After having a three-game skid in American Legion play, the Sedalia Travelers found their stride Wednesday at Dey Field at Liberty Park with a 12-2 game-one win against the Independence Bears.
The Bears got on the board with two runs in the first inning, but the Travelers scored 12 unanswered runs in six innings to end the game under the run-rule. The win put the Travelers at 7-4 on the season.
Three of the first four Independence batters reached on a walk or hit by pitch. The fifth batter hit a low line drive to center to put the Bears up 2-0.
Travelers pitcher Matt Miles got a strikeout and pop out to get out of the inning.
The Travelers answered back. Cortlen Austin snuck a double over the third base bag to score Chance McMullin, who walked and stole second.
An Ian Dotson sacrifice fly advanced Austin to third and Mason Kelchner sacrifice fly to center scored Austin.
Miles made quick work in the second inning. He struck out the first two batters and got the fifth batter to pop out to Kelchner behind the plate. The Bears singled twice in the inning.
The Travelers gave Miles a cushion with three runs in the second and one in the third.
“When we take a lead, it takes the pressure off of me to go out there and just throw strikes,” Miles said.
In the second inning, Austin sacrificed to left to bring in Tyler Cott from third.
Cott opened the bottom of the third with a walk and stole second on a hit-and-run attempt. Mason Paulus swung and missed and ended up flying out later in the at-bat.
Steven Bradbury walked, Cott stole third and McMullin walked. Austin hit a sacrifice fly to left to score Cott.
After Ian Dotson was hit by a pitch to load the bases, Kelchner singled to left to bring in Bradbury and McMullin. It put the Travelers up 5-2.
Miles continued to control things on the mound. He ended up with seven strikeouts in five innings.
He struck out two in each of the first three innings and added one in the fourth.
“Once I figured out I wasn’t blowing them by them, I was just trying to locate,” Miles said.
Miles walked two and allowed a single in the fifth to load the bases with one out, but Cody Kozak caught a line drive and tagged the runner to end the threat.
The Travelers scored once in the third to make it 6-2, but scored four in the fifth and two in the sixth to end the game at 12-2.
“I think we did a good job not trying to over swing,” coach Jade Samborski said. “Taking opportunities when they came and we did a good job at the plate today.”
Mason Paulus drove in Cott for the first run in the fifth. He later scored on a McMullin ground out. Austin and Dotson scored the next two after a Kelchner ground ball got past the third-baseman’s glove.
Kozak later scored on a fielder’s choice and Dotson’s single to left scored Paulus for the final run.
Kelchner led the Travelers with five RBIs.
“He’s been doing that all year for us,” Samborski said. “He’s been hot all summer long so far. He’s kind of a right guy in the right spot. He likes that RBI spot. He doesn’t try to do too much. He just gets the ball squared up and does what he needs to do with it.”
Cott and Dom Zerelli each recorded two hits.
The Travelers are off until Saturday when they host Warrensburg at 11 a.m.