The Sedalia Bombers are likely glad to be rid of their St. Joseph rivals after sending two scheduled seven-inning games into 10 innings over the course of four days.
Game one ended in a 6-5 Bombers victory Monday. Game two was postponed for lightning with Sedalia trailing 5-1 after two innings. Its make-up game Thursday lasted seven more innings, three hours and saw two ejections.
Despite climbing back from a 7-1 deficit, the Bombers, being out-hit 11-to-4, lost 8-7 in 10 innings.
In the ninth inning, Aaron Armstrong struck out Evan McDonald swinging. After a pause — and an under-his-breath farewell from the pitcher — McDonald rushed the mound. Armstrong dashed away from the encounter toward third base, and the benches cleared.
Robert Cummins, who entered the scene from first base, attempted to break things up with open palms. He and McDonald were ejected and suspended for the 7 p.m. game.
Head coach Craig McAndrews said he told Cummins he “did the right thing.” He also said that while he enjoys a heated MINK League rivalry, Thursday’s scene was excessive.
“I’ve always lived by, let the players play, the umps ump, and the coaches coach,” McAndrews said. “Both teams let that get out of hand a little bit. It’s part of the game … We’ve played these guys three times and they’ve all been extra innings. We’ve been fighting with them for first place for seven years. There’s a rivalry. There’s a hatred. We respect each other, but it’s like the Red Sox, Yankees for the MINK League.
“I love the intensity, I love the rivalry, but it should never come to that.”
Jonathan Ramon moved from second to first to replace Cummins, and John Privitera entered the game at second base. Matt Wollnick replaced McDonald at shortstop.
The Bombers mounted a five-run rally in the fifth to get back in the game. Ramon singled to score Quade Smith from second with two outs. Devon Morrill and Louis Niemerg walked to load the bases, and Ben Whetstone scored one more with a single.
Jake Kistaitis was hit by a pitch for an RBI the hard way, before Logan Campbell relieved Jeremiah Figueroa. Justin Holt drew an RBI walk and the Bombers trailed by one after Smith took a pitch off his elbow guard.
Smith, who was hit by his third pitch of the season, said taking walks any way he can is part of his game.
“That’s why the elbow guard is there,” Smith said. “I just try to find ways to get on base and try to score runs for my team.”
Dalton Horstmeier grounded to third base, and nearly beat the throw to first to tie the game. Initially signaled safe, the call was reversed, to the verbal dismay of coaches, fans and scorekeepers.
Niemerg was touched by a pitch to lead off the seventh. Sedalia got their run to force extras on a Kistaitis RBI sacrifice fly, tying the game 7-7.
Brady Anderson, who checked into the game before the inning, unloaded on Armstrong’s first pitch to break the tie. While Armstrong – who allowed two hits in four innings – retired the next three batters, Anderson’s leadoff solo home run was the difference.
“I was basically just looking for something to do some damage, or just hit a ball in the gap and get on base somehow,” Anderson said. “It worked out that way I guess.”
Alex Agueros can be reached at 660-826-1000, ext. 1483 or on Twitter @abagueros2