West Platte baseball fighting for .500 in KCI; North Platte picks up 3rd league win

McKaulley Stephenson’s two-run double in a four-run third inning Thursday, April 28 proved to be enough for West Platte to go back above .500 in KCI Conference play.

The Bluejays’ star senior pitcher finished 2-for-4 and also scored a run in a 4-1 win against Plattsburg in Plattsburg, Mo. He then came in and pitched three scoreless innings of relief without allowing a baserunner to preserve the win, striking out four.

Grant Eagen doubled in West Platte’s big inning, turning over the lineup.

Leadoff man Connor McNair then hit an RBI single, and three batters later, Stephenson drove him and Peyton Morris in with a double. Stephenson scored the final run on Jack Summers’ double to put the Bluejays up 4-0.

Plattsburg managed just two hits but tallied a single run in the bottom of the fourth off of senior starter Brett Shepardson (four innings, four walks, six strikeouts). 

The win improved West Platte to 4-3 in KCI Conference play, heading into a Tuesday, May 3 matchup with undefeated Mid-Buchanan, but the result was not available at The Citizen’s deadline. Mid-Buchanan won the previous matchup between the two teams this season 4-0 back on April 7.

West Platte hosts North Platte in their second KCI meeting of the year Wednesday, May 5. First pitch in Weston, Mo. was moved up to 4 p.m.

West Platte 21, KC Lutheran 1, 5 innings

The Bluejays scored an easy nonconference victory Wednesday, April 27 in Kansas City, Mo. behind Mitch Moppin’s dominant pitching performance and McKaulley Stephenson’s big day at the plate.

West Platte scored in every inning, and Stephenson ended up with three hits and five RBIs. He also scored three times. Michael Devers and Moppin hit RBI singles in the top of the first to open a 2-0 lead.

In the third, West Platte scored nine more with Stephenson’s single driving in Peyton Morris for one of his three runs scored. Brett Shepardson, who hit an RBI double in a four-run fourth, also scored three times. Stephenson hit a double in a six-run fifth that also included Connor McNair’s two-run single.

McNair went 3-for-4 with a walk, four RBIs and two runs scored. Moppin collected the win, allowing just one run, three hits and two walks in five innings.

North Platte 6, Plattsburg 4

The Panthers now have the most wins in a KCI season since 2009.

The second win of the season vs. Plattsburg on Monday, May 2 — a game rescheduled from the previous week — improved North Platte to 3-6 in league play. The Panthers are scheduled for a rematch with West Platte on Wednesday, May 4 before a KCI matchup with conference leader Mid-Buchanan on Thursday, May 5.

North Platte’s final conference game is scheduled for Tuesday, May 9 against Lathrop. 

To pull the season sweep of Plattsburg, North Platte scored three in the top of the seventh to expand its lead to 6-2. The Tigers tallied two on emerging senior ace Andrew Roberts, who finished with a complete game win and nine strikeouts.

North Platte never trailed and led 3-0 going to the bottom of the sixth.

Roberts went 3-for-3 at the plate with a walk, two runs scored and an RBI from the leadoff spot. Hunter Oliver went 2-for-4 with a double behind him.

Halen Knapp and Mark Fisher also had a double apiece.

North Platte previously won two games in KCI play in the 2011 and 2012 but now have the best season going for the program since a 4-8 showing in 2009.

North Platte 5, North Nodaway 1

The Panthers took a break from KCI play and came away with a win Thursday, April 28 at Dean Park behind another masterful pitching performance from Roberts.

In a complete game effort, Roberts allowed only one hit and a hit batter, while striking out five and allowing an unearned run in the top of the fourth. North Platte led 5-1 at that point, having put up four runs in the bottom of the third.

Roberts also went 1-for-3 with a walk and a run scored. All five of North Platte’s hits were singles, but Roberts stole three bases while Oliver, Halen Knapp and Trevor Lamar had one apiece. 

North Platte also drew six walks.