June 7, 2018 – “I’m going to remember this forever,” said Tiger baseball player Peyton Soria. “Making the final four isn’t something that happens every year so I’m never going to forget this and it’s something I’ll eventually be telling stories about to my kids one day.”
Soria is one of four seniors who played Tiger baseball all four years in high school, along with Cade Teat, Josh Bruning, and Emilio Cordova. These four seniors worked hard, day and night during baseball season, and made it to the starting lineup to compete at the state level championship.
Making it to the play-offs gave the entire town something to be proud of, and many residents, former and current Tigers, showed up on Thursday, May 31, to send their hometown boys off in style as they made their way to O’Fallon to compete. The Tigers gave it their all in the semifinal round of the Missouri Class 4 state high school baseball tournament, but lost 6-5 to St. Mary’s on Friday, June 1 at CarShield Field.
Excelsior Springs scored two runs in the third inning and ran two more home in the fourth making the score 4-0. St. Mary’s fought back in the sixth inning by sending six players home to capture a lead of 6-4 against the Tigers. The Tigers tacked on one more run in the bottom of the seventh inning, but it wasn’t enough, sending the Tigers to compete for third on June 2 against Boonville.
The Excelsior Springs versus Boonville third-place game was canceled due to poor weather which resulted in both teams taking a third-place victory.
The fourth-year Tigers felt as if they delivered the biggest grand slam of the season by bringing back the third-place victory to their hometown.
“It was a fun ride, and I’m glad we got to do it for Excelsior,” said Brunning. “We knew we just had to put some pieces together and we would be able to compete against any team in the state. I’m glad I got to experience the season with my great teammates, and I will always be thankful for the opportunity.”
Making it to state has been Cordova’s goal throughout his baseball career.
“It doesn’t feel real. I could honestly never forget it. It was such an amazing experience. I wouldn’t trade for the world,” said Cordova.
Soria shared that same goal.
“It feels amazing to accomplish this for Excelsior Springs because I love this town, and it’s something that hasn’t been done in a long time,” said Soria.
“We are extremely thankful for their hard work and dedication,” tweeted the official ESHS Tigers baseball account. “You have so much to be proud of!”
Featured image: Baseball seniors Josh Bruning, Emilio Cordova, Cade Teat and Peyton Soria. (Photo by Gannon Boone)