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O'FALLON, MO. — Alex Ilgenfritz heard the naysayers.

“All year, all we were told is we were not good enough to win a district championship and move on after that,” the De Smet junior second baseman said. “And we did it.”

And then some.

Ilgenfritz and junior catcher Tim Chiapel, the Nos. 8 and 9 hitters in the order, combined to go 4-for-4 with three runs batted in and three runs scored to lift the Spartans to a 6-4 win over Marquette in the Class 5 baseball championship Saturday afternoon at CarShield Field.

“Tim and Alex are guys who started off slow and as the year progressed, just got better and better, kind of like our whole team,” De Smet coach Dave Stewart said. “We moved them down to the bottom of the order a few weeks ago and since then they’ve just been hitting.”

Despite the duo hitting around .200 or less most of the year, Chiapel is glad his coaches never lost faith.

“I feel like Coach has a plan for everyone from top to bottom in the lineup,” he said. “He has confidence in every single one of us.

In its fourth championship game appearance, De Smet (14-13-1) won its second title to join a 2000 team that featured multiple major-league draft picks.

“I did this as a player (with Vianney in 2006) and it’s 100 times more gratifying as a coach,” Stewart said. “This is why we coach. We don’t coach for money. We coach because these are teenage boys and they’re developing and you want moments like this.”

Marquette (24-9) was making its first championship game appearance after advancing to the final four for the first time in program history this year.

“I know our kids are heartbroken and they are because this was really, really important to them,” Mustangs coach John Meyer said. “But, there’s better things to come for those guys. I’m just really, really proud of them.”

The visiting team, Marquette put the first five batters of the game on-base, scoring two and stranding three.

Jake Hansen reached on an error and advanced 90 feet twice on hits by Hunter Miller and George Williams before coming home when Jack Williams’ grounder went under the first baseman’s glove for another error. Connor Throneberry then drew a bases-loaded walk to make it 2-0.

Logusch rebounded to retire the next three batters to keep it a two-run game.

But, the Mustangs kept coming at the Spartans the next inning, as Blake Jenkins singled, stole second and scored on Hansen’s single to right. Marquette later loaded the bases with two outs, but Logusch again wiggled out of the jam to strand three more Mustangs runners.

After going down in order in the first, De Smet responded by batting around in the second.

The Spartans loaded the bases with one out and Ilgenfritz and Chiapel delivered back-to-back RBI singles to cut it to 3-2. After a forceout at home, Joe Dickson smacked a base hit back up the middle to bring home two runners and give the Spartans their first lead at 4-3.

“We knew it was gonna be back and forth. That’s what we preached,” Stewart said. “We even talked about them maybe even coming out on top early and then having to bounce back. That’s exactly what happened.”

The offensive fireworks slowed down momentarily when each team went down 1-2-3 in the third inning only to pick right back up in the fourth.

Marquette put the first four batters of the inning on base to chase Logusch from the mound. Miller bounced an RBI single up the middle to tie the game 4-4, but reliever Colin Doherty came in and did a masterful job of retiring the next three batters to keep the game deadlocked.

De Smet regained the lead in the fifth when Ilgenfritz and Chiapel combined to come through again with a ground-rule double and single, respectively, to forge the Spartans back on top 5-4.

“I had two strikes on me and with him in scoring position, I knew I had to put the ball in play and do something for the team,” Chiapel said.

The Mustangs loaded the bases once again in the fifth, but Doherty wiggled his way out of that jam as well with two shallow pop flies to the outfield and a forceout.

“Gosh, Colin Doherty just absolutely shut them down,” Stewart said. “We know he’s a funky lefty and we know he fills up the zone.”

That gave Marquette 12 runners left on base through the first five innings, including the bases loaded four times. The Mustangs would end up with 14 runners left on base.

“I’m sure there’s about a dozen stories in Missouri right now about getting baseballed. That’s just getting baseballed,” Meyer said. “It’s hard to hit the ball when it’s coming at you. Sometimes, the field looks smaller and the holes look smaller.”

The Spartans added an insurance run in the home half of the fifth on Seth Roggenkamp’s sacrifice fly to take their first two-run lead of the day at 6-4 and they were able to make it stand for state title No. 2.

“At the beginning of the year, everyone talked us down and said we weren’t gonna be able to do it,” Chiapel said. “That’s what makes it feel even better.”

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