“It was crazy,” said Niemeyer, a senior whose brother Adam played for Minster’s state championship teams in 2011 and 2012. “I was underneath that pile. I was just taking it all in.”
Minster (25-7) not only avenged a 17-6 loss to Russia in the second game of the season, it also soothed some of the pain from losing 24-6 to Warren John F. Kennedy in the Division VII state football championship in November. Seventeen of the 21 players on the baseball team also played football.
“We knew coming in here we were not losing again,” Niemeyer said. “All of us seniors made sure that didn’t happen.”
WATCH: Minster beats Russia in state final on walkoff hit
Sophomore Jack Heitbrink starred on the mound for Minster, pitching five straight scoreless innings after allowing a run in the second. He gave up five hits in seven innings, walked one and struck out five.
Russia finished the season 24-7. It was seeking its second state title and first since 1971. This was its first final four appearance since 1975.
“It hurts,” Russia coach Kevin Phlipot said. “It’s going to sting for a long time. But the farther you get away from it, the more you’re going to appreciate it. It was a huge accomplishment.”