AFFTON — In a game with six home runs, a triple worked just fine Tuesday afternoon to help Borgia rally for a 7-6 victory at Lutheran South in a Class 4 baseball sectional.
Jack Czeschin said he thought he got enough of the ball in the bottom of the sixth inning for his second home run, but his two-run triple did the damage needed for the Knights (20-7).
"We're down by one and I just wanted to get a good swing on the ball," Czeschin said. "Not going to lie, I thought that one was going out, too. To hit it where I did and to get two runs in to take the lead, there is nothing better than that."
Borgia did not lead before Czeschin's two-run triple and entered the bottom of the sixth trailing 6-4.
The Knights snapped an eight-game losing streak to Lutheran South (22-10) dating to the 2011 season, including a loss in a district final last season.
With its first sectional victory since 2005, Borgia advanced to play host to Sikeston (16-7) on Thursday in a Class 4 quarterfinal. Sikeston beat Ste. Genevieve in another sectional Tuesday, 6-0.
"It feels awesome," Borgia coach Rob Struckhoff said. "Lutheran South is a great team. We've had some bad luck against them. (Lutheran South coach Steve Pfund) has had our number for a while, it's just good to get over the hump with these guys and I'm just very proud of the guys because they just keep battling."
The Knights had to keep battling after the Lancers went ahead 2-0 in the first inning.
Richie Minda and Jacob Hager got the home run derby started in the first inning for Lutheran South by hitting home runs on consecutive pitches by Borgia starter Joe Schmidt.
"Those back-to-back home runs on back-to-back pitches, that kind of puts you down, but we stuck with it," Czeschin said. "We stuck with the game plan and our approach at the plate and put some good swings on the ball."
Schmidt helped his own cause with a two-run homer in the bottom half of the first for a 2-2 tie.
But the Lancers went back ahead 3-2 in the top of the second and extended the lead to 5-2 in the fourth on Minda's second homer of the game.
Louis Eckelkamp hit a solo home run in the fourth to keep Borgia within 5-3 and Czeschin crushed a two-strike fastball nearly over the scoreboard in left field for a solo home run in the fifth to trim South's edge to 5-4.
"I saw that fastball up and my eyes just lit up," Czeschin said. "That's the farthest ball I've ever hit in my life."
The Lancers pushed their edge out to 6-4 heading into the bottom of the sixth, and the Knights closed the gap to 6-5 off an error. Then with Adam Molitor waiting at third base and speedy senior Tyler Glosemeyer at first base, Czeschin took a 2-1 pitch to the gap in left-center to score the go-ahead run and give the Knights a 7-6 lead.
After Lutheran South chased Schmidt from the game in the fourth inning, junior Bryce Mayer came in for Borgia and limited the Lancers to just one run on three hits over the final 3 1-3 innings.
"They knew that we can hit the fastball, so he just kept us off-balance with his off-speed stuff and he did a good job," Lutheran South coach Steve Pfund said.
Schmidt had to get out of a jam in the top of the seventh. He allowed two one-out singles before recording the final two outs.
Czeschin collected three RBI in a 2-for-4 day, while Schmidt went 1-for-2 with two RBI. For Lutheran South, Minda hit two home runs, going 2-for-3 with four RBI.
How his team responded in the first told Struckhoff all he needed to know.
"To only give up the two runs and to put two right back on them, I think that turned the game around," Struckhoff said. "That made everyone know that it's going to be a game and not just some of the same."