STE. GENEVIEVE – Valle Catholic batters were fully aware that opposing hurler Logan Dunn was working on a shorter leash than usual due to pitch count restrictions.
They also realized that building an early lead could provide more than enough support for senior righthander Kellen Blum on Tuesday.
The Warriors patiently congested the base paths with runners through lengthy plate appearances, and returned to the state playoffs as reigning champions.
Blum retired his first 10 batters and 12 of 13 overall in a one-hitter, and Valle Catholic needed only four innings to triumph 15-0 in the Class 2, District 4 title contest.
Junior catcher Kyle Roth finished 2-for-3 with an RBI while Carter Roth and Nolan Schwent each crossed the dish three times for the Warriors (22-5-1).
Valle Catholic benefited from 10 walks, and invoked the mercy rule after sending up 13 batters and scoring nine times in the bottom of the fourth.
The shortened game matched an earlier 15-0 semifinal result against Crystal City in which Schwent tossed a no-hitter and dealt with only three base runners.
Blum utilized his defense while notching two strikeouts. He got through the opening frame with only five pitches thrown as three different infielders fielded ground balls.
Owen Viox caught a stinging line drive by Jase Campbell in center field, and Carter Roth threw a dart from right field to retire No. 9 hitter Trevor Politte because he could reach first base.
Shawn Mork singled through the left side for Bismarck (4-10) to prevent a potential perfect game in the top of the fourth inning.
Dunn was called upon to work the last three innings of a narrow semifinal triumph against Valley, then got the start against the Warriors about 30 minutes later.
Valle Catholic battled for three walks in a span of five batters against the senior lefty, and Blum made it 3-0 with a two-run double after Schwent raced home on a passed ball.
Schwent appeared to be picked off by Dunn, but instead stole second base when the throw from first arrived too late.
Dunn caught a line drive and turned a double play in the second inning, but yielded three more tallies during the third.
Kyle Roth drove in Viox with a single, and Carter Roth alertly took second base unchallenged when the Bismarck infielders lost focus after executing a successful force play.
Designated hitter Zach Grein bumped the 4-0 advantage with a two-run single to right-center against reliever Conner Sullivan, who began the game behind the plate.
Tyler Blum reached base twice on errors in the fourth, including the final swing of the game after two straight batters were drilled by Kaydon Ketcherside.
Carter Roth had an RBI single, Kyle Gielow sprinted home on a wild pitch after drawing his third walk, and Schwent blooped a shallow two-run double during the closing rally.
Valle Catholic was the lone program with a winning record in the six-team district bracket, and will travel to Chaffee for a Class 2 sectional battle on Monday.
Valle Catholic 15, Crystal City 0
STE. GENEVIEVE – Nolan Schwent pitched an abbreviated no-hitter with seven strikeouts, and faced just three batters above the minimum for Valle Catholic in the Class 2, District 4 semifinal round.
Tyler Blum belted a two-run homer and matched both Carter Roth and Kyle Roth with three RBI earlier Tuesday as the Warriors routed Crystal City 15-0 in four innings.
Valle Catholic coaxed 10 walks from a combination of three hurlers, and extended a 6-0 lead after Blum went deep with six more tallies in the third inning.
Zach Grein and Owen Viox had RBI singles during the four-run opening frame against Hunter Bassin after Schwent greeted him with a hustling triple to left-center field.
Kyle Roth made it 11-0 with a three-run double past first base on the heels of three straight walks. Kyle Gielow drove in Kellen Blum as the first of six Warriors to reach safely with two outs.
Carter Roth collected RBI on a sacrifice fly, infield single and bases-loaded walk.
Schwent surrendered a nine-pitch free pass to leadoff man Collin Wilkerson, then responded with three strikeouts in the top of the first inning.
Bismarck 4, Valley 3
STE. GENEVIEVE – Shawn Mork singled home Trevor Politte in the eighth inning to give Bismarck a 4-3 Class 2, District 4 semifinal victory over Valley on Tuesday.
Winning pitcher Logan Dunn went 2-for-4 at the plate while Hunter Dugal notched two RBI and Connor Sullivan reached base four times for the Indians (4-9).
Both teams threatened to score in the eighth, but the Vikings (6-7) lost their chance on a strange decision as Jordan Moses was tagged for the third out while trying to steal home.
Politte was plunked by a delivery from Keeton Loughary with one out in the home half, and advanced from first to third on an errant pickoff throw before Mork came through.
Dunn compiled seven strikeouts over three hitless frames of relief. Mork worked the first five in a no-decision, allowing three runs on seven hits while fanning seven.
Singles from Keegan Boyer and Loughary put Valley ahead 1-0 in the third, but Bismarck answered with three during its half as Dunn ripped an RBI hit and Jase Campbell drew a bases-loaded walk.
The Vikings pulled even with two in the fourth on an RBI ground out by Haydne Rawlins and ensuing singles by Brant Rawlins and Ethan Matthews.
Skyler DeClue and Andy Brakefield provided two hits apiece in defeat. DeClue threw 104 pitches and struck out eight while giving up six hits over 6 1/3 innings.