BRIDGETON — Ballwin American Legion baseball coach Mike Bellville tried to get Rob Norman to stop.
But Norman, Post 611's speedy leadoff hitter, wasn't about to slow down. He ran right through the stop sign at third base.
"I'm just really glad he didn't listen to me," Bellville said. "It's just (good) baseball sense and he's done it all year."
Norman's mad dash home completed a two-run outburst in the 11th inning as Ballwin downed Lemay 9-7 in the District 10 championship game on Sunday at Bridgton Municipal Athletic Complex.
"That's the hardest I've ever run. Ever," Norman said. "(Winning the district championship) is a big accomplishment. I'm just happy for all my teammates."
Ballwin (16-14) won its first district crown since 2014 and will play on Thursday against Jackson at 5:30 p.m. in the Zone 4 Tournament at Yanks Field in Ste. Genevieve.
Post 611 scored twice in the 11th to put an end to the emotion-filled contest.
Chris Miller, the No. 9 hitter, singled to start the rally. He moved to third on a pair of wild pitches to set the stage for Norman's charge around the bases. The Marquette High senior-to-be slammed the next pitch to right-center field. The outfielder dropped the ball and Norman immediately turned on the jets.
"I knew that Chris Miller was going to score and I was looking for second at least," Norman said. "When the ball got past him, I was thinking, 'Alright, I'll get to third.' When I saw it skip past the pitcher, I was like, 'I'm going home.'"
Norman scampered home on the two errors to put Ballwin up 9-7 in the top of the 11th. He then went out to the mound to toss his fourth successive shutout inning. He allowed only three baserunners and struck out six in relief.
Lemay coach Keith Louis said his team simply came up short.
"I think it was the heat, 11 1/2 innings, and just being worn out," Louis said. "With the rain this year, I think we've played 17 games in 19 days. It's been hot and I believe the kids just wore out."
Lemay (15-3) bolted out to a 2-1 lead in the first before giving up five runs in the second inning.
"We battled. They could have folded and gone home, but all they wanted to do is fight and play baseball," Louis said. "Ballwin let us back in with a few miscues and we took advantage of them."
Ballwin starting pitcher Trenton Bell threw well and overcame several defensive miscues. He scattered five hits over seven innings and only allowed two earned runs.
"Every time there's a play, there could be an error, but you can't control that," Bell said. "You just have to throw strikes and do your game and trust your guys to make the play."
Even when Lemay took a 7-6 lead in the fifth inning, Bellville never considered lifting Bell.
"He's been our guy all year," Bellville said. "We knew we had him on four days rest, so we knew he was going to go 105 (pitches) again. It was ride-or-die with him. We were very happy to get through the seventh inning with him and Robbie came in and shut the door."
Lemay managed to threaten in the extra innings and did so without its leadoff hitter. Jacob Morlen was ejected in the fourth inning after a play at first base where he got tangle up with Ballwin first baseman Alex Venturella.
"We ran out of pitching because we had kids leave," Louis said. "It was a tough thing, but the kids did a good job. Ballwin made the plays when they needed to make the plays."