Millard West coach Frank Ryan was glad to see a strong relief outing Saturday from junior Cory Staasheim.
“He had a rough one on Monday. He didn’t make it through the second inning,” Ryan said.
Staasheim shut out Millard North for the final three innings to pick up the win in the Wildcats’ 12-3 victory in the finals of the Millard West Invitational.
Starting pitcher Cole Johnston went 3-2/3 innings, giving up three runs.
“Other than that one inning, our pitching was good,” Ryan said. “We’re using a lot of young pitchers. There’s only one senior who gets the ball a lot.”
The win over the preseason No. 2 Mustangs (7-4) completed a 5-1 week for the No. 5 Wildcats (9-2), including a 3-1 record against rated opponents. They also beat No. 6 Millard South in the tournament semifinals after a win Wednesday over No. 8 Omaha Burke.
The loss was 12-8 to No. 9 Bellevue West.
Millard West scored in every inning Saturday but the third and needed only nine hits. Five of the Wildcats’ runs scored on wild pitches or passed balls.
“A lot of little things went our way,” Ryan said.
Jake Kistaitis had a pair of doubles and another sophomore, Mitch Ragan, had a double for the Wildcats.
Their best defensive play was Nick Lawson’s throw to the plate that cut down a Millard North runner trying to score in the top of the fifth when the Mustangs were trailing only 7-3.
Nate Walter led Millard North’s attack with a double and triple. The Mustangs were barely able to avoid their third 10-run loss in their past six games.
Millard North (7-4)...........................000 300 0— 3 8 4
At Millard West (9-2)........................220 314 x—12 9 2
W: Cory Staasheim. L: Tommy West. 2B: MN, Nate Walter; MW, Jake Kistaitis 2, Mitch Ragan. 3B: MN, Walter.
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Baseball ratings updated on Monday
The first set of regular-season baseball ratings will appear in Monday editions.
It's a later start than normal, the result of the many postponements during the first two weeks of the season.