The Blue Springs Rod’s Sports Athletics won’t have a chance to three-peat.

The Blue Springs Rod’s Sports Athletics won’t have a chance to three-peat.
The A’s went down fighting Monday afternoon in the championship game of the American Legion Baseball Missouri Zone 2 Tournament at Liberty Park Stadium.
The A’s fought their way out of the losers’ bracket and needed two wins over host the Sedalia Post 642 Travelers to claim their third consecutive Zone 2 crown. But Sedalia erupted for six runs in the sixth inning to post a 10-8 come-from-behind win.
The A’s wrapped up their season with a 33-17 record and a world of optimism for the 2010 season.
While the A’s are preparing for next year, Sedalia heads to Hidden Valley Park in Blue Springs to meet Festus Post 253 at 5 p.m. Thursday in the opening round of the American Legion Missouri State Championships.
“There was a time that I didn’t know what this team was made of,” said an upbeat A’s manager Mike Rooney. “Now I know – these kids can play and they care about each other. We all hated to see the season come to an end, but no one thought we would make it as far as we did.”
Right fielder Matt McHenry, a member of the A’s past two state championship teams, played his final game for Rooney. And he made it a memorable one.
He smashed a home run off the the scoreboard in center field in the first inning and gunned down a Sedalia base runner to complete a double play in the top of the ninth inning.
“It’s a nice way to end my A’s career personally,” McHenry said, “but I’d trade the homer and the throw to the plate for a win. We all feel bad that we lost, but we’re all proud of the way the we finished this season.”
McHenry’s two-run blast gave the A’s a 2-0 lead in the first inning. They made it 4-0 in the second on Greg Wisner’s fielder’s choice grounder and Bret Sutton’s RBI single.
A’s starter Eric Cloninger had no problems with the Sedalia hitters the first time through the lineup, but the Travelers tied the game 4-4 on Drew Hutinger’s two-run double in the fifth inning.
Then, the wheels came off for the A’s pitching staff in the sixth as the Travelers collected six hits, including a triple and two doubles, and put up six runs to take a 9-6 lead.
“The six-run sixth hurt,” Rooney said. “But at this point of the season, both teams are low on pitching. That is a class team, a well-coached team and, boy, can they hit the ball.”
Sedalia leadoff man Alex Lang had five hits, scored three runs and drove home two more; No. 2 hitter George Day had three hits and two RBIs; and Hutinger had a double and a triple and two RBIs.
Tyler Reed came on in relief for the A’s and allowed three runs over the final four innings, including no runs over the final three frames.
The A’s finished with six hits and committed four errors that led to three unearned runs. But the Travelers committed three errors that led to one unearned A’s run.
“Both teams fought hard,” Rooney said. “Both teams made some mistakes, but they had the better offense in this game. I am so proud of these guys, and I told them that after the game.”

AMERICAN LEGION MISSOURI ZONE 2 TOURNAMENT
At Liberty Park Stadium, Sedalia
SEDALIA POST 642 TRAVELERS 10,
BLUE SPRINGS ROD’S SPORTS ATHLETICS 8
Sedalia     001    126    000    —    10    16    3
A’s            220    031    000    —    8    6    4
May, L. Smith (2) and Hagedonr; Cloninger, Rider (5), Reed (6) and McGonigle. W-Smith. L-Rider. HR: McHenry, A’s.