal round.

"We've worked for this all year," pitcher Chris Coy said. "You know, we feel like we were meant to do this. Definitely confident in ourselves, and we're just happy to be here."

St. Pius came out with bats swinging, facing two outs with a runner on second. The Chris Coy pitch was hit in the gap between the second and third baseman, slowing rolling in the outfield grass which allowed a runner to cross home plate. However, the St. Pius' runner barely missed the plate, and the Cardinals were able to figure it out before the runner could realize his mistake, and the top of the inning was retired with no runs scored.

The Warriors had more luck in the top of the third inning, as they were able to advance a runner to second before tallying two outs. St. Pius was able to advance a runner to third base after a wild pitch, but Chris Coy struck out the batter with runners on third and second to again retire an inning when facing a jam.

"Chris was born for moments like this, you know, I mean, I've known him since he was born. And, you know, he was always, always a clutch player, even when in K-Ball he was always playing two years up," head coach Johnny Coy said. "You know, he's a clutch player."

The first run scored came in the bottom of the third inning, as Benton's Bryson Brown used a lead off single to get on base, before advancing to second. Myles Bachali came to the plate, lifting the ball into shallow left field, making the infielder run up, and the speedy Brown crossed home plate to propel the team to a 1-0 lead.

In the seventh inning, the Warriors kept pressure on the Cardinals. St. Pius began the inning with a lead off hit to get a runner on base. Not too long after, another hit came from the Warriors, but Bachali came up with the catch in the outfield.

After the out, St. Pius used a half swing to connect with the ball, which reached first baseman Talan McDowell, but the throw to second was a tad wide and allowed for a Warrior's runner to set up shop at second base. After allowing a runner on third with two outs, Chris Coy delivered a game ending strikeout.

Benton will face St. Michael the Archangel on Thursday in St. Joseph, time to be announced at a later date.

Calvin Silvers can be reached at