HOLLISTER, MO -- The Irish came away with a title in what could arguable be the best district in the state on Tuesday night. District 11 saw two-state ranked teams, including back-to-back state champions Aurora. The Irish came into the tournament winning 10 of their last 11 games with their lone loss coming from Aurora on May 1st.
Catholic kicked off District play against Reeds Spring as the #3 seed and advanced, winning 5-1. The second-round matchup put them up against rival Logan Rogersville, a team that the Irish lost to in April. In an unexpected turn of events, #1 seed Aurora, lost to Hollister on the top half of the bracket setting up a Big 8 East matchup in the District 11 championship.
Catholic got on the board in the first inning when senior Will Duff hit a two-run homer. Following Duff's two-run blast in the first, Hollister answered in the top of the third with one of their own. With two outs and a runner on second base, Logan Armitage cleared the fence in left centerfield to tie the game up.
Despite the Hollister rally, Catholic kept its cool and, more importantly, kept grinding out runs. Ryan George's crucial third-inning single allowed Catholic to recapture the lead at 3-2, the Irish followed up with a pair of RBIs in the fourth from Jeremy Rader and Collin Davis. Carter Bither drove another Catholic run in the fifth to push the lead to 6-3 and secure the victory.
Duff took the win for Catholic. He surrendered three runs on seven hits over five and two-thirds innings, striking out four. Collin Davis threw one and one-third innings in relief out of the bullpen.
Jeremy Rader, George, Bither, Zach Cole, Ben Galligos, Gage Goss, and Duff each collected one hit to lead Catholic.
The Irish will move on to MSHSAA Class 4 Sectional play and will host the Monett Cubs on Tuesday, May 21st at 5:00pm.