WEBB CITY, Mo– Saturday afternoon, the Webb City Cardinals defeated the Kearney Bulldogs, 3-2, to advance to the Class 5 State semi-finals in Ozark!

This game was a defensive battle for the first three innings. Kaylor Darnell was locked in early on as he finished with four strikeouts in the game.

Then, in the top of the fourth, Kenley Hood delivered with a base hit into right field that allowed Drew Vonder Haar to score to give the Cardinals the early 1-0 lead.

Kearney would respond with two runs to take a 2-1 lead.

Cy Darnell brought in a run in the fifth inning to tie the game at 2-2.

Very next inning, Drew Vonder Haar stole home and called safe at the plate to give the Cardinals the 3-2 lead.

Walker Sweet struck out the side in the seventh inning to secure the win for them!

Kaylor Darnell picked up the win. He went 5.0 IP, 2 runs, 2 hits, 4 strikeouts!

Sweet came in to pick up the save striking out five batters in two innings of play.

It’s been 13 years since the Cardinals last advance to the Final Four. The last time they did was in 2010. They will face St. Francis Borgia next Friday, June 2nd at Sky Bacon Stadium there in Ozark.

Senior Walker Sweet said, “It’s a great feeling, great team, when we kept playing, kept battling back, they were really tough team, really good team. Really good teams are hard. They’re hard to beat. They’re hard to beat but, we just battled back staying composed in tough situations and that’s what really led us to victory today”.

Junior Drew Vonder Haar said, “That’s something we work on a lot in practice. Everybody’s pretty good defensively. And, we all know if we play as a team and stay focused all the time everybody can make big plays in the game. Oh man, it’s awesome. You know, haven’t been there in a long time. All these guys, we’re all best friends. So it’s awesome to go this far with everybody. It’s great”.

Senior Kenley Hood said, “”It feels amazing. First time in 13 years and first quarterfinal here in a while at the Chucky Barnes. So, it’s great to get play another game here and those are our seniors last one so it’s kind of bittersweet but it was good to get the win in front of the fans”.

Head Coach Andrew Doennig said, “That’s a phenomenal high school baseball game right there. I mean, that’s a really really good team that we beat, you know, Kearney, I mean they got some really, really good players. We’ve had our ups and downs but, the thing we’ve been continued to talk about to our kids just fight through it. And, we played a lot of close games this year. We’ve won some one run games and lost them. So this is why we kind of built the schedule that we did to get to this point, so we wouldn’t be afraid to play in tough teams in the playoffs.”…