On a thunderous, stormy senior night at Spring Sports Complex, St. Joseph Christian escaped not only with the victory but a share of the Grand River Conference championship.
Despite a 30-minute rain delay before the bottom of the sixth inning, the Lions held on to defeat Braymer 2-0. Monday’s win means both Christian (12-4) and Putnam County (12-4) are co-GRC champions.
For senior pitcher Levi Glidewell, senior night was almost perfect. Glidewell didn’t give up a hit to the Bobcats (6-6) until the sixth inning on a ball that barely got past the infield. Despite this, Glidewell remained solid. The senior Lion came out of the rain delay and struck out the side to close the game with authority.
Heading into the seventh inning, Glidewell was on his last set of pitches. Glidewell knew he needed to make the most of what he had left in the Lions’ final regular season game.
“Just every pitch I was thinking, ‘I need to throw a strike,’” Glidewell said. “I only had 11 pitches to go, and then I’m out. It’s a pretty big night, last regular season game. It was pretty special.”
Glidewell ended the game with 16 strikeouts, four walks and 108 total pitches. Braymer had runners on second and third in the fifth inning, but Glidewell shut the Bobcats down with a pair of strikeouts.
Lions coach Andrew McDonald’s pulse was racing when Glidewell stepped onto the mound for what he hoped was the final inning.
“It’s easier on the nerves,” McDonald said. “He was literally on his last set of pitches when that at bat started. It was a test of nerves for sure, especially when it goes to a 3-2 count.”
Glidewell couldn’t have done this alone, however. Thanks to a clutch go-ahead RBI single by freshman Camden Lutz in the fourth, the Glidewell and the Lions had all the run support they needed.
During that important at bat, Lutz was facing a 1-2 count and just wanted to make contact.
“I mean, it felt pretty good,” Lutz said. “I was just trying my best to put the ball in play, focusing on contact and looking for the curve ball.”
Lutz went 2-for-2 on the day with an RBI and an intentional walk. The walk came in the sixth inning with a runner in scoring position, as the Bobcats decided they had seen enough of Lutz.
McDonald got a kick out watching Lutz be granted a free base but also enjoyed watching junior Tanner Schomburg accomplish a suicide squeeze shortly after.
“They fear him so much, they put him on,” McDonald said. “Tanner Schomburg comes up and does a suicide squeeze and executes it to perfection. We haven’t really practiced is as much this year, but, I mean, they just executed.”
The Lions play on Saturday in the Class 2 District 16 tournament in Faucett, Missouri.