Festus Set for Date With Windsor in District Finals

The Festus Tigers blow through the first two rounds of the District Playoffs and are now set to take on the Windsor Owls to try and win their third straight championship.

The Festus Tigers are looking to win their third straight District Championship on Monday. After claiming Class 6 District 1 Titles in 2021 and 2022, the Tigers are now just 21 outs away from a district three-peat (sorry Pat Riley).

It won’t be an easy road though, as they will have to take on the Windsor Owls, who just eliminated the Hillsboro Hawks in the Semifinals. The Hawks were the top seed in the tournament, so Windsor had to pull out all the stops for the upset victory. And they won’t go down without a fight.

If you’re wondering how Festus got here, they capped off a 21-8 regular season to earn the second seed in the tournament, and came into Wednesday’s tourney opener against Farmington with a ton of momentum. The Tigers struck first with a run in the third and then broke the game open in the fourth with a three-run effort that included RBIs from Brady Nolen, Jeremiah Cunningham and Hayden Bates.

They went up 4-1 and ultimately held on to win 5-2, thanks in large part to Mason Schirmer, who spun five brilliant innings of three-hit ball. He didn’t allow an earned run and fanned eight against just two walks.

That win sent the Tigers to the Semis and set them up to face a tough North County team. The Raiders were no match for Festus in this one though. Ian Brown was on the bump and he twirled six blissful innings of two-hit ball. He didn’t allow a run and struck out 10 against just two walks. Nate Moore came on in relief in the seventh and shut the game down with a clean frame that featured a pair of Ks.

Festus won 7-0, in what was one of their more convincing victories of the season. The staff didn’t need much offensive support, but they got it anyway with a strong game from Bates, who ripped a pair of doubles and drove in a run. The Tigers scored three in the fourth and four in the sixth to account for all the scoring, and Nolen, Schirmer, Jackson Gross and Cole Skaggs all had RBIs as well.

So now the stage is set to take on the Owls in the finale. Windsor and Festus have had a budding rivalry across the board in all sports the past couple of seasons, and this could be the tilt that sends it into full-blown territory.

This season the two teams faced each other twice, and it couldn’t have been closer in terms of end results. Windsor won 2-1 at home on April 10th, but the next day the Tigers hosted the Owls and blanked them 2-0 to even the score. Two games is a pretty small sample size, but these teams seem to be fairly evenly matched.

The Tigers will have to look out for Max Hartmann (.365 avg, 20 RBI, 18 SB), Austin Happel (.344 avg, 21 RBI 15 SB) and slugger Cole Scott, who has seven homers an 28 RBI on the season. The Windsor offense is deep, but their pitching can be exposed.

The Tigers have a long lineup with enough patient hitters and guys with the potential to mash, that they should be able to expose a potentially suspect pitching staff.

Festus is going to have to bring it on Monday if they want to capture yet another District Title and make a deep State run. First pitch is at 4:30.

Good luck Tigers! Festus Set for Date With Windsor in District Finals

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