WARRENSBURG — Christian Jones pitched a one-hitter Thursday at Crane Stadium against the KC Barnstormers Grey as the Rick Ball Ford Sedalia Juniors American Legion team came away with a 3-1 win to start the UCM Tournament.
Jones allowed one run on one hit and walked three in 5 2-3 innings. Gavin Jones struck out the final batter of the sixth and retired the Barnstormers in a row in the seventh.
“Christian and Gavin threw the ball well today,” said coach Jeff Mays. “They threw a lot of strikes, very few walks and we didn’t give them anything. We played good defense and that’s how you win games.”
The lone error for the Juniors happened on a ground ball for the first batter of the game, but Christian snagged a line drive on the mound and doubled off the runner at first for a double play.
In the third inning, the Barnstormers attempted a double steal. The steal at second base was successfull, but Gavin threw the ball home to Luke Rincker to get the lead runner out.
“We played pretty good,” Gavin said about the defense. “We’ve been pretty consistent throughout the year.”
The Barnstormers scored the first run of the game in the second when Ben Pautler walked, stole second, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on a sacrifice fly to center field.
The Juniors scored all three of their runs in the fourth, and it started with Gavin’s lead-off triple in right-center field.
Chase Plymell singled to center field to bring Gavin across the plate. After Jayce Simoncic walked and Mason Sanders’ sacrifice fly, Rincker knocked a two-RBI single to center field to give the Juniors a 3-1 lead.
Rincker went to second on the throw to home and Jake McFail became his courtesy runner. McFail went to third on Derek Bivins’ double, but they were left stranded.
“We hit the ball OK, but we didn’t hit the ball when we needed to,” Mays said. “We could have scored more, but that’s alright.”
Plymell hit a two-out triple in the fifth inning, but didn’t score.
“We’ve got to be a little smarter hitting,” Gavin said. “But whenever we barrel balls up, we usually hit them pretty good and score a few runs and usually our defense helps us win the game.”
The Juniors continue the four-day tournament at 9:30 a.m. today at Crane Stadium against the KC Barnstormers Blue.