Truman’s Ian Barker knows what’s better than hitting a winning double in the bottom of the seventh.


Being the winning pitcher and getting a celebratory hug from Dad, too.


 


Truman’s Ian Barker knows what’s better than hitting a winning double in the bottom of the seventh.

Being the winning pitcher and getting a celebratory hug from Dad, too.

Barker hit the game-winning double off the yellow piping on top of the fence at Raytown South High School. The hit gave the Patriots a 5-4 win over Fort Osage and the Raytown Schools Tournament championship. 

“I was sitting on a fastball and he threw it right down the middle and I jumped on it,” Barker said.

Barker also escaped a bases-loaded jam without giving up a run in the top of the seventh to earn the win. In his first three at-bats, Barker had flown out to center field and struck out twice before coming through with the game-winning hit.

Barker struck out catcher Mario Armstrong on a 3-2 fastball with one out in the top of the seventh. He then got Zach Jungmeyer to hit a dribbler to the mound to escape without giving up a run. 

“I was having problems getting the ball down,” Barker said. “Bases got loaded and I knew how to make my pitches and got my outs.”

Truman coach John Eglich said it was the Patriots’ first tournament championship in a long time. 

It was the second consecutive game winning hit for Barker. He had the game winning double against Harrisonville that won the pool for the Patriots (4-0) the pool and allowed them to play Fort Osage (2-1-1) for the championship. 

This isn’t the first time Barker had consecutive game winning hits.

“It was in a state tournament when I was like 13,” Barker said. “It’s nice to do it in high school.”

The Patriots almost cost themselves with a base-running mistake in the bottom of the seventh. 

After drawing a lead-off walk, Kyle Gehrs looked down and found himself in a rundown. Gehrs dove toward second, avoiding the tag and a costly out. Gehrs scored the game-winning run on Barker’s hit. 

“I went out of the baseline but I was safe,” Gehrs said. 

Fort Osage took the lead in the top of the first on Parker Jones’ two-run home run. Jones also had a single. 

Truman took the lead in the top of the fourth with three runs on two doubles and a single combined with a couple throwing errors by the Indians.

Fort Osage scored the go-ahead run in the sixth inning on BK Thomas’ sacrifice fly. The Patriots came back and tied the game in the bottom half of the inning after Brian Read drew a walk then stole two bases and came home on a passed ball. 

Gehrs pitched five innings giving up three runs and striking out four Indians. It was his first start this season. 

“Besides that home run, I think I did pretty good,” Gehrs said. 

For Fort Osage, Bret Sutton pitched six innings striking out 10 Patriots. Sutton wasn’t happy with his pitching peformance based solely on the fact that the Indians lost the game. 

“We still lost,” Sutton said. “It doesn’t mean anything if we lose.”