West Platte baseball rolled Archie in sectional on way to state semis

BRYCE MERENESS/Citizen photo West Platte’s Grant Eagan, right, slides safely into home after an RBI single from Luke Horseman in the bottom of the first inning of a Class 2 sectional game against Archie on Monday, May 25 at Archie, Mo. ARCHIE, Mo. — West Platte exacted some measure of revenge.In a playoff rematch, the Bluejays coasted to an 11-0 win in five innings against Archie on Monday, May 25 in a Class 2 sectional matchup to book their third straight trip to the state quarterfinals. Last year, Archie won 4-2 in a quarterfinal matchup to advance to the Missouri State Baseball Championships in O’Fallon, Mo.

BRYCE MERENESS/Citizen photo West Platte senior shortstop Cody Guthrie (5) celebrates along with courtesy runner Grant Eagen after they scored a pair of runs in the Bluejays’ 11-0 Class 2 sectional win against Archie on Monday, May 25 in Archie, Mo. West Platte advanced to the state quarterfinals with the win.

“(Revenge) tastes pretty good,” said West Platte senior Cody Guthrie, who finished 3-for-3 with a double, a triple and three runs scored. “It feels good to come 10-run rule a team who came back and beat you last year — especially now when it’s win or go home. It made it even better.”

West Platte (18-5) scored five runs in the bottom of the first inning after batting around to take a comfortable lead.

Seth Eagan worked a one-out walk and later scored the first run on a sacrifice fly from McKaulley Stephenson. Four straight runners reached after the out — the biggest blow a two-RBI single from Ben Heili to turn the lineup over — including a walk to Mitch Moppin and singles from Luke Horseman and Tanner Lintner.

Playing as the home team, West Platte scored in three of four innings and was not challenged in the remainder.

“Any time you can come out and put together a couple of hits and have the bottom of the order flip it for us, it’s a boost,” West Platte coach Tanner Lawson said. “That’s probably one of the first times (we started quickly). We started the other night (against Mid-Buchanan) and then died off. That’s one thing we tried to work on — not quitting and finishing, so today we did a good job of finishing.”

Horseman started on the mound and pitched four shutout innings. He struck out nine and allowed two hits and four walks before Stephenson closed out the win by striking out the side in the top of the fifth.

That set up Stephenson — a junior and already a two-time all-state pick — to start Wednesday’s scheduled quarterfinal vs. Miller.

BRYCE MERENESS/Citizen photo West Platte pitcher Luke Horseman delivers a pitch in the top of the second inning of a Class 2 sectional game against Archie on Monday, May 25 at Archie, Mo.

“I had quite a bit of confidence,” Horseman said. “It felt pretty good. I had a good defense behind me. I was just throwing strikes and letting my defense work. When that happens, we normally get a ‘W.’”

West Platte set up the five-inning win in the bottom of the fourth.

Guthrie led off with a triple, and Lintner drove in two with his second single of the day. Horseman, Lintner and Heili combined to drive in seven runs from the bottom third of the order, while Moppin and Eagen scored two runs apiece. In addition to Guthrie’s two extra-base hits Clay Lambrecht and Peyton

Morris added a double apiece.

With the win, the Bluejays (18-5) need just one win to earn a return trip to the state semifinals after finishing as runner-up in Class 2 to end the 2013 season.

“We made it this far last year,” Lawson said. “The Archie game when they beat us in the elite eight, it hurt. It stuck with us. When we think we’re getting better, we look back, and any given day we can stumble. Wednesday will be a big one. It’s still fresh in our mind even though it’s a year later.”

West Platte 7, Mid-Buchanan 2

The Bluejays swept the season series with a KCI Conference rival with a win in the Class 2 District 16 championship game on Thursday, May 21 at Dean Park in Dearborn, Mo.

Mid-Buchanan allowed six runs in the bottom of the first and trailed 7-0 after four innings. Stephenson allowed a pair of runs in the top of the fifth, and the Dragons outhit West Platte eight to six. He came back to finish out a complete game with nine strikeouts on 109 pitches.

Heili and Horseman drove in two runs apiece, and Lintner scored twice. Heili’s double was the lone extra-base hit for either team.