KEARNEY, Mo. — An initial comeback nixed, Platte County came up with an even more adventurous path to victory against a chief rival.
Kearney scored an unearned run in the bottom of the sixth inning to tie the score Friday, April 7 at Kearney High School, but the Pirates answered right back. Ethan Esdohr’s two-run single followed Austin Gammill’s bases-loaded walk in the top of the seventh and reliever Colton Horn had to strand the potential tying runs in the bottom half to preserve a 7-5 win.
Platte County’s senior-heavy roster remained calm after coming back from a 2-0 deficit and then losing a 4-2 lead.
“They’ve got a lot of experience, and they never really seem to panic,” Platte County coach Rob Davenport said. “That’s who I think we’ll be this year.”
Platte County made a lot of solid contact against Kearney starting pitcher Claytin Noud but didn’t find much success until after the Bulldogs struck for single runs in the bottom of the first and third.
Jared Wilson, a senior righthander, made his second start of the season for Platte County and allowed a first-inning run after Jess Davis led off with an infield single. He moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a one-out single to put the Bulldogs up 1-0.
Wilson induced an inning-ending double play to avoid further damage, but Platte County went behind 2-0 in the third when an error led to the second run. The Pirates managed just a walk and a single in the first three innings.
Fortunes swung in the fourth when Platte County senior designated hitter Drew Parmeley squeezed a single into right field, and Gammill followed with a one-out walk. Two batters later, Pirates senior second baseman Dillon Doll roped a two-out, two-strike double into left center field to tie the score at 2-2.
“It was good timing by everyone,” said Doll, who went 1-for-4 with three strikeouts. “That started the momentum.”
Grant Carver came in to pitch the fourth with Davenport continuing to use a strategy of multiple pitchers to avoid high pitch counts, and after a scoreless inning, Carver went in line for the win when Platte County struck for two more in the fifth.
Kobe Cummings, a junior outfielder and leadoff hitter, walked and stole second and moved to third on a groundout. After an intentional walk to senior all-state catcher Justin Mitchell, Parmeley scored two with a two-out double dumped down the right field line.
Parmeley continued to benefit from the opposition’s reluctance to pitch to Mitchell.
“I just kind of try to stick to myself and know what I can do,” said Parmeley, who leads Platte County with six doubles and 14 RBIs through eight games. “I know what I can do. If the coaches (on other teams) don’t think I can do it, that’s up to them. I feel pretty confident.
“Justin is a pretty solid hitter in front of me, so I’ve got take what they give me.”
Down 4-2, Kearney came back over the next two innings.
Davis tripled and scored in the fifth before Carver stranded two runners to keep a one-run lead. With Horn on to pitch the sixth, Platte County couldn’t hold the advantage. A walk, a wild pitch and an error on junior third baseman Max Hunter allowed the tying run to score.
Horn stranded the potential go-ahead run at second.
Platte County’s seventh inning rally started when Hunter led off with a single. Cummings followed with his second single, and the Pirates loaded the bases when Kearney failed to field Mitchell’s fly ball to left field.
Kearney avoided the go-ahead run on Parmeley’s fielder’s choice, which resulted in a forceout at home.
With the bases still loaded, Gammill forced a walk to put Platte County up 5-4, and Esdohr, who came on as a substitute, hit a two-run single to right field.
Up three runs, Horn allowed a leadoff double Chris Griffin crushed to left-center field, and the runner came in to score on a two-out single. Kearney had runners at second and third when Horn struck out the final batter for the win.
Platte County 12, Grandview 2
The Pirates’ win streak hit seven since a season-opening loss to Blue Springs South in a Blue Division matchup Monday, April 10 in Grandview, Mo.
Now 3-0 in league play, Platte County took a 2-0 lead on a two-run error in the second, and the Pirates scored the final 10 against the Bulldogs bullpen. They never trailed after Parmeley’s RBI double in the fifth.
A four-run sixth included triples for Blake Conner and Cummings, a single from Horn to score Cummings and Mitchell’s RBI triple. A five-run seventh started with a pair of errors, and Parmeley scored two with a double before coming home on Esdohr’s single two batters later.
Platte County 12, Oak Park 1; Platte County 5, Oak Park 4
The Pirates swept a doubleheader Saturday, April 8 in Kansas City, Mo., including a late comeback in the second game.
Down 4-2, Platte County scored three times in the top of the sixth to earn the second win. Esdohr scored Parmeley with a one-out single, and Doll, who went 3-for-3 with a double, followed with a two-run single to left field to plate Gammill and Esdohr with the tying and go-ahead runs.
Conner earned the win in relief, pitching four innings with five strikeouts. All four of Oak Park’s runs were unearned.
The opener lasted all seven innings, and Platte County overcame an early 1-0 deficit. In the top of the third, the Pirates scored two to take the lead for good on Mitchell’s RBI single and a wild pitch.
Platte County scored five in both the top of the fifth and top of the seventh.
In the fifth, Parmeley had a two-run double, and Sneed followed with a walk. Esdohr singled home Parmeley, and Doll hit a two-run double. Five straight batters reached with two outs in the inning, starting with a walk for Mitchell.
Esdohr hit a three-run home run in the seventh, and after two straight outs, the next four batters reached with Cody Minyard scoring on a single from Mitchell with the bases loaded.
Glen Gammill (four innings), Esdohr (two innings) and John Termini (one inning) combined to pitch six straight scoreless frames after the first. Oak Park Had just three hits and two walks.
Platte County 14, St. Joseph Central 3
The Pirates started the week with a blowout win Thursday, April 6 at Platte County High School, doing all the damage in two big innings.
In the first, Platte County scored nine runs with Cummings reaching on a single and scoring on Horn’s double. After Mitchell flied out, Parmeley and Gammill hit back-to-back home runs to make it 4-0.
Platte County batted 13 in the inning, and Esdohr (single), Cummings (double) and Mitchell (double) also had RBIs in the inning. All three of Central’s runs came on Zach Hanlan’s three-run home run in the third, but the Pirates answered with five more, two on Mitchell’s second two-run double.
Parmeley and Sneed added RBI singles before Doll scored the final run for Platte County with a sacrifice fly.