When your No. 8 and 9 hitters combine for three singles, a double and a triple, you can expect a big offensive performance.
Add a leadoff hitter who has a single, triple and homer and that recipe produced a 15-5 mercy rule victory for Fort Osage against visiting Truman in the regular-season finale for each team.
Fort Osage opens district play against Winnetonka Saturday at Liberty North High School, and the 8-19-1 Patriots open against Grain Valley Monday at Blue Springs High School.
Fort Osage leadoff man Logan Phillips scored three runs, came within a double of hitting for the cycle and scored three runs. No. 8 hitter Sam Carlson had a double, two singles, four RBIs and scored a run, while No. 9 hitter Ethan Gotch added a double, a triple, a run and an RBI for the 15-13 Indians, who finished with 15 hits, including seven for extra bases.
“Logan has done a nice job in the leadoff spot,” Indians coach Chris Walker said of Phillips. “When he was hurt earlier this year, we had Gotch hitting leadoff, and he did a nice job, so with him No. 9 and Logan No. 1, we feel like we have two leadoff guys hitting back to back, and that can set some things up for the other guys in the lineup.
“And Carlson is just a sophomore who has really come on late in the season. He did a great job today. His three-run double in the third inning turned the game around.”
That might seem like an unusual statement in a mercy-rule, five-inning win, but Truman jumped all over Indians starter Trey Lockard for four runs in the top of the second to take a 4-0 lead.
The Indians roared back with a six-run third inning, with Carlson’s three-run double the big blow.
“It was great hitting that double,” said Carlson, who ended the game in the bottom of the fifth with an RBI single. “It was cool to end the game with a walk-off hit, too. It was a mercy-rule win, but it was still cool because everyone was so excited.”
Phillips had a monster game from his leadoff spot, and took advantage of a brisk wind blowing to right field to hit the lone homer of the game, a solo shot in the fourth inning.
“I just want to get on base and let the other guys get me home,” Phillips said. “The wind was blowing to right field and I was able to get a good swing on a ball and get that homer, but I never go up to the plate thinking home run.”
It was another frustrating loss for the Patriots, who allowed the Indians to explode for a six-run third and nine-run fifth with two outs.
“We have to own the world record for the most runs scored by an opponent with two outs,” Truman coach Corey Lathrom said. “I told our guys they can expect Monday from Grain Valley what we saw today – a good offensive team that doesn’t make many mistakes.
“We got that early lead but couldn’t hold it. Chris always has good teams, and this has to be one of his better offensive teams.”
Josh Patrick and Braden Schramm each tripled for the Patriots. Patrick’s triple came with the bases loaded in Truman’s four-run second inning.
Fort Osage catcher Spencer Patrick added two doubles, a single, two runs and two RBIs and Zane Barr added single, double, two runs and an RBI.