Victoria Advocate On-Line

Shiner St. Paul advances to title game
will face Rockwall Rowlett Christian on Friday at 3 p.m. at Waco ISD Complex

Thursday, May 12, 2011 Article   |   St. Paul Cardinal Baseball   |   Return to Shiner Home Page

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click to enlarge photo
St. Paul's Adam Hollenbach lines up to rob a Huntsville Alpha Omega batter of a fourth-inning hit
photos published by The Gonzales Cannon
WACO - Shiner St. Paul's seniors will never know what it's like to fall short of the state championship game.

The Cardinals won state crowns in 2008 and 2009 before falling to Kingwood Northeast Christian in last year's title game.

Patience at the plate and strong defense were enough to push them past Huntsville Alpha Omega, 4-1, in Thursday's lightning-delayed TAPPS Class 1A/2A semifinal and into their fourth straight state final at the Waco ISD Complex.

The Cardinals will meet Rowlett Rockwall Christian, a 5-3 semifinal winner over Kerrville Our Lady of the Hills in Friday's final at 3 p.m. at the Waco ISD Complex.

"Hopefully, we can learn from last year, go in there with a little more readiness and take care of business," St. Paul coach Mark Noska said. "We've got Rockwall, so it should be a pretty good game. It'll be tough."

St. Paul was outhit 8-4, but eight Cardinals reached by walk, including three straight in the second inning to produce the game's first run, and two others were hit by a pitch.

Tyler Blanton and Dustin Adamek were St. Paul's last two hitters in the order and scored all four of its runs.
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Blue Hybner delivers a pitch during the semifinal game.

That was plenty of support for Cole Hybner, who worked 6 2/3 innings. He allowed all eight hits, only one or two of which were hit hard, and struck out six.

Blanton got the scoring started in the second with a line-drive single back through the box, before Adamek, Cole Hybner and Brandon Sciba walked. Sciba's free pass pushed Blanton across the plate and ended a short mound outing for Alpha Omega's Zach Toney.

Nathan Hsiao took over and gave up a sacrifice fly to Devin Pesek to bring Adamek home and make it a 2-0 game. But Hsaio's lack of velocity kept the Cardinals (28-7) off-balance and the Lions in the game for most of his four- inning outing.
click to enlarge photo
St. Paul's shortstop lines up on a ground ball.

"We were having a hard time staying back," Noska said. "You get geared up, and then they throw something like that on you, you're rolling over, and getting out in front of it."

It was a 3-0 St. Paul lead when Adamek doubled and scored on a Hybner single in the fourth, and Blanton scored the Cardinals' final run in the sixth when he singled and scampered home from third on a wild pitch.

The lightning came with a runner on first and one out in the top of the first inning and delayed the game for 2 hours, 22 minutes. On the first pitch after the delay, Zach Toney ripped a double to right-centerfield to put runners on second and third. But Hybner fanned the next two hitters to end the threat, and the Lions (14-8) were quiet until breaking through for their only run in the fifth.

Hunter Harsh put it on the board when he drove in Charles Riley with a sacrifice fly.

  TAPPS Class 1A/2A state semifinals at Waco ISD Complex

  Shiner St. Paul 4, Huntsville Alpha Omega 1

                     R  H  E
     H: 000 010 0 -- 1  8  1
	 S: 020 101 x -- 4  4  0

  Zach Toney, Nathan Hsiao (2), Justin Nelson (6) and Hunter Harsh;
    Cole Hybner, Blue Hybner (7) and Blue Hybner, Brandon Sciba (7);

  WP: Hybner; LP: Toney;

  Leading hitters - H: Justin Nelson 2-4; Zach Toney 2B;
    S: Tyler Blanton 2-3, 2 runs; Dustin Adamek, 2B, 2 runs.

  Records: HAO 16-8; SSP 28-7
St. Paul Cardinal Baseball   |   Return to Shiner Home Page


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