The Trojans pitchers walked 10 batters in the 11-3 loss to St. Joseph Central on Monday, April 6 at Park Hill High School. The Indians tallied just five hits in the contest but took advantage of the free passes and four Park Hill errors to secure a Suburban League Red Division victory.
“You can’t give up that many lead-off walks and expect to win,” Park Hill coach Greg Reynolds said. “We also misplayed at least seven flyballs. It gave them extra outs. Anytime you give a team seven extra outs in a game, which is basically two innings, you are going to lose games.”
Central scored two runs in each of the first two innings after loading the bases in both frames.
Park Hill starter Kyle Francis allowed five walks in the innings but came back to record back-to-back shutout innings to give the Trojans a chance to forge a comeback. The senior Central Missouri recruit ceded to the bullpen to start the fifth after throwing 93 pitches in the first four innings.
“I think the first guy just couldn’t get a good footing on what he was trying to do,” Reynolds said. “He was in a hurry a little bit. I’m sure the wetness of the ball got in his mind a little. Kyle’s been pretty good this year. He just couldn’t find the adjustment to make early enough and he got his pitch count up. Once he settled down — with all the trouble he had command-wise — he only gave up four runs. I told him last year he would have been done after an inning because it would have been in his mind so bad. I was pleased with how he battled back.”
Park Hill (3-6, 1-1 Red Division) plated two runs in the bottom of the fourth to cut the deficit in half with freshman Liam Henry hitting an RBI double to right center field. Eventually, the Trojans stranded him on second and Lucas Youtsey at third after his RBI single to miss a chance to tie the score.
Central broke the game open in the top of the fifth with six runs off of reliever Clayton Cole, who walked in a pair of runs. Gage Stagner, Central’s third basemen, knocked in the final two runs with a single into right field with the bases still loaded.
Chris Bolte allowed just one run in his two innings of relief, but Clint Squires shut the door on Park Hill’s offense, pitching two scoreless innings to close out the win. Park Hill’s lone hit against him came on a double for Henry in the bottom of the seventh.
“The positive is we are starting to hit the ball better and hit the ball on the nose,” Reynolds said. “The negative is we’re not doing it with runners in scoring position. … We’re a young team. Those kids are going to learn not to do too much. You can preach it and preach it, but until they figure it out, it’s a different game. As long as they’re playing hard and listening we will get better.”
Park Hill 3, Oak Park 1
Aaron Ashby threw a one-hitter in the opener of a doubleheader Saturday, April 4 at Oak Park High School. The junior struck out 13 while allowing just the one run.
Parker Sampson led the offense with three hits, while Henry and sophomore Connor Morehouse drove in a run apiece.
Oak Park 12, Park Hill 6
Youtsey ended up with three hits and two runs scored, while Cole also scored a pair in the nightcap loss.
Park Hill 17, Ruskin 2, 5 innings
Youtsey collected three extra-base hits and scored three runs to lead a blowout win Wednesday, April 1.
A junior second baseman, Youtsey hit two doubles and a triple. Chase McCollum wound up with four RBIs, while Sampson and Chris Kaufman scored three runs apiece, as well.
Kyle Francis pitched three innings and collected the win, while also driving in a pair of runs at the plate.
West Platte 10, North Platte 0, 5 innings
The Bluejays scored seven times in the bottom of the fifth to invoke the run-rule on Wednesday, April 1 in Weston, Mo.
West Platte (4-3) won its KCI opener behind five shutout innings from junior ace McKaulley Stephenson, who struck out nine while allowing only four hits. Clay Lambrecht and Cody Guthrie provided a double apiece and combined to score three runs.
North Platte pitcher Blake Toliver allowed all 10 runs but only four earned. He gave up seven hits, walked three and hit two batters.
North Platte dropped to 0-2 in KCI play with the loss.
Bishop LeBlond 6, West Platte 3
The Golden Eagles scored five runs in the bottom of the second to erase a brief deficit on the way to a win Tuesday, March 31 in St. Joseph, Mo.
Luke Horseman allowed six runs to LeBlond and took the loss despite only allowing four hits. West Platte ended up with five hits and tallied three unearned runs in the top of the second to take a 3-1 lead. Stephenson, Tanner Lintner and Ben Heili all scored in the inning with Kyle Tabaka collecting an RBI single.
Lawson 37, North Platte 2, 3 innings
The Cardinals scored 26 runs in the second inning — second most in Missouri history for a single inning — in a KCI matchup Tuesday, March 31 at Lawson, Mo. North Platte’s three pitchers combined to give up 20 hits and six walks with the defense committing 15 errors.