Two seventh-inning runs made all the difference for the Blue Springs Rod’s Sports A’s Thursday.

Two seventh-inning runs made all the difference for the Blue Springs Rod’s Sports A’s Thursday.
Those runs proved to be the difference in a 5-3 win in the second game of an American Legion Fifth District doubleheader against Independence Post 21 at Hidden Valley Park.
The A’s (3-0, 2-0 Fifth District) won the first game of the doubleheader 13-0 behind a one-hitter by Kyle Barbeck.
Leading 3-1 entering the top of the seventh, an RBI single by Seth Neely – his fourth hit of the game – and a sacrifice fly by Sam Guffey put the A’s ahead 5-1.
Post 21 scored a pair of runs in the bottom thanks to a Grant Truster RBI double and an RBI single by Jamie Hayes before Kyle Seithel came on to record the final two outs.
“Those runs were very huge,” A’s manager Mike Rooney said. “It took pressure off. Instead of a 3-1 game, it’s now 5-1 and put the pressure on the other team.”
The pressure was put on the A’s quick enough. After Hayes drove in Truster, Seithel was brought in with the tying run at the plate and only one out.
He got a strikeout and a groundout to get out of the inning and earn the save.
“I was just thinking, ‘Throw strikes, get ahead early and try to get a double play,’ ” Seithel said. “I had a lot of confidence. I just got ahead early and got the outs.”
Post 21 mistakes helped the A’s get on the board early in the second game, as one run scored on a wild pitch and another on an error. Another error in the third inning helped the A’s go up 3-0.
After being shut out in the first game, Post 21 was without a hit through the first four innings of the nightcap. A’s pitcher Ben Briant had retired 12 straight batters before walking Jamie Hayes. Alex Dunn followed with a single to not only get Post 21 its first hit of the game, but a run.
“That was big,” Dunn said. “I was down two strikes and just wanted to put the bat on the ball. We needed a spark.”
The spark in the seventh came from Truster, who had a pair of errors in the second inning, helping the A’s get the lead.
“Obviously I was upset with the two errors,” Truster said. “I had made contact on my previous two at-bats. I was just going up looking to make solid contact and get a hit with runners in scoring position.”
In addition to Neely’s four hits, Matt July added a pair of hits.
Hayes, Truster and Mike King each scored a run for Post 21 (2-2, 2-2 Fifth District).
After scoring 32 runs in two games Wednesday night, Dunn said Post 21 needed to get the split – especially in a close game with the A’s.
“That game was too close,” Dunn said. “We’ve gotta come out with those, especially against a team like the A’s.”
While the second game was close, the first game was all A’s, as Barbeck was near unhittable.
Barbeck gave up a single to Blue Springs High School teammate Arron Ray in the first inning and hit King with a pitch in the second inning.
After that, no one reached base, as Barbeck sat down 11 in a row, including nine by strikeout. He struck out 11 of the 16 batters he faced. Only four batters put the ball in play.
“This was probably the best I’ve felt all year,” said Barbeck, who is headed to the University of Mississippi to pitch in the fall. “I was rolling. I don’t know how Ray hit that. He’s one of my good friends. It was 0-2 and he hit it. But I felt real good.
“I hate when runners get on. I started bearing down. Everything was working. I didn’t need to focus on one pitch. I could use all three.”
Barbeck got all the offense he needed in the first inning, as Chace Ellis pounded a two-run homer and Seithel blasted a three-run shot.
The A’s later scored six in the second inning, keyed by a three-run homer by Neely, who finished the doubleheader with five hits.
“I was seeing the ball really well,” Neely said. “I’ve been struggling. I got back on the right track.
“We were seeing straight fastballs, and it looked like a money pitch.”