The Sedalia Travelers’ bats came alive in the first game of a doubleheader against Lee’s Summit on Wednesday at Dey Field at Liberty Park Stadium, but the Pirates held them in check in game two to earn the split. Sedalia won the first game 20-10 in six innings and lost the second 6-3.
The Travelers scored seven in the first inning and nine more in the second, chasing two Lee’s Summit pitchers in two innings to pull ahead in game one.
“It’s something to build off of,” said Sedalia right fielder Ian Dotson. “I think we did a pretty good job as a whole team building on confidence in the first game.”
Darion Lawrence opened the first inning with a single. He stole second, took third on a passed ball and scored on a single by Henry Tietz.
“It was outer half, and that’s what I wanted,” Tietz said. “I wanted to hit it back up the middle and that’s what I did with it.”
Dalton Christian followed with a one-out double over the head of the left fielder to score Tietz and give Sedalia the lead. After the Travelers loaded the bases, Zach Bishop scored on a wild pitch and Luke Archibeque hit a single to score Cody Kozak, A.J. Paul and Matt Miles. Archibeque then scored from third when Lawrence tried to steal second and the throw went off the second baseman’s glove.
In the second inning, the first four batters — Dotson, Christian, Bishop and Kozak — all hit safely to scored two more runs, and Bishop then scored on a fielder’s choice. The Travelers added one more on a bases-loaded walk, then doubles by Tietz and Dotson scored four more. A sacrifice fly by Christian scored Dotson to make it 16-4.
Sedalia added another run in the third to take a 17-4 lead, but a five-run rally in the top of the fifth by Lee’s Summit temporarily staved off the 10-run mercy rule. The Travelers then secured the win with three in the bottom of the sixth; Tietz ended the game with a bloop over the head of the center fielder to score Paul from third.
“Hitting’s contagious,” said Travelers manager Mark Carey. “Once we got rolling it seemed like everyone wanted to be a part of the action so that lifted us in the first game.”
Lawrence had three singles in the game and drew a pair of walks. Tietz had two singles and a double, Dotson added two doubles (both in the second inning) and a single and Bishop drew four walks in the game, scoring three times.
“Just trying to drive the runs in early,” Dotson said. “The first one was a lead-off so I was just trying to square something up to get on base and start off the inning. The second one, I had runners on and I was looking for a base hit and it turned out to be a double in the gap.”
Miles started the game and pitched 4 1-3 innings, allowing a run in the first and three more in the second. He worked out of a two-on, two-out jam in the third, but allowed another run in the fourth and four in the fifth before departing.
“What really upsets me a little bit is it’s 17-4 in the fifth inning and we boot the ball around a little bit and we can’t close out the game,” Carey said. “So then we have to play six innings and put three across late just to get the 10-run rule. We have a little bit of trouble knowing when not to stop. Just keep scoring runs. No lead is safe in this league with the hitters we face and the teams we play.”
In the second game, both teams had runs wiped off the board on close plays at the plate. Lee’s Summit second baseman Travis Simonin tried to score from second on a single by Austin Buhr in the bottom of the first (the Pirates were the home team on the scoreboard), but the relay from Lawrence to Archibeque got to the plate before he did. In the top of the second, Kozak tried to score from first when Paul doubled, but Jackson McIntosh threw him out at the plate. Paul ended up scoring later in the inning on a wild pitch to put Sedalia on the board.
Lee’s Summit took the lead with two runs in the bottom of the third. A McIntosh double scored Josiah Hurrimann and Buhr tripled to right to score Simonin.
Sedalia tied it at 2 in the fifth. Kozak hit a bases-loaded pop-up behind first base that dropped in, allowing Dotson to score.
Schubert shut down the Pirates in the fourth and fifth, recording seven consecutive outs, but Lee’s Summit got to him for four runs in the sixth. The first six Lee’s Summit batters hit safely in the inning, and by the time Schubert got out of it, the Pirates led 6-2.
“Schubert pitched great,” Carey said. “Schubert did everything I asked him to, which was to compete in the zone, throw three pitches for strikes, and he did, and he kept us in the ballgame up until the sixth inning.”
Sedalia got a run back in the top of the seventh. Pinch-hitter Chance McMullin singled home Christian, but that was all the Travelers got.
The split came a day after the Travelers split a doubleheader with Fike in Blue Springs, falling 3-1 in the first game before taking the second 7-3.
Lane Soendker threw all six innings of game one, allowing six hits, three runs — two earned — and recording five strikeouts.
“He threw a great game and kept them off balance the entire game; we just couldn’t get the offense going,” Carey said.
Austin Bullerd won the second game, allowing five hits in seven innings while striking out six.
In Tuesday’s doubleheader, Sacred Heart catcher Mason Kelchner made his Travelers debut after being called up from the junior Legion squad. He went 1 for 3 in game one and had an RBI in game two.
The Travelers will open the Sedalia-Warrensburg Tournament at 8:30 p.m. Friday against Quincy (Ill.) at Dey Field at Liberty Park Stadium.
Travelers vs. Quincy (Ill.)
8:30 p.m. Friday at Liberty Park Stadium