Travelers drop first game, win second of Zone Tourney

By Eric Ingles Democrat Sports Editor

July 25, 2014

The Sedalia Travelers were close to forging a path through the winners bracket in the American Legion Zone Tournament Friday at Dey Field at Liberty Park. But errors proved costly in an 11-10 afternoon loss to Fike and the Travelers needed a three-run eighth inning rally to beat Post 21 8-6 in the nightcap.

Trailing 6-5 heading into the top of the eighth against Post 21, the Travelers got a run from a Chance McMullin double to score AJ Paul. An error in center field later allowed McMullin to score and Matt Miles put the final run on the board when he crossed the plate on a Cortlen Austin sacrifice fly.

The Travelers took an early lead with a run in the second when Dom Zerilli doubled to the gap in right-center and Steven Bradbury followed with an RBI single up the middle but Post 21 answered immediately with four runs in the bottom of the third, two of them coming on a Cody Gregory home run.

The Travelers got back into the game in the fifth. McMullin led off with a double and scored on a hit by Ian Dotson. Dotson scored later in the inning on a sacrifice fly by Cody Kozak. The Travelers tied the game on a run by Mason Kelchner later in the inning.

Post 21 retook the lead in the bottom of the inning when Ben Hellen led off with a solo home run and an error on a pick off attempt led to another run, making it 6-4 in favor of Post 21.

The Travelers got a run back in the sixth when Mason Kelchner singled to drive home Lane McFail.

The Travelers committed four errors in an 11-10 loss to Fike Friday afternoon.

Fike won on a walk-off in the bottom of the ninth inning after an error loaded the bases for Zack Elland who came through with a game-ending infield single.

Fike also benefited from errors in the fourth inning, scoring five runs. An error in the outfield scored the first run and an error at third base scored the second. Another run came home on a single and two more scored on a grounder which Derek Case beat out at first to prevent an inning-ending double play.

“You can’t win ballgames when you have four errors,” said manager Jade Samborski. “In key situations and a lot of them led to runs. Even in that last inning, we had an error there on a ground ball that we wanted and we couldn’t make a play. We battled, but that’s a tough loss.”

The Travelers jumped ahead with four runs in the top of the fourth. Austin doubled into the gap in left-center to drive home Dotson and Kelchner with the first two runs. Austin then scored on a single Kozak and Kozak scored on a single by Zerilli.

After Fike took the lead in the bottom of the inning, the Travelers scored four more in the fifth to jump ahead 8-5. The big blast in that inning was a three-run home run to left by Kozak.

The Travelers added two more in the seventh on singles by Austin and A.J. Paul to jump ahead 10-5, but Fike scored four in the bottom of that inning, then tied it with one in the eighth and won it in the ninth.

The Travelers will face Rod’s Sports A’s at 4 p.m. Saturday in the losers’ bracket semifinal. With a win, they will move on to the losers’ bracket final at 7 p.m. Saturday.