The Sedalia Bombers lineup beginning with Robert Cummins, Justin Holt and Quade Smith walk up to three songs in the top 5 of the Billboard Hip Hop Top 100. Cummins to Desiigner’s “Panda,” and Holt and Smith use two Rihanna songs.
Hometown slugger Jordan Dey mercifully relieves the Sedalia audience with country anthem “My Town” by Montgomery Gentry in the cleanup spot.
Two weeks ago, a Bombers lineup with the same top four scored five runs in the first inning against Ozark. Monday against the Branson Nationals, the Bombers plated three runs in the first frame.
This is to say that Monday’s Bombers lineup brought the hits, defeating Branson 11-1 behind a Burke Echelmeier quality start. The victory puts Sedalia (14-8) a 1/2 game above the St. Joseph Mustangs in MINK League North standings, music to the Bombers’ ears after a 1-5 start to the season.
Jonathan Ramon provided the biggest hits of the night, collecting six RBIs and swatting his first home run of the season in the fifth inning. He was 4-for-4 on the day and was hit by a pitch.
“I was kind of anxious – very anxious actually,” Ramon said. “Those first two at-bats, I got down 0-2, and I feel like being down 0-2 helped me calm down, because I wasn’t trying to do too much, just trying to be simple.”
Nationals starter Billy Lovvorn allowed four runs in 4 1/3 innings and was relieved by Garrett Payne. The Bombers scored five more on Payne in the fifth and sixth innings.
The Bombers allowed their only run in the seventh after three full-count Echelmeier walks loaded the bases. Isaiah Martinez grounded into a 6-4-3 double play to score Mason Goade, and Blake Hobbs struck out to end the threat.
Echelmeier, a Fulton, Missouri native, pitched seven innings, allowing one run on three hits, five walks and striking out eight. He pitched from the bullpen at Alabama State, and is looking to make the jump to starter with longer outings over the summer.
Echelmeier said before fatigue set in around the seventh, all his pitches were under command.
“Sometimes you just have it,” Echelmeier said. “You just feel those pitches a lot better. We got the win tonight, and that was the big thing … I just get a lot more sore.”
Aaron Armstrong entered the game in the eighth. Cummins picked off a runner at first, and Armstrong recorded two strikeouts to strand a Nationals runner at third. Armstrong struck out two more in the ninth to close the game.
On a musical night at Liberty Park – a local dance studio provided between-innings entertainment – the top-half of the lineup shone.
The top four batters in Sedalia’s lineup scored seven runs, and Dey batted in two going 2-for-5 with a double.
Holt, who batted second, said he and Nicholls State teammate, Smith, synchronized Rihanna-themed walk-up music on the ride to join the Sedalia Bombers. They are usually in consecutive spots in the batting order.
“I heard it on the way up here,” Holt said of the song, “Needed Me.” “On the 12-hour drive from Mississippi, you listen to all types of music. It came on and I was like, ‘Wow, this is it. This is what I need for the summer.’”
Smith chose “Work” as his walk up music after Holt’s decision.
The Bombers (14-8) face the Ozark Generals on the road Tuesday at 7 p.m.
Alex Agueros can be reached at 660-826-1000, ext. 1483 or on Twitter @abagueros2