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STATE BASEBALL: Webb City falls to Borgia in Class 5 semifinals

Jason Peake

OZARK, Mo. — The Webb City Cardinals will attempt to end the 2023 season with a win on Saturday.

Unfortunately, the Cardinals will look to capture the third-place plaque as opposed to a state championship trophy.

A strong pitching performance from Jack Nobe led St. Francis Borgia to a 4-0 victory over Webb City on Friday in a semifinal contest of the MSHSAA Class 5 state baseball tournament at Sky Bacon Stadium.

With the setback, Webb City (22-14) will take on Fort Zumwalt South (27-7-1) at 10 a.m. Saturday in the tourney’s third-place game. 

Winners of 11 straight games, Borgia (25-5) will meet Festus (26-8) in the title game at 1 p.m.

Simply put, the Cardinals couldn’t get the bats going against Borgia’s Nobe, a junior right-hander who has verbally committed to Xavier.

Webb City managed just two hits against the hard-throwing Nobe, who improved to 7-1 on the mound.

“We knew coming in he was a really good pitcher,” Webb City coach Andrew Doennig said of Nobe. “He did a good job of mixing his fastball and his breaking ball. I thought we put the ball in play quite a bit…we didn’t have many strikeouts. But we couldn’t get anything to fall.”

For most of the semifinal contest, it was a pitcher’s duel between Nobe and Webb City senior right-hander Kaylor Darnell.

Nobe went the distance, surrendering just two hits in seven innings. He walked none and struck out five. Nobe faced only three batters in five of the seven frames.

“He was hard to square up,” Doennig said. “He keeps hitters off-balance. We could never really hit too many balls hard. Sometimes that happens in baseball…it was just one of those days.” 

Webb City infielder Cy Darnell throws to first base during a Class 5 semifinal game on Friday at Sky Bacon Stadium in Ozark. Photo by Paul Halfacre/Special to SoMo Sports.

Nobe also tossed seven shutout innings against Glendale in the quarterfinals, limiting the Falcons to two hits.

Kaylor Darnell (9-3) threw well in defeat. The Missouri Southern recruit went 5 1/3 innings, allowing one earned run on five hits. He struck out five, walked two and hit three. 

Darnell left in the sixth to a nice round of applause from the Webb City faithful with his team trailing 1-0. 

“Kaylor kept us in the game,” Doennig said. “You could see he didn’t have his best stuff today, but he battled through it. He did a great job. You could tell he was pretty gassed. We’ve asked a lot of him. This was his fourth start in-a-row. That’s tough for a kid, but he did a good job for us.” 

In the Final Four for the first time in 13 years, Webb City came up with a key defensive play in the bottom of the first inning. 

Borgia’s Nobe tripled to right-center and later attempted to sprint home when a pitch in the turf scooted away from Cardinals catcher Shaun Hunt.

But Hunt was able to pick up the ball in front of the plate and tag out Nobe to keep the game scoreless.

Webb City’s first hit came in the third inning, as senior center fielder Gage Chapman singled to left with two outs. But Nobe was able to retire Sam Weller to end the threat.

Webb City designated hitter Christian Brock makes contact during a Class 5 semifinal game on Friday. Photo by Paul Halfacre/Special to SoMo Sports.

A private school located in Washington, Borgia broke through in the bottom of the third.

With one out, Nobe drew a walk before Tanner McPherson singled to left to put runners on the corners.

Next, Reagan Kandlbinder smacked an RBI single through the left side to get the Knights on the board.

The score held up all the way until the sixth, as both pitchers kept the opposition at bay.

Darnell left after hitting a batter with one out in the sixth inning, with senior right-hander Walker Sweet taking over on the hill. 

After an out, a Webb City error on a ground ball allowed Borgia to extend the inning with two outs. 

Two straight walks, the second on a close 3-2 pitch with the bases loaded, made it 2-0 in favor of the Knights. 

McPherson followed with a two-run single up the middle for a four-run cushion. 

Webb City pitcher Kaylor Darnell delivers to the plate during a Class 5 semifinal game against St. Francis Borgia on Friday. Photo by Paul Halfacre/Special to SoMo Sports.

After a walk, junior Payton Marshall took over on the mound and recorded the final out. 

Webb City senior shortstop Cy Darnell reached on an error to start the seventh.

After Hunt was retired, junior third baseman Drew Vonder Haar reached on an infield single. 

But Nobe was able to retire Christian Brock and Kenley Hood to end the game.

With that, Webb City will look to end the ’23 season on a high note on Saturday in the third-place game.

“It’s tough,” Doennig said. “It’s going to be tough for the kids to come back tomorrow after this one. But we told the kids to flush this one and come back tomorrow and be ready to play for third place. We’ll regroup and we’ll try to win one tomorrow.” 

“We’ll treat tomorrow’s game like a state championship,” said Cy Darnell, who entered the game as the team’s leading hitter (.331 BA). “We’ll be ready to go. We’re going to leave it all out there tomorrow.” 



(At Sky Bacon Stadium)

Friday’s scores

Festus 2, Fort Zumwalt South 0

St. Francis Borgia 4, Webb City 0


Saturday’s schedule

10 a.m. — Fort Zumwalt South vs. Webb City (3rd place)

1 p.m. — Festus vs. Borgia (Title game)


FULL STATS: Webb City HS (


Webb City pitcher Walker Sweet delivers to the plate during a Class 5 semifinal game on Friday at Sky Bacon Stadium in Ozark. Photo by Paul Halfacre/Special to SoMo Sports.


Webb City shortstop Cy Darnell throws to first base during a Class 5 semifinal game on Friday at Sky Bacon Stadium in Ozark. Photo by Paul Halfacre/Special to SoMo Sports.


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