North Platte, West Platte baseball set for district semifinals

Rain forced the postponement of the Class 2 District 16 semifinals twice, and both West Platte and North Platte were scheduled to play Wednesday, May 17 in Weston, Mo. 

The games were originally slated for Monday, pushed to Tuesday and then forced back to Wednesday.

The No. 4 seed, North Platte advanced out of the first round with a 3-1 win against East Atchison on Saturday, May 14. The Panthers were scheduled to take on top-seeded Mid-Buchanan on Wednesday.

West Platte was scheduled to play third-seeded Lone Jack — a 13-0 winner over KC Lutheran on Saturday — in the other semifinal with the two winners advancing to Thursday, May 19’s championship game at 6 p.m. 

North Platte took the lead for good against East Atchison with two runs in the bottom of the third. 

Trevor Lamar led off with a double and moved to third on a passed ball. He scored when East Atchison’s right fielder misplayed Hunter Oliver’s fly ball, and Oliver scored on Remington Wilson’s RBI groundout.

East Atchison cut the lead in half in the next inning against Andrew Roberts, who retired the first eight batters he faced, including six straight strikeouts between the end of the first and beginning of the third. Andrew Thomas hit a solo home run with two outs in the fourth.

Roberts ended up allowing two walks, a single and a double in the next two innings but finished with 12 strikeouts.

North Platte added an insurance run in the fourth after Bryntin Crockett and Halen Knapp reached with back-to-back walks. Knapp went to second on an error and scored on Austin Snook’s two-out single.

West Platte 5, Lawson 3

The Bluejays scored a comeback win to close their KCI Conference slate Tuesday, May 10 in Lawson, Mo.

First, West Platte lost an early lead only to regain it late. The Bluejays led 2-0 after the top of the first behind breakout freshman Gavin Davis, who singled and later scored on Brett Shepardson’s double. Shepardson then scored on a single from McKaulley Stephenson, the starting pitcher.

West Platte’s ace ended up with eight strikeouts in a complete game effort but he allowed one run in the first and two more in the third. Lawson totaled six hits and two walks off of Stephenson.

Down 3-2, West Platte’s comeback occurred in the top of the fifth. 

Michael Devers led off with a walk and after singles for Grant Eagen and Connor McNair, Davis delivered an RBI single with the bases loaded. Peyton Morris followed with a sacrifice fly to put the Bluejays back up at 4-3.

West Platte added another run in the seventh after Davis started the inning with a hit by pitch. After walks to Shepardson and Stephenson loaded the bases, Mitch Moppin delivered a two-out RBI pinch-hit single to score the final run.

In the final KCI standings, West Platte ranked fourth, going 7-5 overall after splitting two meetings with Lawson. The Bluejays entered the postseason looking for a fourth straight district championship.