Lenexa Free State High's baseball team lost a demoralizing extra-inning game Wednesday to Shawnee Mission West.
The Firebirds surrendered four runs in the bottom of the seventh inning and went on to lose, 7-6, in eight innings.
FSHS won the Sunflower League title, anyway.
"We told the kids before the game we needed to win the game to win the championship, because we honestly thought that," Free State coach Mike Hill said. "After the game, we heard we won it even though we lost. So we talked about the things we could have done better. The kids were upset and down a little bit. Before we broke off, we congratulated them on the championships. That picked 'em up a little bit."
With the loss, the Firebirds fell to 15-3 overall, 7-3 in the Sunflower League.
Lawrence High, which swept Leavenworth Wednesday, also finished with three league losses; all other contenders had at least four league losses.
Since FSHS beat LHS in their Sunflower League game, the Firebirds won league by tiebreaker.
"It's a good accomplishment," Hill said. "We're proud of it."
Wednesday's game was another matter, though Hill wasn't too dismayed.
"We had a chance, up 6-2 in the seventh," he said. "We had pitched well, and continued to pitch well in the seventh. But we have to give credit to West. They hit some balls legitimately and made some things happen. We could have played better, but the loss was no fault of our own. Our opponent was good, and they responded."
SM West improved to 13-7.
Free State will play host to Blue Valley North at 5:30 p.m. today.
SM West 7, Free State 6, 8 innings
Free State 100 005 00 -- 6 5 2
SM West 001 100 41 -- 7 11 2
W -- VanDeelen. L -- Ryne Price, 1-1.
Free State highlights -- Robby Price 3-for-4, 2B, 3B; Ryne Price 1-for-2, 2 RBIs.