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Top-ranked Martensdale-St. Marys rode a 12-run first inning to defeat the Ar-We-Va Rockets, 16-0 in five innings Saturday night to close out the Class 1A first round at Principal Park. The Blue Devils sent 16 men to the plate in the first inning and went on to push their season record to a perfect 41-0.

With one out in the top of the first, the Blue Devils loaded the bases and plated their first run on a crucial error in centerfield, giving them a 1-0 lead. The next batter was retired, but then the next nine men reached base before the inning ended on a strikeout. Ar-We-Va starting pitcher Neil Liechti was chased after just two-thirds of an inning. The Rockets walked six men in the inning, and all 12 runs were unearned.

Blue Devils’ pitchers Ethan Westphal, Zeb Noel and T.J. Foster combined to toss a five-inning, no-hit shutout. The trio struck out 11 batters in five innings, highlighted by Westphal’s eight strikeouts in three innings, upping his record to 14-0 on the season.

Martensdale-St. Marys third baseman Dillon Coates hit a bases-clearing triple in the first inning and went 2-for-3 with three RBIs and three runs scored.

Ar-We-Va’s season came to a close with their final record at 13-14.

Martensdale-St. Marys will play Preston in the semifinals on Thursday at 2 p.m. at Principal Park.


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