The Sedalia Travelers senior Legion team needed extra innings in game two but earned a split with Boonville in a doubleheader on Wednesday at Dey Field at Liberty Park Stadium, dropping the first game 11-4 before winning the second 9-8 in eight innings.
Chance McMullin ended the second game by delivering a bases-loaded single to right to score Matt Miles with the winning run.
“I was looking to square up the ball,” he said. “Fastball right down the pipe, nice solid hit.”
The Travelers (19-17) needed extra innings after Boonville rallied with four runs in the seventh to tie the game 8-8. The Travelers got Henry Tietz to second with two out in the bottom of the seventh, but couldn’t score. They then opened the eighth with a single from Miles, a walk by Luke Archibeque and a bunt single by Darion Lawrence before McMullin’s game winner.
“I just told them to be relaxed,” said Travelers manager Mark Carey. “Just try to square up baseballs and let’s try to scratch a run anyway we can.”
Ian Dotson started the game for the Travelers and worked five innings, allowing four runs on five hits while striking out four seeing his first action on the mound in several games.
“We know what he’s got but coming into this time of the season we need to get guys ready to pitch,” Carey said. “We went ahead and gave him the start and that’s what Dottie does.”
Dotson said he was most effective with his off-speed pitches.
“They were sitting back on the fast ball and driving it pretty well,” he said. “I switched to off-speed and that worked a lot better.”
Caleb Tanguay worked one inning in relief and Austin Bullerd got the win after pitching the seventh and eighth.
The Travelers opened the scoring in the bottom of the first in the second game. With Lawrence on third, Dotson hit a grounder to the third baseman, catching Lawrence in a run-down. But an errant throw by the Boonville catcher allowed him to score and Dotson to move to second.
“I’m not supposed to go, but I was already halfway there,” Lawrence said. “I started to go back but (the throw) hit my helmet and went away, so I scored.”
Courtesy runner Bullerd later scored on a wild pitch to make it 2-0. Boonville answered with two of its own in the top of the second. A squeeze play scored Kelcey Calloway, and Ryan Brown scored when Sean Lorenz reached on an error.
After Boonville took the lead with a run in the third, the Travelers scored two in the fourth to jump back in front. With one out and runners on second and third, Cole Simoncic and Miles hit back-to-back singles to score A.J. Paul and Tietz.
Boonville scored in the fifth to tie the game, but the Travelers got two in the fifth and two in the sixth to retake the lead. In the fifth, McMullin was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and scored when Dotson tripled to the wall in right.
“I got down in the count,” Dotson said. “I was basically just trying to get him over to third or score in any way I could and just got the barrel of the bat on it and squared it up to right-center.”
Bishop followed that with an RBI double to nearly the same spot.
In the sixth, a two-out grounder to second by McMullin took a Liberty Bounce over the second baseman’s head, scoring Archibeque. McMullin later scored on a wild pitch.
“Our swings were a little big in game one, trying to do too much,” Carey said. “In game two I just told them to stay short with it, get the ball on the ground. The infield was wet at the time because of the rain, so just skip a few to the infield.”
After Boonville jumped ahead early in game one, the Travelers rallied to tie it 3-3 in the bottom of the third. A Bishop double brought home Lawrence and Dotson. Courtesy runner Simoncic then scored on a single by Tanguay.
But Boonville scored four in the top of the fourth to regain the lead and added to it with four more in the sixth.
“They pieced together hits,” Carey said. “We pitched it OK but they’re a fine hitting ball club.”
Boonville starter Caleb Hein pitched a complete game, striking out six. The Travelers had their chances against Hein, recording 11 hits and drawing six walks, but they also stranded 12 runners. In the second and sixth innings, the Travelers left the bases loaded, with a pop-up in foul territory ending the threat in the second and a pair of pop-outs ending the sixth.
“Timely hitting in this game means a lot,” Carey said. “Bases loaded, one out twice, you’ve got to manufacture at least one or two out of that. We’re leaving guys on at second and third and nobody’s coming up with the big hit. In game two, there were a lot of good approaches with two outs.”
Earlier in the second Boonville kept a run off the board when left fielder Jacob Francis threw out Simoncic at the plate when Simoncic tried to score from second on a single by Tanguay.
The Travelers added a run in the sixth when Dotson singled to drive home Miles.
Lee’s Summit Outlaws at Travelers (doubleheader)
Noon Saturday at Liberty Park Stadium