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Battle won: Liberty North baseball claims back-to-back state titles

Inspired by fallen coach, North successfully defends Missouri Class 6 state championship
Liberty North Baseball wins state
Posted at 7:43 PM, Jun 06, 2023

LIBERTY, Mo. — Liberty North baseball is flying high, basking in the glow of another championship season.

“Going back-to-back is really hard, but I knew we could do it,” said junior Bo Jonas, whose run-scoring double in Saturday’s first inning helped spark an offensive outburst for North.

The Eagles defeated Francis Howell High 9-3 Saturday in Ozark, Missouri, clinching back-to-back baseball state titles for the first time in school history.

“Ten hits, nine runs … it's not really ever heard of in a state championship game,” said designated hitter Jackson Downing. “We were battle-tested all year, playing the best teams in the state."

Inspired by fallen coach Rob James and his battle with terminal cancer, the Eagles wore jerseys sporting his moniker, ‘Ready for Battle,’ throughout the postseason.

“Once we put those RFB jerseys on, it just meant more,” said Ryan Stegall, head coach. “[He] taught us so much about baseball, but mainly life in general, and just having fun, enjoying every minute."

Junior third baseman Cole Young said the victory in honor of James came from an attitude of always being ready to "just attack the day."

“It's a mindset you should have every day to wake up and be ready for battle," Young said.