After defeating the Mid-Mo Bombers 12-2 and 8-4 Sunday at Dey Field at Liberty Park, the American Legion Post 642 Sedalia Travelers are 10-4 and have won four in a row.
Travelers player Mason Kelchner was playing against many of his Sacred Heart teammates.
“I know a lot of the guys on the other team and it just feels really good,” Kelchner said. “It’s good for team morale to go into district play like that.”
Kelchner hit a three-run home run in game one and said it always feels good to go deep since he’s mostly a situational RBI hitter.
He said his fellow Travelers messed around with him because the Bombers had a number of Sacred Heart players.
“They were like, ‘Mason, you better not be cheating us on this game,’” Kelchner said. “I was locked in pretty tight all day.”
Game one started relatively slowly with the Travelers leading 2-0 after two innings, but things picked up.
Ian Dotson singled in Cortlen Austin and Dotson later scored from third on a wild pitch in the first inning.
The Bombers tied it up in the third. Jackson Smith walked and later scored after Ben Smeltzer and Logan Hirst hit back-to-back singles. A Ryan Wood line drive hit off Cody Kozak’s glove at first base and Kozak tagged the bag, but it gave Smeltzer enough time to score.
The game wouldn’t be tied for long. The Travelers plated eight runs in the third inning to take a 10-2 lead.
Dotson singled in Chance McMullin, Kelchner hit a home run over the 356-foot sign in left field to bring in three runs, Dom Zerilli came in on a passed ball, Steven Bradbury sacrificed Tyler Cott to the plate, Ryan Burk singled in Kozak and Burk scored on a passed ball.
The Travelers scored two runs in the fourth and the game ended after five innings.
Austin Weinberg earned the win after striking out six, walking five and allowing two runs in four innings on the mound.
Trey Green pitched one inning of scoreless baseball, striking out one.
Weinberg made quick work to open up the game. He forced a ground out and struck out the next two batters. Weinberg struck out one in the second, two in the third and one in the fourth.
“When he throws strikes, then he can pitch everything that he’s got, he’s successful,” said Travelers coach Jade Samborski.
Grant Huhmann and Sam Kindle walked in the fourth inning after Chance Spangler struck out to lead off the inning.
Seth Fraley lined a shot to first base, but Kozak snagged it in foul territory and dove to the bag to double off Kindle.
The Bombers would only get one baserunner in the fifth inning against Green.
Dotson went 3-3 with two RBIs and three runs scored in game one. Kelchner had three RBIs with his home run, and Bradbury and Burk each had two RBIs.
Hirst and Wood drove in the Bombers’ two runs.
In game two, Austin doubled to right field with one out in the first inning. He advanced to third on a passed ball and Dotson drove him in with a double off the center fielder’s glove.
The Bombers answered with two runs in the second inning to take a 2-1 lead. With the bases loaded, Wood singled in two runs.
Kozak and Cott doubled to lead off the bottom of the second to bring one run across. Cott would follow it up with a steal and Bradbury would walk.
McFail later singled in Bradbury and Dotson later singled in McFail and McMullin. Austin would score from third and make it 7-2 Travelers after Kelchner grounded out to second base.
Dotson finished up the Travelers’ scoring by coming across the plate on a passed ball. The Bombers got a run on a fielder’s choice in the fourth and an error in the fifth, but failed to score the rest of the game.
Burke picked up the win after giving up four runs in five innings. He struck out seven and walked five.
Kelchner Struck out two, allowed one hit and walked two in the final two innings with Cott behind the plate.
“My arm felt really good,” Kelchner said. “I like Tyler behind the plate. He’s very solid. He’s got a strong arm, too, and my pitches were working a little bit.”
Eight Travelers recorded a hit in game two. Dotson was the lone multi-hit player with a single and a double. He drove in three runs.
The Travelers have a busy week ahead with four doubleheaders. They host the Blue Springs A’s and Independence Post 21 Wednesday and Thursday, respectively.
The Lee’s Summit Outlaws and Oak Grove will come to town Saturday and Sunday, respectively.
“It will be a big test,” Samborski said. “We have a lot to improve on. We’ve got to be more consistent in our games. In this game we went four straight innings without scoring after scoring seven runs. You have to keep tacking on. If not, you get in trouble.”