The Sedalia Travelers led Friday’s district 7 semifinal game at Dey Field at Liberty Park against Fike after one inning and only trailed by two after five innings, but eight runs in the seventh put the Travelers away and earned Fike a 16-4 win and a spot in Saturday’s title game.
The Travelers had a second chance to get into Saturday’s title game, but lost 13-3 to Oak Grove to end their run in the tournament.
Oak Grove and Fike will play at noon Saturday for the district title. If Oak Grove wins, the second game will be at 3 p.m.
Since the Travelers finished in the top three of the tournament, they will play in the zone tournament starting Thursday at home.
Against Fike, the Travelers fell behind 6-2 through two and a half innings, but they started chipping away. Gavin Jones homered to left in the bottom of the third and Rocky Sell singled in Brice Pannier in the fifth to cut Fike’s lead to 6-4.
Sedalia had chances to cut the lead even more, but left runners stranded.
Sell was left at second base in the third after doubling to deep left field. A flyout stranded two runners in scoring position in the fifth.
The Travelers also stranded the bases loaded in the first, left a runner at first in the sixth and stranded Sell at second base in the seventh.
Fike extended its lead to 8-4 when Derek Case doubled to right-center. Then eight came across in the seventh. The final two runs scored when Fike’s batter reached on an error.
Sedalia committed six errors for the game.
“You can’t pinpoint that on anything,” said Travelers assistant coach Tanner McKee. “We don’t make excuses. We just have to take it how it is.”
Chase Plymell started on the mound for Sedalia, going 5 1-3 innings. He allowed three earned runs and five unearned runs on nine hits.
“We kept chipping away and Plymell settled in and did great,” McKee said. “Just a couple plays that didn’t go our way that changes the outcome.”
After Fike scored six in the first three innings, Plymell retired the side in order in the fourth and stranded two Fike runners in scoring position in the fifth.
Fike scored on a sac fly in the first, but Sell singled in Pannier and Jones scored when Christian Jones was hit by a pitch in the bottom of the first to give Sedalia a 2-1 lead.
Fike singled in a run in the second to tie the game and scored four in the third to take a 6-2 lead.
In the fourth, Nate Pecota scored on a groundout, Blake Roberts singled in a run, Sawyer Warren tripled to right-center to drive in a run and eventually scored on a passed ball to make it 6-2.
The Travelers allowed a combined 24 run in the first two games of the district tournament.
“The biggest thing is pitch count,” McKee said. “As far as performing and throwing strikes, they are doing a great job of that, but I’ve never seen the first two games that have that many foul off pitches. It’s been tough to get that out-pitch.
Jason Strickland can be reached at 660-530-0147 or on Twitter @J_Strick_Sports.