Five teams will head to Sky Bacon Stadium in Ozark, Mo., with hopes of bringing home a state championship this weekend as the Missouri State High School Activities Association hosts their annual State Baseball Championships this week.

The lone representative from the area in Class 4 is John Burroughs as the Bombers advanced to take on Fulton Wednesday at 4 p.m. after defeating Kennett 4-0 in the state quarterfinals. The Bombers grabbed control of the quarterfinal by scoring a run in the first and a pair of runs in the second frame. They added an insurance run in the third inning as starting pitcher Bowen Brantingham tossed a one-hitter with seven strikeouts to earn the win on the mound. Griffin Barnett led the John Burroughs attack at the plate as he went 2-for-3 with a run batted in while Tucker Desloge was 1-for-1 with a pair of walks and a run driven in as the Bombers are making their eighth appearance in the semifinals with a record of 26-3. John Burroughs has won a total of three state championships, but none since 2002. They will take on Fulton who defeated Fulton 12-9 in their quarterfinal match-up. The Hornets are 19-8 on the year and will be making their fifth appearance in the semifinals while winning one state title in 1990.

Three area teams will represent the metro in Class 5 as Festus, Fort Zumwalt South, and Borgia all won their quarterfinal contests to advance to Ozark. 

The first semifinal will be an all-local affair as the Tigers will take on the Bulldogs Friday at 10 a.m. Festus moved on to the semifinals with a convincing 10-0 victory over Clayton Saturday in the quarterfinals. The Tigers scored in all but two innings to help improve their record to 25-8 on the year. Nate Moore earned the win on the mound as he tossed a no-hitter while striking out six Greyhound batters. Jeremiah Cunningham paced the Festus offense by going 4-for-4 on the day while scoring twice and driving a pair of runners. This is the fifth time that Festus has advanced to the state semifinals as they are looking for their first state title on the diamond after earning the runners-up spot last year. 

Fort Zumwalt South returns to the semifinals for the second time in three years with a record of 27-6-1 after beating Summit 4-2 in the quarterfinals this past weekend. The Bulldogs broke open a tie ballgame against the Falcons with two runs in the fifth frame to gain a 4-2 lead and held on to advance. Carter Cox was outstanding for Fort Zumwalt South as he was 2-for-4 with double and two runs batted in at the plate and then earned the win on the mound as he tossed six innings while striking out eight Summit batters. This will be the third time that the two teams have squared off as the Bulldogs opened their season with a pair of wins over the Tigers. Fort Zumwalt South is making its fourth trip to the state final four and is looking for its second title after winning the crown in 2009. 

Borgia will be the third team in the Class 5 semifinals as the Knights advanced to Ozark after defeating Springfield Glendale 2-0 in the quarterfinals. In the quarterfinal, the Knights scored the only two runs of the game in the fourth inning as Kabren Koelling and Justin Mort each drove in runs for Borgia in the frame. Jack Nobe came away with a win in the pitcher’s dual as he surrendered two hits and struck out 10 Glendale batters to help Borgia improve to 24-5 on the year. This will be the fifth appearance in the state semifinals for the Knights as they look to win their second state title after winning the crown in 2019. Borgia will take Webb City in the semifinals Friday at 1 p.m. with the Cardinals carrying a 22-13 record into the contest after defeating Kearney 3-2 in the quarterfinals.

Francis Howell is the lone area team to advance to the state semifinals in Class 6 after the Vikings defeated De Smet 8-1 Saturday afternoon. After the Spartans earned an early 1-0 lead at the end of the first frame, Howell tied the game in the top of the third and then put the game away in the top of the fourth as they exploded for seven runs in the inning to make the score 8-1. Brett Norfleet paved the Vikings at the plate as he was 2-for-4 with a home run, two runs batted in, and also scored a run while Leo Humbert was 1-for-4 with a three-run single to help the Vikings to a 30-10 record. Howell’s ace Brysen Nepute earned the victory in the bump as he gave up two hits and struck out eight batters. This is the 13th time that the Vikings have advanced to the semifinals, and it is the second straight year that Howell has advanced after they finished third last year. They have won four state titles with the last one coming back in 2016. They will face Jackson Friday at 4 p.m. after the Indians defeated Lafayette 5-1 in the quarterfinals. Jackson has a record of 33-6 on the season and will be making their first appearance in the semifinals in school history. 

The winner of this game will take on Nixa or Liberty North Saturday at 7 p.m.

Jim Powers

Jim Powers

Jim Powers has been covering prep sports in the St. Louis area for 15+ years and a part of the Missouri State High School Activities Association Championship Broadcasts for the past 11 years. Powers is also a part of the Fox 2 Verlo Mattress Prep Zone Friday nights at 10:10 during the football and basketball seasons. If you have a prep sports story, please contact Jim at Follow Jim at @hssportscaravan