The Sedalia Rick Ball Wood Bat Tournament ended abruptly Sunday afternoon after an hours-long rain delay.
During this time, head coach Brent Hodge managed to schedule a game with their would-be championship opponents, Blue Springs Elks.
“We had the field, and we are extremely limited on the games that we can play here,” Hodge said. “When it was pouring down rain, casual conversation, ‘Hey, does anyone want to come down Tuesday?’”
Blue Springs Elks did. And, after rolling through the tournament over the weekend, Sedalia’s Junior Legion club delivered a dud against them, losing 11-1 in five innings Tuesday at Liberty Park in Sedalia.
Elks pitcher Nick Brander limited Sedalia to three runs on six hits. Sedalia Rick Ball Ford, the visiting team on scorecards, tallied all their runs in the fifth inning, cutting the deficit to 5-3.
The fifth inning was Sedalia’s worst. Nick Anders, who relieved Alec Luyet in the fourth inning, induced three ground balls with the bases loaded. One snuck past the right side of the infield, one resulted in a putout at home and another nearly started a 6-4-3 double play, but the reception at first was incomplete.
Logan Mckay stole home and made it 8-3 after a Sedalia pickoff attempt at first. Grant Eifert entered the game with two outs and the bases loaded. He walked one run home, and an RBI single from Travis Lawson ended the game by mercy rule, 11-3.
Hodge said the team did a good job of fighting back 5-0, but failed to maintain that effort.
“From the second inning on, our backs are against the wall,” Hodge said. “What we didn’t do, through four innings, was fold. In the fifth inning, being able to put up a three-spot, that’s huge, but then what do you do after it? And that’s where, obviously, we crumbled.”
Sedalia got on the board when Brant Gideon tapped the ball to the pitcher with two runners on. He grounded out to first but scoring Rylan Chamberlin, who led off with a double.
Baron Austin, who walked, scored from third as Gideon stole second. Clayton Meyer scored Corbin Reese with an RBI single.
Sedalia Rick Ball Ford Post 642 Aux. (27-6) faces Warrensburg on the road Wednesday in a doubleheader.
Sedalia’s batters have used wood bats the past two weeks in preparation for weekend wood bat tournaments. Wednesday’s game affects league standings, and Hodge said the team will swing “whatever they want” against Warrensburg. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.
Alex Agueros can be reached at 660-826-1000, ext. 1483 or on Twitter @abagueros2