Patriots sweep ISD rivals Chrisman, Van Horn

Michael Smith
The Examiner

It was a long day of baseball for the Truman baseball team as the Patriots played a whopping 21 innings combined in a pair of games featuring Independence School District teams.

Truman, Van Horn and William Chrisman each played two games during a triple header at Ross Family Field Saturday at William Chrisman High School. The Patriots ended up having to tax their pitching the most as they had two extra-inning games. But thanks to some heroics from Noah Brunk, Anthony Locke and Kayne Braxton, Truman went 2-0 on the day after a 12-11 win in 11 innings against the Falcons and a 3-1 victory in 10 innings against the Bears.

“I heard that our first game lasted longer than the Royals game today,” Truman coach Corey Lathrom said. “That’s saying something.”

Braxton came up with the big hit for the Patriots (7-9) in the top of the 10th inning against Chrisman. Ben Kerby led off with a walk and third baseman Sam Scott followed with a single. Bryce Greenwalt advanced the runners to second and third with a flyout and Anthony Locke was intentionally walked to load the bases.

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Braxton then drilled a double to left field, scoring Kerby and Scott. Locke tried to score from first but was thrown out at home plate.

“I just thought about it like it was practice,” Braxton said. “Saw an inside pitch and took it for a ride. It was a mistake pitch.”

Locke, who made a rare appearance on the mound, gave up a single to Trey Kates in the bottom half of the frame, but got a strikeout, a popout and a groundout to retire the other three batters to pick up the win.

Locke, who stumbled to the ground a couple of times after pitches, pitched 2 2/3 scoreless innings and gave up a walk and a hit and struck out three.

“This is the first time I’ve pitched in over a year,” Locke said. “I surprised myself out there. I always knew I was a gamer, but didn’t know I was that good.”

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Locke also provided Truman its other run following a solo shot over the left-field fence against Kates in the fourth. He was running at full speed until he reached third base. It was then he realized the ball had gone over the fence.

“It was a fastball down the middle and I made him pay for it,” Locke said. “I had struggles turning on balls recently and I turned on this one. At first I thought (the left fielder) got hurt out there and he didn’t catch it. That’s why I kept running.”

The Patriots also got a big performance from starting pitcher Brandon Lindle, who pitched 6 1/3 innings and gave up just one run on three hits, walked three and struck out three to help keep his team in it.

“He’s a freshman and he no-hit Raytown South earlier this year,” Lathrom said. “He had another gem going today. He’s a kid who puts in the work in the offseason. I felt strong letting him go deeper in the pitch count than we would normally let other guys go. He’s a big-time pitcher who stepped up.”

Chrisman got its only run after Leo Henderson doubled and scored on an RBI groundout from Alex Smith in the fifth. The Bears actually had a chance to win in the bottom of the seventh as they had the bases loaded and one out.

Chrisman head coach Miles Shelton gave Smith the sign to lay down a squeeze bunt, but he popped it up and it was caught by the catcher Greenwalt. Greenwalt then fired the ball to third base to double off Antonio Graham.

“I thought we could have won the ballgame if we just got the bunt down,” Shelton said. “When they changed pitchers, that’s when I talked about (the bunt) with our hitters. We haven’t tried (a squeeze) all year.

Cooper Hudson took a tough-luck loss as he tossed five innings and allowed two runs on five hits, walked one and struck out five. He pitched four scoreless innings before he ran out of gas in the 10th.

“Normally he only throws one or two innings. I haven’t stretched him out like that before,” Shelton said. “I kept him in there because I thought he was really competing in the zone. I told him not to do too much and let the defense work behind you. I thought he pitched fine.”


 The Patriots went into the bottom of the seventh down 8-7. Down to their last out, Kerby scored on an interference call at third as he tried to score on a throwing error by the Falcons.

Neither team scored in the eighth, but both scored two runs in the ninth to keep the game going. Both teams scored one run in the 10th to send the game into the 11th inning, with the score tied at 11. Van Horn stranded two runs in the frame and didn’t score.

Brunk drew a bases-loaded walk in the bottom half of the inning to win it. He also was the winning pitcher as he tossed seven innings and allowed three runs (two earned) on five hits, walked one and struck out two.

Greenwalt led Truman’s offense by going 2-for-6 with a double, two runs scored and three RBIs. Locke was 2-for-4 with three runs and an RBI; Dane Blankenship was 3-for-5 with a triple, a run scored and two RBIs; and Lindle was 2-for-5 with a double, a run and two RBIs.

Korey Messick was the losing pitcher as he tossed 4 ⅔ innings while giving up five runs on 10 hits. He also walked six and struck out five.

Kaleb Johnson led the Falcons offense by going 2-for-4 with a run and four RBIs. Cooper Sumpter was 2-for-5 with three runs scored for Van Horn (6-9).


 Starting pitcher Kona Hudson tossed a gem to help Chrisman get its second victory against the Falcons.

Hudson gave up two runs (one earned) on five hits, he had three walks, two hit batters and one strikeout in six innings. Nathan Campos pitched a scoreless eighth to close it out for the Bears (2-11-1).

Hudson also had two hits on offense and two RBIs. Alex Johnson chipped in with a hit and two RBIs.

Robert Atkinson pitched 3 2/3 scoreless innings for the Falcons. Steven Campos got the loss as he gave up eight runs on seven hits and walked two. Hunter Bass paced the Falcons’ offense with two hits and an RBI.