What a difference a day made for Omaha Westside, which captured its sixth state baseball title Thursday at Werner Park.
Sophomore Mike Waldron pitched the Warriors to an 8-0 win over Millard South in the Class A championship game. That came less than 24 hours after the Patriots had rolled past Westside 10-0 in tourney action Wednesday at Fricke Field.
“Our infielders wanted to go hide after that game, we made so many errors,” Warriors coach Bob Greco said. “But we got refocused today and the guys did a great job.”
Leading the way was Waldron, who scattered six hits and struck out six. He also had the honor of making the final putout, taking a toss from first baseman Christian Hagan on a grounder off the bat of Nate Mallott.
“I felt really confident today, and our defense made a lot of great plays,” Waldron said. “We were a lot more aggressive today and that’s why we were able to get some revenge.”
Unlike the Warriors, Millard South had to battle its way into the final earlier Thursday. The Patriots did that by defeating Papillion-La Vista 12-2 in a game that ended after 4 1⁄2 innings because of the 10-run mercy rule.
Austin Dubsky started that game and got the win, pitching four innings before giving way to reliever Rob Truman in the fifth. Millard South coach Greg Geary then gambled by starting Dubsky again in the title game, but that did not go well.
Dubsky lasted just four batters and did not get an out. Westside struck for five runs in the first inning — RBI singles by Devin Stueck and Waldron, a run-scoring groundout by Bryce McMullen, a sacrifice fly by Will Patterson and an infield throwing error.
“To get the lead like that in the championship game was huge,” Greco said. “That was a big key to the game.”
The Patriots threatened in the bottom of the first but a close call at second base defused the rally.
After the first two batters had singled, third baseman Luke Biggs fielded a grounder and threw to second for the force out. Westside then got another out when Anthony Cloyd was called for interfering with second baseman Patterson on his slide.
Waldron got out of the inning when Mitchell Kresnik flew out to right.
The play seemed to deflate the Patriots, who had two base runners in just one other inning.
The Warriors added to their lead in the fourth on consecutive doubles by Patterson and Jake Meyers and a throwing error. Westside made it 8-0 in the top of the seventh when Hagan walked and eventually scored on a fielder’s choice by McMullen.
Then it was up to Waldron to finish off the victory. He struck out Derek Clayton, got pinch-hitter Kyle Crampton to fly out to center and got the final out at first on the tapper by Mallott.
That last out triggered a dogpile near first base and capped the Warriors’ 25-6 season. It also was redemption for Westside, which went 0-2 in last year’s tournament.
“It’s awesome to win this title,” Greco said. “I’m really happy for the seniors because I get to come back and coach every year. This is a nice way for them to go out.”
Junior Devin Stueck, who had three hits in the victory, said the championship was something he had thought about long ago.
“I told them during the offseason that we were going to go out and get this done,” he said. “It feels great to accomplish our goal.”
Om. Westside (25-6)..........................500 200 1 — 8 9 1
Millard South (17-8)...........................000 000 0 — 0 6 3
W: Mike Waldron. L: Dubsky. 2B: OW, Patterson, Meyers.
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• Video: Highlights from Omaha Westside's 8-0 win over Millard South: