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St. Dominic vs. Borgia baseball

Borgia's Joe Schmidt (7) gets a fist bump from coach Rob Struckhoff after hitting a triple during a game against St. Dominic on Wednesday, April 3, 2019 at St. Dominic High School in O'Fallon, Mo. Paul Kopsky,

It's been a long time since the Borgia baseball team has been this deep in the postseason.

When the Knights (21-7) square off against Helias (23-4) at 4 p.m. Thursday at CarShield Field, it will be the program's first state semifinal appearance since 1976.  

"It'll be fun," Borgia coach Rob Struckhoff said. "I'm just happy for the boys and everybody who's been part of this program to finally get back."

Westminster (28-6) and Savannah (25-1) play in the second Class 4 semifinal at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, with the winners advancing to play for the Class 4 title at 1:30 p.m. Friday.

This is just the fourth time in program history Borgia has advanced to the semifinal round.

The Knights are chasing their first state title. They finished fourth in 1976 after state runner-up finishes in 1975 and 1957.

"This is for all those teams that couldn't quite it done," Borgia senior Spencer Hunter said. "Anybody who put on the blue and gold, this is for them."

Borgia also ended a lengthy drought by winning the Class 4 District 5 title. It was the program's first district title since 2011.

The AAA Division I champion, Borgia avenged a season-ending loss to Lutheran South from a year ago by beating the Lancers in this season's Class 4 sectional round.

"We were pretty excited against Lutheran South," Hunter said. "Other years we dreaded playing them because they had our number, but this year we wanted them."

That victory snapped an eight-game losing streak for the Knights to the Lancers, but the work wasn't done there.

Borgia then won 9-6 at home on May 24 against Sikeston in the quarterfinal round to punch its ticket to O'Fallon. Sikeston led 4-1 through three innings, but Borgia rallied by scoring eight runs over the final four innings.

Adam Molitor had a home run and five RBI while Hunter and Jack Czeschin each hit a home run.

Now the Knights will try to avenge a 2-0 loss to Helias from April 1.

"We're coming into it, not just showing up," Struckhoff said. "We want to come up and play our best baseball of the year and try to win the championship."

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