Sometimes in all the hub-bub of the multiple spring sports, a sports fan misses out on the "big weeks" or significant wins of teams around the state. We'll shoot you a few..
Parkway West (11-7) started the season 3-6 but really caught fire lately. The Longhorns knocked off strong Timberland and Lindbergh teams on Thursday and Friday to run their "streak" to 8-1 since April 9. Gabe Held (.412) and Jake Triulzi (.407) lead this potent attack that has to be watched carefully during District week.
Notre Dame (Cape)raised its mark to 15-1 with an easy 13-3 win over New Madrid. This experienced post-season team has its ace, Colton Young back again along with veterans Jake Pewitt and Mark Hagedorn. In the New Madrid win, Pewitt banged out 3 hits and Hagedorn blasted a round-tripper.
Sailing the the tough waters of the MCC, CBC (16-6) went 4-0 this week with conference victories over SLUH and Chaminade and additional wins over Parkway Central and Triad. Currently ahead in the conference race at 4-1, it's a long way from over. There aren't any "gimmes" - 11-6 is lowest record of any team in this league that has made a habit of sending teams to the Final Four in recent years. The Cadets are led at the plate by GJ Strauss (.462, 6 HR, 27 RBI), David Schmidt (.463) and Mike Ehrhard (.446). The return of Parker Stewart has bolstered this already strong offense.
Potosi (13-1) clinched the large division of the MAAA Conference outright for the first time since 1999 with a convincing 7-2 win over North County. Ace Devin Hampton pushed his personal record for the year to 6-0 with the win. Hampton scattered three hits in his complete game effort. Mineral Area CC signee Tanner Glore was was 2 of 3 with 3 ribbies. Potosi and Valle Catholic (Small school champ of MAAA) will be waiting to see which draws #1 seed in the upcoming conference tournament.
A long-time small school power, Oran Eagles (10-6) withstood a furious rally by the Woodland Cardinals and held on for an 8-7 win. The Eagles who led 8-2 after 3 innings were led by the five RBI's of Nolan Urhahn. Jesse Long also knocked in five runs and went 2-3 for the Cardinals in the losing cause.
In a key battle in the Northwest corner of the State, Lafayette (12-5)belted Bishop LeBlond (13-2) 9-1. Using eleven hits, Lafayette jumped on LeBlond for 3 quick runs in the first inning and took it home from there.
The Nixa Eagles (7-12) put back-back "big" wins together this week. On Tuesday, The Eagles tumbled Webb City (10-6) 3-0 behind the excellent pitching of Josh Neufield. Neufield permitted just five hits, struck out eight but....and this is important and rather unusual in high school play.....NO ERRORS by the defense behind him. Gage Belcher of the Cardinals yielded just two hits but a costly error in 5th opened the gates for two runs. On Thursday, Nixa rallied for two runs in the last inning to topple Neosho(9-7) 4-3. Ryan Russell's 7th inning single drove home the winner.
This day in the Central Ozarks Conference saw Branson ensure a conference title. This halts the ten year run of Ozark HS as conference champions! While disappointed, congrats are in order to Ozark for their incredible run.
Ft Zumwalt North went 3-0 this week to raise their record to 16-2. While Danny Kueckelhan (.436), Jordan Hankins (.432) and Ryan Fox (.396) are crucial components for the Panthers, its the pitching that carries this squad. Wade Rothermich (5-0, 1.56) and Jordan Hankins (6-2, 1.67) are the 1-2 punch need to advance deep into post-season tournament play. Sure good #3-4 hurlers are wonderful during the season and can keep long winning streaks alive but at "crunch" time, it's the 1-2 starters who carry the load.
Coach announces retirement after 32 years and then wins later that same day....
On the same day that Darrell Davis submitted his resignation letter to the Fulton School Board, the Hornets topped Hallsville 3-2 in a game that went down to the very last play. With the tying run on second base, Hallsville tried scoring him on a base hit but he was gunned down to end the game. Davis has been a fixture at Fulton for 32 years. His long-time work in football, baseball and many other contributions will be missed in Fulton.
YOU WANT SOME HITTING....
Branson outslugged Carthage 23-12 to ensure their conference title. The Pirates and the Tigers banged out 35 hits on a very windy day that often caused the defense severe trouble. Remarkably, only one home run as Isaac Johnston belted a 3-run blast for the Pirates. Thank goodness for day-light saving time and that umpires are paid by the game, not the time... no report on the length of the game.
Rock Bridge (16-1) scored nine runs in the first innings with two outs on the way to a 15-5 win over Kirksville. Beau Burkett led the Bruins with a 3 for 4, 4 RBI's and a home run. Travis Bittle (4-0) remained unblemished on the hill while working 3 of the 5 innings.
MAYBE SOME PITCHING...
Jake Jones held the Lee Summit West Titans (14-6) to just one hit in 8 innings on route to a 3-2 Belton win. Belton scored the winning run on an error in the top of the 8th in this Suburban Middle Six game.
Chaffee's Andrew Dooley twirled a one-hitter as the Red Devils (7-6)squeaked out a 1-0 thriller over Meadow Heights. Dooley hung up 9 K's in the game. His counterpart Cody Kennedy struck out 11 batters in this well played game.
A tough week ....
Westran started the week 10-1 but it was a very tough week for the Hornets. Justin Spring out-dueled the Westran ace,Tyler Hunt, 3-2 as Salisbury edged the Hornets 3-2 in 8 innings of the Lewis & Clark Tournament Title game. Hunt had 16 strikeout in 7 2/3 innings but was unable to hold onto a 2-1 lead going into the bottom of the 8th. Hunt still has a .619 average at the plate.
The next day, Garrett Kelly quieted the Westran (10-3) bats as Sturgeon won a 11-4 victory. The State-ranked Bulldogs( 10-2) had five strong innings by Kelly. Kelly carries a .548 season average at the plate. These two one-run losses won't ruin the Hornets' terrific season.
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