WESTON, Mo. — Tanner Lawson continued to trust his rotation, saving his ace back.
West Platte’s coach again turned to Brett Shepardson in a key situation, and the senior right-hander delivered Tuesday, May 24 in a Class 2 sectional pushed back a day due to weather. He struck out 11 against Adrian in an 8-1 victory at Benner Park, sending the Bluejays to the quarterfinals for a fourth straight season.
Improving to 16-6, West Platte never trailed after a productive first inning, scoring one without a hit. The Bluejays added five more in the third to go up 7-1, a big rally squelched on a double play to end the inning.
Shepardson’s lone bobble came in the top of the third. He walked in Adrian’s only run, which briefly pulled the Blackhawks within 2-1.
Overall, Shepardson walked four but allowed just three hits.
In the first, Shepardson reached on a dropped third strike, and Gavin Davis walked. After Colton Lovejoy hit Peyton Morris, senior McKaulley Stephenson plated the first run with a sacrifice fly.
Shepardson went 3-for-4 with two RBIs, while Stephenson collected two singles and a walk and scored twice. Michael Devers’ double was West Platte’s lone extra base hit out of nine hits total
West Platte advanced to face Lincoln (25-2) in a quarterfinal scheduled for Wednesday, May 25 at Benner Park. More forecasted rain threatened to push that game back.
Following a district upset, West Platte kept Stephenson, the Bluejays’ ace, fresh with 10 innings available to throw vs. Lincoln. The Bluejays will be seeking a third trip to the state semifinals in four years, having placed second in 2013 and tying for third last year.