PERRYVILLE -- The Oran Eagles' big-game experience and tradition proved too much for the upstart Saxony Lutheran Crusaders in a Class 1 quarterfinal baseball matchup.
Oran, with 15 district titles and seven final four appearances on its resume, defeated second-year program Saxony Lutheran 9-0 at Perryville City Park on Friday.
Oran (25-4) seeks its first state title to go with three runner-up finishes and four third places, but coach Mitch Wood simply wants to keep getting there.
"No doubt about it," said Wood. "I spoke at a clinic this past year and one of the things someone asked was 'Don't you get tired of coming up here and getting second place,' and I responded, 'I'd get tired of not coming, that's what I'd get tired of.'
"I just want a chance to win it every year. If good things happen for us, fine, and if they don't, the kids play hard and hopefully we represent Southeast Missouri well."
Oran, the visiting team on a coin toss, scored the first run in its initial at-bat.
Caleb Seyer led off with a double to the base of the fence just inside the left-
field foul line. Following a walk to Kody Campbell and a flyout, Chase Seyer grounded out to first, but a wide throw to double Campbell at second flew into left field as Caleb Seyer trotted home.
Another unearned run plated in the second inning for a 2-0 Oran lead.
A leadoff walk to Paul Bucher preceded a sacrifice bunt attempt by Chris Asmus. Again, a wild throw to first set up the Eagles with runners at first and third and no outs. A one-out sacrifice fly by Caleb Seyer scored Bucher.
"We had some mental lapses that first couple of innings," said Saxony assistant Lance Limbaugh, subbing for head coach John Beaudean, away on school business. "Our pitcher started a little hesitantly, trying to be too fine. I think he walked three. With a team (Oran) like this, you can't give them anything free."
The Eagles opened their lead in the third inning on a three-run homer by Asmus, his first of the season.
"I've been struggling so I've been taking a lot of batting practice lately, hitting off the tee," said Asmus. "The first pitch was fat and I missed it. Coach told me to keep my head in there--I've been having a lot of trouble with that. The second one was in the same place and I just saw it and hit it.
"Hopefully, this helps me break out of my slump."
The homer couldn't have been more timely for Asmus, who had been scolded by Wood for missing a sign the previous inning.
"He (Wood) told me to make up for it, make up for the run that we didn't score," said Asmus. "That (the homer) was a relief."
Asmus' hit also brought the hook for Saxony starter and loser Ben Courtois, who was relieved by Chris Roth.
While nursing a 5-0 lead, Oran starter Chase Seyer cruised, facing two batters over the minimum through seven innings. Two double plays by an errorless Eagle defense erased Saxony baserunners in the third and fourth frames.
Seyer went the distance, tossing a four-hit shutout with five strikeouts and no walks.
"He (Seyer) did a good job pitching today," said Wood. "Our pitching and defense has brought us here and we've just been letting our hitting take care of itself. Every day we've had different kids in the order (step up). The Asmus kid came up big today, hit a big shot. We're just hitting the ball well right now."
Saxony's Limbaugh felt his team may have shown a bit of nerves early.
"They were a little quieter today," he said. "I thought they would come out ready to go, but it took them awhile. About the fourth inning, we actually started to play."
Oran tacked on three more unearned runs in the fourth to go ahead 8-0.
A leadoff walk to Seyer and a sharp single by Campbell just past the third baseman put Eagles on first and second. A third throwing error, this one on a bunt by Austin Dumey, allowed Seyer to score, then Campbell came home on a groundout. The third run scored on a sacrifice fly by Tyler Beardslee.
The Eagles closed the scoring in the sixth as Caleb Seyer led off with a double and scored on Beardslee's two-out single.
Caleb Seyer led the nine-hit Oran offense, going 2-for-2 with three runs scored and a RBI. Campbell went 2-for-3, Beardslee 1-for-3 with two RBIs and Asmus 1-for-4 with the fence-clearing blast and three RBIs.
Chase Seyer, Joey Williams and Alex Chasteen chipped in with one hit apiece.
Saxony (14-7) finished its improbable run with its first-ever district championship and sectional win.
"It ended a little quicker than we would have liked," said Limbaugh, "but we came out and proved a lot of people wrong as a second-year program."
Oran opens the Class 1 Tournament on Wednesday at 11 a.m. against Sacred Heart, 8-2 winners over Leeton, at Taylor Stadium on the campus of the University of Missouri in Columbia.