The rust was certainly showing early on in Tuesday’s game between the Sedalia Rick Ball Ford Juniors and Fike, but the energy picked up for the Juniors in the final three innings as they won 8-6.
Due to recent rain, Sedalia hadn’t played since June 2 against the Junior Bombers at home.
Sedalia was down 6-1 before driving home five runs in the fifth inning to tie it up.
The Juniors added a pair of runs in the sixth to complete the rally. Corbin Reese closed out the game on the mound, allowing a runner to reach second base before two strikeouts and a flyout ended the game.
“That was good to see,” said Juniors coach Brent Hodge. “We’ve got a ton of pitchers, which is a good problem to have and we’ve been putting guys in different situations to see kind of where they’ll fall. It was good to see him come in with a good closer mentality.”
Reese said the week-long break was one of the reasons for the slow start, but they picked it up as the game went on.
“Our intensity,” he said. “We had a lot of intensity late in the game.”
In the sixth inning, Corbin Mertgen reached on a fielder’s choice and later advanced to second on an error and took third on a passed ball.
Cash Miller then singled him home to make it 6-2.
Mason Sanders later reached when the third baseman dropped a fly ball in shallow left field. Chase Hagle scored on the play to get the Juniors within three.
With runners on second and third, Derek Bivins smacked a fly ball over the center fielder’s head for a double to make it 6-5 Fike.
Connor Spunaugle then drove in Bivins to tie it up.
“They just kind of kicked it in and realized it’s not over,” Hodge said. “It’s never going to be over for them. This group, they’re competitors.”
Two-out magic helped Sedalia take the lead in the sixth. After a strikeout and a groundout, Hagle and Tristen Jackson hit back-to-back singles and Hagle scored on a throwing error after Jackson’s single.
Sanders then doubled in Jackson to make it 8-6.
“Hitting, especially for us, but with any baseball team is contagious,” Hodge said. “Once we get rolling, we roll.”
Tyler Abney started for Sedalia, but had to exit after allowing two runs in two innings.
“Abney had some shoulder pain early and didn’t expect that,” Hodge said. “Nobody expected that at all. He’s kind of our go-to guy there, but everybody was ready to go when they were called upon.”
Cash Miller came in and allowed two runs each in the third and fourth innings, but only allowed two baserunners in the next two innings.
Fike quickly gained a 2-0 lead when a high throw to first on a dropped third strike allowed a pair of runs to come across.
Abney then retired Fike in order in the second on three flyouts.
The Juniors got a run in the second on a groundout, but allowed two runs in the third and fourth.
The Juniors were up 5-3 in the third inning in game two. The final wasn’t available by press time.
The Juniors will play a doubleheader against Tri-County 9 at 6 p.m. today in Lincoln.