Bombers stop St. Joe

Hunter Leeper trots home after a throwing error in the second inning to give the Bombers the lead.

Manager Craig McAndrews greets Justin Murphy as the Bombers starter returns to the dugout after striking out the side in the fifth inning Monday at Dey Field, Liberty Park.

A throw bounces away from Bombers catcher Travis Tokarek, allowing St. Joseph second baseman Orencio Fisher to score in the first inning on Monday.

After waiting through rain-out after rain-out, the Sedalia Bombers returned to the field Monday and beat St. Joseph 9-1 in a rematch of the 2014 MINK League Championship Series.

Through four rain-outs in four days, the Bombers have not played since Wednesday, a long time to mull over a 16-4 loss, but Bombers pitcher Justin Murphy was in control the entire way Monday and had more than enough run support.

The Mustangs took a 1-0 lead in the first after back-to-back singles to open the game. Orencio Fisher then scored on a sacrifice fly. Murphy was in control after that. A fly out and strikeout ended the first with one run in and a man stranded on second. Murphy worked a one-two-three second, then struck out eight of the next nine men he faced, striking out the side in the third and fifth. He said he was “just throwing strikes, keeping people off balance.”

The Mustangs ended his string of 17 straight batters retired with a single in the sixth but a grounder ended that inning with St. Joe scoring no runs.

“Just making pitches is all it comes down to,” he said.

Murphy pitched seven innings of three-hit ball, striking out 10 and walking one. In his last outing, he struck out four while pitching mainly to contact.

“We talked before the game of the sequence we wanted to do for all their guys,” said Bombers catcher Travis Tokarek. “Their hitters toward the bottom of the lineup kind of pulled off the ball a little bit so we stayed off-speed away on those guys and worked the sequence.”

With the field still soggy from rain, the team spent time indoors at the Kindle Sports Academy before getting a chance to get back on the field Monday.

“We took groundballs and pop flies probably for half an hour just because we haven’t been outside,” McAndrews said. “It’s just nice to be on the field again. Guys come to play. Three days of rain delays, guys get a little eager. It’s nice to see the guys play with a lot of energy, it’s almost like a restart of the season.”

The Bombers got on the board with three runs off of no hits in the second. Jordan Dey and Hunter Leeper both drew one-out walks and Tokarek followed with a dribbler straight back to Mustangs pitcher Mitchell Steinhoff. Steinhoff went to second on the play to get Leeper, but the ball sailed away into center as Dey scored. Leeper tried for third and the throw to third sailed away as well, the second error on the play as the Bombers took a 2-1 lead. The multiple errors put Tokarek on third and he scored on a groundout moments later.

The Bombers made it 4-1 in the fifth. With runners on the corners, they attempted a double-steal and a throw to get Stewart Nelson at the plate hit him in the back, allowing him to score. It was 5-1 in the sixth when Jack Mercer singled off Steinhoff’s glove to drive in Dey.

The Bombers broke the game open with four runs in the seventh. Jarrod Perry led off the inning with a double and scored on a throwing error. A Jonathan Ramon single added another moments later and Trey Harris scored on a double play to make it 8-1 before a bases-loaded hit-by-pitch brought in the ninth run of the game.

The Bombers will host the Nevada Griffons at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Games that were rained out have been rescheduled. The Bombers will host Branson on Thursday before facing Joplin June 22, visiting St. Joseph July 6, hosting Nevada July 13. The July 15 game with Joplin is now a doubleheader.

Sedalia Democrat
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