While Easter weekend provided an early-season break for most teams around the area, all levels of Smith-Cotton baseball competed in a circuit fit for teams in the full-swing of their season.
For the varsity Tigers, their opponents were in full-swing. Where Smith-Cotton was playing games one through four at the Florida League High School Invitational, schools like Seminole and nationally-ranked Olympia were playing at least their 16th game of the season. The Tigers beat them both, going 3-1 at the tournament.
Head coach Jud Kindle said going frame-for-frame with quality opponents should help team confidence.
“It was very good, very solid competition, which is what we were looking for,” Kindle said. “It’s definitely a confidence boost on the quality of teams we were able to compete with.”
Smith-Cotton 6, Seminole 4
In their final game in Orlando, the Tigers fended off tournament MVP, freshman Matt Allan, to down Seminole 6-4.
Smith-Cotton starter Chase Plymell was MVP, at least for a day, after pitching 4.2 innings and launching a 3-run homer in the second inning. He earned Tournament Player of the Day honors after the performance.
The Tigers plated all the runs they would need in the first two frames. Baxter Mays had a 2-RBI double in the first.
Seminole’s Allan, who hit .400 on the tournament, hit one of his three home runs on the week against Smith-Cotton in the bottom of the fifth inning. He earned another RBI after a bases-loaded balk in the third.
The Tigers would maintain their early lead, however, behind 2.1 innings of relief from Tyler Abney. Plymell picked up the win for Smith-Cotton, allowing four runs on seven hits and no walks.
Smith-Cotton JV 7, Windsor 6
Nick Anders tossed four innings and Kyler Simoncic threw three Saturday in a 7-6 back-and-forth road victory over Windsor.
Smith-Cotton took a 7-5 lead in the sixth after two wild pitches and a fielder’s choice to first base.
Pilot Grove 5, Smith-Cotton C-Team 3
Smith-Cotton’s second junior varsity squad fell 5-3 to Pilot Grove in Windsor.
Sophomore Alec Luyet lasted five innings on the mound for the Tigers. Fellow sophomore Brennan Homan had 2 RBIs in the loss.
Smith-Cotton’s junior varsity travels to Springfield for the Red and Blue Classic tournament at Kickapoo High School, while the C-Team hosts Boonville Wednesday at 5 p.m.
Alex Agueros can be reached at 660-826-1000, ext. 1483 or on Twitter @abagueros2