Oak Grove goes unbeaten to take second in Elks tourney

By The Examiner staff

Oak Grove Post 379 kept its strong start to the American Legion baseball season going with a strong showing in the Blue Springs Elks Jimmy Hollis Memorial Tournament over the weekend. 

Oak Grove finished 3-0-1 to finish second to Hannibal Post 55 in the tournament Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Hidden Valley Park. 

Oak Grove topped Kansas City Teamwork Sports 12-4, beat the host Blue Springs Elks 12-2 and defeated DuraStar 6-1 while also tying Hannibal Post 55 4-4. 

Post 379 capped its unbeaten run with the win over DuraStar Sunday. Connor Hernandez allowed 10 hits, two walks and just one unearned run while striking out four in a complete game victory. 

Oak Grove scored two runs in the first inning to take an early lead. They added one in the sixth and three in the seventh to pull away. 

Haiden Armstrong hit a pair of triples with two RBIs and two runs as Oak Grove won despite being outhit 10-4. 

Oak Grove topped the Blue Springs Elk 12-2 and tied Hannibal Saturday. 

Oak Grove erupted for eight runs in the bottom of the third inning to erase a 2-1 deficit and take a 9-2 lead against the Elks. 

Connor Hernandez doubled with three RBIs, Brody Armstrong tripled with two RBIs, Xavier Hernandez doubled with an RBI, Aden Jones added two hits and two runs and Haiden Armstrong had a hit, an RBI and three runs scored to lead Oak Grove (12-7-1). 

Colton Hughes hit an RBI double and Casey Winters had an RBI single to give the Elks the 2-1 lead in the top of the third. Kaden Ford added two hits, including a double, and scored a run. 

Mason Freece pitched a five-inning complete game, allowing eight hits, three walks and two runs. Trenton Bukaty took the loss for Blue Springs. Seven of the nine runs he allowed were unearned. 

Against Hannibal, Oak Grove scored two runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to take a 4-2 lead, but Hannibal responded with two runs in the top of the fifth to tie it before a time limit stopped the game. 

Cody Cunningham and Haiden Armstrong combined to allow five hits and two earned runs. 

Brody Armstrong had a hit and two RBIs and Shayton Wright had two hits and a run. 

Oak Grove scored at least one run in every inning but the fifth in the 12-4 win over Teamwork Sports. 

Brody Armstrong went 3-for-5 with a double and one RBI, Wright added two hits, two RBIs and three runs, Connor Hernandez drove in two runs, Aden Jones had two hits and a run, and Cunningham, Haiden Armstrong and Xavier Hernandez each had a hit and an RBI. 

Jones allowed 10 hits, no walks and two earned runs while striking out five in a complete game victory. 

The Blue Springs Elks finished 2-2 to claim third place in their own tournament. In addition to the loss to Oak Grove, the Elks defeated DuraStar 10-5 and Velocity Academy 6-0 but lost 4-0 to Hannibal Post 55. 

Randy Ayala tripled with three RBIs and Brady Lowe doubled with three RBIs to lead the Elks past DuraStar. 

Lowe’s two-run double tied it 2-2 for Blue Springs in the first inning. Hunter Egelston’s two-run single and Ayala’s bases-loaded triple keyed an eight-run third inning for the Elks (7-12). 

Lowe earned the win with a five-inning complete game, allowing seven hits, three walks and five runs (three earned) while striking out four. 

Patrick Maloney pitched a seven-inning one-hit shutout with no walks and five strikeouts in the 6-0 win over DuraStar. Hughes tripled twice and scored three runs and Egelston and Easton Lamb each had two hits and an RBI. 

The Elks managed just five hits in the 4-0 loss to Hannibal, including a triple by Hughes. 

FIKE GOES 1-3 IN TOURNEY: Blue Springs Post 499 Fike capped a 1-3 showing in the Dakota Classic Tournament in Sioux Falls, S.D., with a win. 

Fike (13-10) scored seven runs in the second inning and ended it early on the mercy rule with three in the fifth to complete an 11-2 win over Beresford (S.D.) Post 72 Sunday. 

Jacob Rehkow allowed five hits, four walks and two runs while striking out nine for the win. 

Bayler Andersen went 3-for-4 with two doubles, two RBIs and two runs to lead Fike at the plate. 

Brad Kitsmiller was 2-for-3 with a double two RBIs and two runs, Trent Trieb and Colten Blackmer each had two hits and an RBI, Layne Lynn doubled and singled, and Jaxon Rogan had a hit and two RBIs. 

Kitsmiller had two of Fike’s five hits in a 1-0 loss to Omaha (Neb.) Gross. Brett Stewart took the loss despite allowing just five hits, one walk and one run in a complete game. 

Rehkow doubled for Post 499’s lone hit in a 5-0 loss to Sioux Falls (S.D.) Post 15 East. 

Trieb had two of Fike’s three hits in a 9-0 loss to the Buffalo (Minn.) Post 270 Bison on Friday.