After playing into the wee hours Thursday morning, Christian Garcia and his Blue Springs Rod’s Sports A’s teammates faced an early wakeup call for another game. Later that evening, they were on the diamond again.
Welcome to the world of rain-delayed tournament baseball.
“It was a little rough this morning waking up,” Garcia said. “Everybody was running on a max of six hours’ sleep.”
Wednesday morning’s severe weather threw a surprise wrench into the schedule of the 31st annual American Legion Wood Bat Invitational. And as is often the case, that meant some teams would play late into the night, early in the morning and maybe even a matinee.
For the A’s, it meant three games in less than 24 hours. They split the first two – falling 3-1 to the Omaha (Neb.) Concordia Mustangs last Wednesday but beating St. Peters (Mo.) Post 313 9-6 Thursday morning – but when it came time to take on Jefferson City Post 5 early Thursday evening, the A’s looked like a team with little left in the tank. Managing but three hits, the A’s put up little resistance as Jefferson City rolled to an 8-0 run-ruled victory at Grain Valley High School.
“Everybody was moving a little slower than we’re used to,” Garcia said. “Obviously Jeff City is a great team and they have great pitching. I think we definitely could have performed better than we did.”
Jefferson City took control early, scoring two runs in the bottom of the first inning on three hits from its first three batters. It scored another four runs on five straight hits leading off the third inning. Another run in the fourth and one more in the sixth ended the game.
The A’s meanwhile, could get nothing going against three Jefferson City pitchers, who recorded a combined eight strikeouts with two walks. Garcia, Bryce Perdieu and Cam Leftwich were the only A’s to manage hits. Leftwich doubled leading off the third as the A’s loaded the bases with two out but failed to score.
“Jeff City just came out and beat us today,” A’s manager Tom Bush said. “We didn’t make a lot of errors, we didn’t walk a lot of people, they came out swinging the bats. Their pitchers were around the plate all day and they out-pitched our hitters.”
The A’s came out swinging Thursday morning in a 9-6 victory over St. Peters Post 313 at Grain Valley. The A’s trailed 4-1 before taking the lead for good with a five-run third inning that included three hits, three walks and a steal of home.
Garcia went 3-for-4 and scored two runs, Demsey Graves went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and Matt Eisenreich also drove in two runs for the A’s. Cade Bissell got the win despite giving up six earned runs and 10 hits.
And that was just hours after the A’s lost 3-1 to the Omaha Concordia Mustangs at Hidden Valley in a game that didn’t start until 10 p.m. and lasted until nearly 1 a.m.
Jake Reed doubled as one of the A’s four hits against the Mustangs.
“It was a good win (Thursday) morning,” Garcia said. “We all went out to get food together and everybody went home to sleep. Everybody was tired; everybody was worn out from the night before. Every single person was taking naps before this game.”
The A’s will enjoy some much-needed downtime today. They face St. Joseph Post 11 in their final pool play game, which doesn’t get under way until 8 p.m. at Hidden Valley Park’s Jim Moran Field.
Too much time, perhaps?
“Waiting all day to play a game can have the opposite effect and make you tired the same way,” Garcia said. “But I think everyone will be refreshed for (tonight’s) game.”