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story.lead_photo.caption Peyton Huddleston of Helias slides into third base just a little too late as he's tagged out by Fatima third baseman Shane Verslues during the first game of Thursday's doubleheader in Westphalia. Photo by Liv Paggiarino / News Tribune.

WESTPHALIA — Trevor Austin couldn't help but laugh.

The Helias graduated senior was in an unfamiliar spot as he strode to the plate for his first at-bat in the second game of Thursday night's doubleheader against the Fatima Comets at Lions Field.

During his time at Helias, Austin has been a mainstay in the top of the batting order for the Crusaders. But in his final game in the blue and gold, he was batting ninth.

When's the last time he was at the very bottom of the lineup?

"Never," Austin said.

The Missouri signee had an RBI single to center in that at-bat, then belted his second grand slam of the night in his next appearance as Helias swept Fatima by scores of 8-0 and 8-3.

"You just think about how good a senior season he could have had with the way he's hit this summer," Helias coach Garrett Wiggans said.

Kaleb Haley, another graduated senior, tossed a one-hitter in going the distance to shine on the mound in the first game. He walked two and struck out four.

"It was fun, it was better than I expected because Fatima is a pretty good team," Haley said.

Wiggans was impressed with Haley's performance.

"He's thrown a lot of good games for us and that one ranks up there with the best of them," he said. "You could tell he really wanted to do well, he was zoned in. He's all about playing ball."

Helias scored two runs in the second inning of the first game. After leading off the inning with a single, Jacob Weaver later scored on a balk. Ethan Holzhauser drove in the other run with a groundout.

The Crusaders then broke the game open with a four-run fourth. Peyton Huddleston led off with a single and he stole second. Griffin Buschjost then reached on a dropped third strike before Alex Loethen walked to load the bases.

One out later, Austin smacked a fly ball over the fence in center for a grand slam to make it 6-0.

"It was a fastball in, I got my hands inside and I hit it pretty good," he said.

Helias got its final two runs in the fifth on a single by Loethen.

In the second game, the Crusaders scored four times in the second inning to take the lead. Zach Wolken had an RBI single ahead of Austin's, while Jacob Watson drove in a run with a bases-loaded walk. The other run scored on an error.

Helias then scored four times in the third.

Loethen led off with a walk and stole second before Zach Paschael walked. Wolken followed with a walk to load the bases to bring Austin to the plate.

The first three pitches were out of the strike zone and Austin took a look down the third-base line to Wiggans in the coaches box.

"I asked coach Wiggans if I had the green light and he said I did," Austin said.

Fatima's outfielders barely moved as Austin's bases-loaded blast carried far past the fence in center.

"Fastball right down the middle," Austin said about his final at-bat in a Helias uniform.

But he wasn't done playing. Austin, who started the first game at his usual position at shortstop, was the designated hitter in the nightcap. After the homer, he went out to play right field for the first time since a blowout in summer baseball three summers ago when he played with a traveling team out of St. Louis.

Austin had to make a couple of plays in the outfield, one good and one not so good.

The not so good came when he came up throwing on a single to try to get a runner out at the plate. It sailed about halfway up the screen.

"I wasn't expecting the ball to come my way, so I wasn't really ready for it," Austin said.

He was ready the second time, throwing a strike to catcher Cole Stumpe after a single for the final out of what was a two-run fifth inning for Fatima.

Fatima scored its other run in the sixth.

Five pitchers threw in the six-inning contest for the Crusaders. James Schaefer pitched the first two innings. He was followed by Zane Crocker-Nierman, Paschal, Quinton Baker and Jaden Kolb.

While the league will continue next week, it won't for Helias as it has a dead week for sporting activities.

Helias wrapped up the four-week league with a 15-1 record, losing only in the second game of a doubleheader on opening night to Fatima at the American Legion Post 5 Sports Complex.

Fatima is scheduled to host Father Tolton on Tuesday and play Thursday at Battle in Columbia.

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