WESTON, Mo. — West Platte reclaimed its home tournament title with two wins on Saturday, March 28 at Benner Park.
The Bluejays defeated East Buchanan 9-0 to help reclaim the West Platte Invitational round robin after coming up short last year. The Bulldogs won both regular season meetings last year against West Platte before the Bluejays rebounded to win the Class 2 District 16 championship game rematch on the way to a state quarterfinals appearance.
West Platte went 3-0 in the two-day event.
“We’re getting back in the swing of things,” West Platte coach Tanner Lawson said. “We’re seeing some live pitching. I think we competed well. We played well this morning; we played well this afternoon. Hopefully, we can keep the momentum going.”
McKaulley Stephenson, a two-time all-state honoree as a pitcher, held East Buchanan scoreless with a two-hit shutout. The junior ace walked just three and struck out 13, while providing the three RBIs in the game and a total of six in his two starts.
In a 7-2 win against Sumner Academy (Kan.) in the finale, Stephenson and senior Cody Guthrie did not play while competing in a district choir competition. The pair arrived just before the first pitch but watched as their teammates dispatched the Sabres.
“It’s a pretty good end to the weekend,” Lawson said. “We had some guys in some different positions out there, and they held their own. They played well. We did a lot of good things.
“This last game today was a good chance to get some people in some positions to get them under fire and see what they can do. If they’re called on later on in the year in situations, they’ll be ready for it.”
West Platte allowed just four earned runs in three games.
Tanner Lintner — an all-KCI Conference selection at pitcher last season — allowed three of while striking out seven in Friday’s 12-5 win against Schlagle (Kan.). Kyle Howerton — the Game 3 starter allowed the other in 3 2/3 innings of work. Clay Lambrecht picked up the save, finishing 2 1/3 inning of scoreless work.
“I was just trying to get strikes,” Lambrecht said. “I was trying to hit my spots and let my defense get the outs for me. We’re pretty solid on D.”
West Platte travelled to St. Joseph to face Bishop LeBlond on Tuesday, March 31 but the result was not available at The Citizen’s deadline.