The Sedalia Bombers won on a walk-off for the third game in a row.
A Tony Sandifer single to left in the 10th inning scored Matt Jones from second as the Bombers beat Omaha 2-1 on Friday at Dey Field at Liberty Park.
“I was just looking for something elevated with a runner on second, maybe drive something into the gap,” Sandifer said. “We had two guys hit the ball on the infield. I was just looking for something up. With one out, you’ve got an out to play with, I figured we might as well try to hammer it.”
Jones reached on an error with one out. He hit a grounder between first and second and Omaha second baseman Jake Cavender overthrew first base, moving the winning run to second.
Both pitchers were in control early. Sam Perez did not allow a baserunner until the fourth, when he walked Quinton Urban to start the inning. He stranded the runner at first with a foul pop-up, a strike out and a fly ball to right.
Perez set the Diamond Spirit down in order in the fifth before finally allowing a hit in the sixth on a bunt single by John Needels. Omaha scored a run in the inning on an infield single and nearly added another, but Needels was caught in a run-down between third and home and retired. Perez then struck out Jordyn VanAtta to end the inning, stranding runners on second and third.
Perez pitched seven innings, allowing three hits — all in the sixth inning — and struck out seven.
“He was commanding the fastball for the most part,” said catcher Alex Bee. “He was using the breaking ball in spots where we needed to. A lot of strikes, a lot of 0-2, 1-2, working ahead in the count.”
Omaha starter Seth Heckel lasted three innings, pitching one-two-three innings in the first and third, striking out Jarrod Perry in both, and getting help from his defense in the form of a 6-3 double play in the second.
A series of Omaha relievers also shut down the Bombers, before Sedalia got to Kyle Rutherford in the sixth as Hunter Leeper scored on a Sandifer single.
The Bombers threatened in the eighth and three walks loaded the bases and Bee hit a shot down the first-base line with two out which barely went foul, but Omaha’s Derek Pike closed the door, striking out Bee to end the inning.
Sedalia had another chance in the ninth. Jordan Dey reached to lead off the inning when Cavender misjudged a pop-up. Shain Showers came up with one out and hooked back-to-back pitches foul before grounding to second. Perry grounded out to end the inning.
In all, five different Omaha pitchers took the mound in the game.
“When team’s running different guys out there, your timing is constantly changing,” Sandifer said. “As hitters, we got together and decided we’ve got to have an approach and be able to make minor adjustments when we go to the dish to get good wood on the ball.”