The Sedalia Travelers advanced yet again, Thursday, Aug. 4, in the American Legion Mid-South Tournament.
Missouri state champions Post 642 (36-18) overcame a six-run deficit and outlasted the Pontotoc Post 16 Red Sox in a 10-inning, 9-7 victory in Little Rock, Arkansas to advance in the AAA Regional tournament.
Sedalia starter Gable Dull surrendered four runs in the first inning and seven runs in six innings. Corbin Mertgen pitched four scoreless innings in relief, earning the win.
Travelers head coach Jeff Mays said Mertgen, who has seen few innings since taking a loss July 11 to Blue Springs Fike, showed good command against the Mississippi state champions.
“Corbin (Mertgen) just pounded the strike zone, and they didn’t do too much against him,” Jeff Mays said. “He’s gotten loose a few times, and we didn’t need him, but today was his day.”
Baxter Mays scored in the first after leadoff single. Red Sox starter Kolby Crowley held Sedalia scoreless for five frames, before the wheels fell off in a six-run seventh that tied the game at seven.
A hit by pitch, error and four consecutive singles made up the seventh-inning rally.
Derek Bivins drew a walk to lead off the 10th inning. Christian Jones followed with another walk, and Jake Kindle loaded the bases on a bunt. Gehrig Taylor knocked in Bivins with a singe, and Baxter Mays was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded after a pitching change to give Sedalia a 9-7 lead.
Jeff Mays said the coaching staff preached quality at-bats during the five-inning absence of runs.
“(Crowley) was kind of working us over a little bit,” Jeff Mays said. “We just kept talking about not giving up at bats. Just try to get our timing down on him. He had a good breaking ball and we couldn’t square up that much against him. We just kind of stayed in there. We weren’t panicked.”
Post 642 faces the winner between Ada, Oklahoma, and Post 298 Bryant, Arkansas at 6:30 p.m. Friday at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
Alex Agueros can be reached at 660-826-1000, ext. 1483 or on Twitter @abagueros2