Cole Keller's home run, one-hit pitching lead Grain Valley baseball past Truman
Little Emersyn Keller is proud of her big brother Cole.
The 10-year-old braved 42-degree temperatures Wednesday at William Chrisman High School, where Cole Keller and the Grain Valley Eagles claimed a 13-1 mercy rule conference baseball victory over Truman.
Keller allowed just one hit and one unearned run in five innings and ended strong by striking out the side in the bottom of the fifth. Parker Bosserman pitched a scoreless sixth inning to cap the Suburban Middle Six game that was moved to Chrisman’s turf field because of playing conditions at Truman’s grass field.
Keller also crushed a three-run homer in the third inning, and Emersyn sprinted with her father John, so they could give Cole the ball after the big win.
She waited patiently outside of the dugout, saying, "That's OK, I live at ballparks," before Cole arrived and she handed him the ball.
They posed for a quick picture and she whispered, "You stink."
The look on his face was priceless, as she skipped off to be with her friends.
Keller grinned and began to talk about his team's all-around effort.
"This is one of the most complete games we've played," said Keller, who finished with four RBIs. "This was a big game. We came into it confident that we would win, but you never know when you play a conference opponent.
"And Boss was unbelievable. What did he have, four hits?"
Bosserman finished with two doubles, two singles and scored three runs.
"We got that early lead and we weren't going to let them get back in the game,” Bosserman said. “That's what you have to do at this time of the season. You can never let up until the game is over."
Bosserman doubled in the first and scored on Blake Prewitt's RBI single.
Keller drove home three runs with his third-inning homer and Alex Snyder added an RBI fielder's choice to make it 4-0.
Truman leadoff man Ben Kerby walked in the bottom of the inning, advanced on an error and scored the lone run on a wild pitch.
Grain Valley broke the game open with three unearned runs in the fifth and added five runs on five hits in the top of the sixth.
"Well, the best team certainly won today," Truman coach Corey Lathrom said after his Patriots (7-10, 0-2 Middle Six) finished with just three hits and committed four errors that opened the Grain Valley floodgates. "Baseball is about catching and throwing and we didn't do a good job with either one in this game.
"I don't ask my guys to make all the plays, but I want them to make the plays they are capable of making. You have to play at a high level to beat a team like Grain Valley, and we weren't able to do that today."
Coach Brian Driskell's Eagles improved to 12-6 overall and 3-0 in the league with their third straight win.
"I was talking with Corey after the game," said Driskell, a Truman graduate, "and we talked about throwing and catching the ball. They made mistakes and we took advantage of it. Cole threw a nice game and had that big homer early. We've struggled a little bit offensively this season and we did a nice job with the bats today."
Kaden Jeffries had four hits, four runs and an RBI and Riley Bown and Alex Snyder each added two hits and Snyder added two RBIs.