It took nine innings, but fifth-seeded Davenport Assumption upset the top-ranked Bishop Heelan Crusaders 7-6 in the first Class 3A semifinal game on Friday afternoon at Principal Park. The Knights advance to the championship game on Saturday night at 6 p.m.
The Knights broke a 6-6 tie in the top half of the ninth inning with a two-out run by Colin Gould. Gould walked to begin the inning, and used a sacrifice bunt and an infield single from Jake Gervase to get to third. Gould crossed home plate for the go-ahead run after Heelan committed its second error of the game.
Assumption reliever Eric Jagers preserved the 7-6 victory by striking out the side in the bottom of the ninth. Jagers, who had tossed just three innings for the Knights coming into the game, struck out seven batters in three innings to earn his first win of the season.
Heelan scored two runs in the first inning to take an early 2-0 lead. Conner Niles was hit by a pitch, stole second, and scored the first run on an error. Brady Mayo singled and followed Niles with the second run on an RBI base hit off the bat of Trent Solsma.
Assumption got on the board with four runs on five hits in the third. The Knights used a walk, a sacrifice, and five straight singles to take the lead 4-2. Zach Adrian and Sam Bennett each drove in one run and Elliot Duax hit a two-run single in the inning.
The Crusaders answered with a run in the third and fourth to tie the game at 4-4. Philip Jacobson singled and scored on a wild pitch in the third and drove in a run in the fourth on his second of three singles in the game. Jacobson went 3-for-5 with two RBI and scored two runs to lead Heelan at the plate.
The Knights regained control with runs in the fifth and sixth innings. Adrian drove in his second RBI of the game on a single in the fifth and Cayton Wallace doubled, moved to third on a sac bunt, and scored on a wild pitch to give Assumption the 6-4 advantage.
But Bishop Heelan scored two more runs in the sixth inning to tie the game once again. The Crusaders used a single and a stolen base by Niles, along with RBI hits from Jacobson and Tyler Cropley to even the score at 6-6 before Assumption won in the ninth.
Niles went 2-for-2 with two runs and four stolen bases in the game.
Davenport Assumption (26-15) looks to win its ninth state championship and first since 2008 in Saturday's Class 3A championship game. The Knights will play either second-ranked Clear Lake or third-ranked Harlan.
Bishop Heelan ends its season at 35-5.
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