Fort Osage, Truman, Lee's Summit North fall in district baseball openers

Cody Thorn
Special to The Examiner

PARKVILLE, Mo. — It took a little bit of time to get the offense going, but Fort Osage didn’t have enough to overcome the large deficit in its district baseball opener Monday.

The Indians fell 7-3 to Lee’s Summit in the first round of the Class 6 District 7 tournament at drizzly Creekside Baseball Park.

All of the Indians' runs came in the top of the seventh inning, but Fort Osage (10-16) never could recover after giving up six late runs to the Tigers.

“They don’t feel pressure down 7-0 but maybe we put a little pressure on them if it was (closer), but who knows,” Fort Osage coach Todd Bissell said. “You never want your season to end, but I was happy with the way we battled.”

The top of the seventh started with Greg Menne getting hit by a pitch. Jacob Hasty singled and then Nathan Oakes drew a walk.

Lee’s Summit coach Jim Mellody pulled starter Tommy Lock, who had given up only three baserunners over the first six innings.

Chase Stumfoll drew a walk off relief pitcher John Moritz to force in the first run for Fort Osage. Brayden Nelson followed with an RBI single to make it 7-2.

Moritz got an out, but Blake Williams singled to bring home another run. Williams was caught in a rundown between first and second base, however. He got back safely to first but a throw home nailed a runner at the plate for what would’ve been the fourth run of the inning.

“We made a lot of baserunning mistakes and in a game like this, especially with as few as we had, we can’t do that,” Bissell said.

Earlier in the game, Lock picked off a runner at first base.

Lock, through six innings, gave up two hits, walked two and struck out 11 batters. From the first through sixth inning, only one Indian got to second base.

“Tommy did an outstanding job,” Mellody said. “He throws hard; he is a strikeout pitcher and he was on his game. That is an example of a senior taking over on the mound in districts and taking command of the game.”

Luke Rahl hit an RBI double in the second inning and the 1-0 lead for the Tigers (16-16) stayed through the fifth inning. Jackson Sumrall had an RBI double and he scored when the Indians dropped a pop-up for what would’ve been the third out of the inning.

Menne, Fort Osage’s starter, loaded the bases in the sixth inning but got a timely line-drive double play. Almost out of the inning down 3-0, leadoff hitter Nick Beech launched a three-run homer to left field to make it 6-0. Jeffrey Johnson then drew a walk, stole second base and went to third on a throwing error on that play. Then, a little bit of deja vu happened again.

A fly ball that would’ve ended the inning fell off a glove and to the turf, allowing Johnson to easily score to make it 7-0.

“They gave us a couple runs and I’m sure they are plays those kids want back,” Mellody said. “I wasn’t comfortable at 1-0 and I was barely comfortable with 3-0, so I’m glad we scored a little late.”

Added Bissell: “We had a couple of mistakes that cost us. We had two fly balls we dropped and that is stuff you can’t do, especially with a pitcher who is dealing. Greg pitched great and gave us a chance and kept us in the game.”

ROCKHURST 13, TRUMAN 0: The Patriots had a promising start to the first inning against third-seeded Hawklets.

Kayne Braxton singled and was joined on the bases by Ben Kerby (hit by pitch) and Anthony Locke (walk) with no outs. Then, Rockhurst starter John Michael Gyllenborg responded by striking out the side.

“You never know what happens if we can scratch a couple across,” Truman coach Corey Lathrom said after the season-ending five-inning loss. “Their pitcher is a hard thrower and we haven’t seen that a lot outside of (Grain Valley’s) Cole Keller for one game. It is hard to prepare for that with a 42-year-old arm throwing batting practice.”

Rockhurst (16-11) got a pair of runs in the bottom of the first on Nick Dunn’s RBI double. Dunn added an RBI single in the four-run second and had an RBI triple in the four-run fourth inning.

The Hawklets had six extra base hits, including two triples in the fourth inning – and almost three had Truman not thrown out Colton Wemhoff at third.

“They had more triples in one inning than we had the entire season,” Lathrom said. “That pretty much summarizes that game.”

The Patriots (14-17) didn’t score a run for the first time this season. They had only two hits against Gyllenborg and relief pitcher Ryan Dierks. Gyllenborg fanned nine over his four innings of work.

Dane Blankenship started for the Patriots but lasted only two innings. Dawson Torpey and Brandon Lindle threw in relief.

Truman played six of the seven seniors. The exception was starting catcher Bryce Greenwalt, who was out with a concussion.

LEE’S SUMMIT WEST 9, LEE’S SUMMIT NORTH 7: The Broncos once led 7-1 against but an eight-run rally in the bottom of the fifth inning helped the Titans pull away for a victory.

Down 1-0 early, Lee’s Summit North took a 5-1 lead in the fourth inning – three of those runs coming on a bases-clearing double by Caleb Roofe. Simon Murray followed with a single to score Roofe, the Broncos’ No. 9 hitter.

Blake Davis had a one-out single in the fifth inning and scored on Logan Muckey’s RBI single. Roofe later added a sac fly in the inning for his fourth RBI of the game.

Lee’s Summit West (12-17) took the lead in the bottom half of the fifth, scoring eight runs on six hits, two hit batters and one walk. Howie Grauberger’s triple gave the Titans the lead back by scoring three runs. Drew Dickerson followed with a single to score Grauberger for the final run.

The Broncos (11-16) had only one baserunner the final two innings and that was erased with a double play in the seventh.