Simon fans the side with bases loaded as St. Paul’s edges Brother Martin, 4-3, in state baseball semifinal

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When you see a quality player, you do not wait to pull the trigger and offer that player if you are a top-shelf program at the next level.

As a freshman, Connor Simon pitched and played outstanding baseball for St. Paul’s, earning an offer from LSU and committing to the Tigers.

With its season on the line, St. Paul’s and coach Mick Nunez turned to Simon Sunday evening and he came through like a senior and like a player who could one day shine at LSU.

Simon pitched out of a bases loaded, no out jam in the bottom of the seventh inning, striking out three straight batters to preserve a 4-3 victory for the No. 3 Wolves over No. 2 Brother Martin at McMurry Park in Sulphur in a game heard live on ESPN, 100.3 FM.

Simon added an RBI double at the plate.

In the bottom of the seventh, the Crusaders appeared poised to pull off a huge comeback victory as Southern Miss commit Brady Faust walked and Brennan Stuprich doubled him to third. Nunez then wisely elected to walk LSU commit Tre’ Morgan to load the bases.

Simon then struck out Ethan Moser looking, fanned Cole Stromboe looking on a 3-2 pitch and fanned Blake Bufkin to end it in a brilliant effort.

A junior, Stuprich has been one of the top pitchers in the state all season long.

Stuprich, who entered the game 9-1 with a 0.45 ERA, had allowed just three earned runs in 62 innings pitched all season long heading into the semifinal contest.

That changed quickly at McMurry Park in Sulphur.

Stuprich hit Kyle McLaughlin with a pitch for the 19th time this season to start the game before Nick Vitale singled to center, moving McLaughlin to third. William Duncan delivered McLaughlin with a fielder’s choice groundout to make it 1-0. Mathew Russo then singled before Nick Wright drove in a run on a groundout to make it 2-0. Simon then doubled home Russo to make it 3-0.

The Crusaders (26-6) broke through against Jacob Scherer in the bottom of the fourth inning. Bufkin and Caden Nash singled and Blaine Starring walked to load the bases. Joe Delaney grounded into a fielder’s choice, plating the first Brother Martin run to make it 3-1 with an error plating a second run to make it 3-2. Stuprich then singled home Delaney to tie the game 3-3.

The Wolves responded immediately, recapturing the lead with a run in the top of the fifth as Vitale and Duncan singled and Wright singled home a run to make it 4-3.

Scherer got the first two outs in the top of the sixth inning before having to depart, having reached the maximum pitch count of 115. Simon took over and struck out Starring to end the sixth inning, setting the stage for the dramatic finish.

Scherer went five and two-thirds innings, allowing three runs on five hits. He walked five and struck out six. Scherer went one and one-third innings, allowing no runs on one hit. He walked two and struck out four, using 30 pitches so he can see action in the title game Tuesday. Stuprich allowed four runs on eight hits. He walked no one and struck out three.

The Wolves (26-6) advance to take on No. 4 seed Archbishop Rummel in a matchup of Christian Brothers Schools in the final Tuesday at 3 p.m. The Raiders held off No. 1 Catholic of Baton Rouge 4-3. You can listen to the championship game live on ESPN, 100.3 FM and at ESPN1003.com.

Final
SP 300 010 0 — 4 8 0
BM 000 300 0 — 3 6 3
WP—Jacob Scherer (7-2)
LP—Brennan Stuprich (9-2)
Save—Connor Simon (2)
Time of Game: 2:13
SB—Mathew Russo, William Duncan-2
2B—Brennan Stuprich, Connor Simon

St. Paul’s

Lineup AB R H RBI BB SO
K Mclaughlin 3 1 1 0 0 1
N Vitale 4 0 2 0 0 0
W Duncan 4 2 1 1 0 0
M Russo 4 1 1 0 0 1
N Wright 3 0 1 2 0 0
C Simon 3 0 1 1 0 0
J Scherer 3 0 0 0 0 1
K Conigliaro 3 0 0 0 0 0
B Neelis 3 0 1 0 0 0
S Heap
H Corass
Totals 30 4 8 4 0 3
Batting

2B: C Simon
TB: K Mclaughlin, N Vitale 2, M Russo, B Neelis, N Wright, W Duncan, C Simon 2
RBI: N Wright 2, W Duncan, C Simon
ROE: N Vitale, M Russo, K Conigliaro
FC: K Mclaughlin, W Duncan 2
HBP: K Mclaughlin
GIDP: B Neelis
SB: M Russo, W Duncan 2
CS: N Vitale

Totals

Team QAB: 15 (48.39%)
K Mclaughlin 3, N Vitale 2, M Russo 2, B Neelis 2, K Conigliaro, N Wright 3, W Duncan, C Simon

Team LOB: 6

Brother Martin

Lineup AB R H RBI BB SO
Joe Delaney 4 1 0 1 0 1
Brady Faust 1 0 0 0 3 1
Brennan Stuprich 3 0 2 1 1 0
John Morgan 3 0 1 0 1 0
Ethan Moser 4 0 1 0 0 1
Cole Stromboe 3 0 0 0 1 2
Blake Bufkin 3 0 1 0 0 2
Caden Nash 3 0 1 0 0 1
Blaine Starring 2 0 0 0 1 2
Shane Griffin 0 1 0 0 0 0
Bryce Gauthier 0 1 0 0 0 0
Ben Harris 0 0 0 0 0 0
Tyler Velino
Totals 26 3 6 2 7 10
Batting

2B: Brennan Stuprich
TB: Blake Bufkin, John Morgan, Ethan Moser, Caden Nash, Brennan Stuprich 3
RBI: Joe Delaney, Brennan Stuprich
FC: Joe Delaney, Caden Nash
HBP: Blake Bufkin
SB: Brady Faust

Totals

Team QAB: 16 (47.06%)
Blake Bufkin, Brady Faust 4, John Morgan 2, Ethan Moser 2, Caden Nash, Blaine Starring 2, Cole Stromboe 2, Brennan Stuprich 2

Team LOB: 10

Fielding

E: Blaine Starring, Tyler Velino 2
DP: Brady Faust, John Morgan, Ethan Moser

St. Paul’s

Pitching IP #P S% H R ER SO BB HR
J Scherer 5.2 115 .557 5 3 3 6 5 0
C Simon 1.1 30 .667 1 0 0 4 2 0
Totals 7.0 145 .579 6 3 3 10 7 0
Pitching

W: J Scherer
HBP: J Scherer
Pitches-Strikes: J Scherer 115-64, C Simon 30-20
Groundouts-Flyouts: J Scherer 3-5, C Simon 0-0
First pitch strikes-Batters faced: J Scherer 13-27, C Simon 4-7

Brother Martin

Pitching IP #P S% H R ER SO BB HR
Brennan Stuprich 7.0 96 .708 8 4 4 3 0 0
Totals 7.0 96 .708 8 4 4 3 0 0
Pitching

L: Brennan Stuprich
HBP: Brennan Stuprich
Pitches-Strikes: Brennan Stuprich 96-68
Groundouts-Flyouts: Brennan Stuprich 6-6
First pitch strikes-Batters faced: Brennan Stuprich 21-31

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