BLUE SPRINGS — Post 642 Sedalia is now the team to beat.
Duffin Makings pitched 5 1/3 innings, drove in the go-ahead run and represented the game-winner in a 4-3 victory over the Lee’s Summit Outlaws in the American Legion AAA Missouri Zone 2 Tournament at Jim Moran Field at Hidden Valley Park
Sedalia Travelers pinch-hitter Colton Zerilli started the tie-breaking seventh inning with a single. Levi Betts re-entered the game and advanced on a bunt from Adam Webb. Makings followed with an RBI single and later scored on a wild pitch to increase the lead to 4-2.
“I knew it was a 1-2 count, so I was expecting off-speed,” Makings said. “I thought he was going to bury one in the dirt, and that’s what he did.”
The Sedalia Travelers (26-16) continue 1 p.m. Sunday for a chance to secure the Zone 2 title. No. 1-seeded Lee’s Summit faces the winner between Blue Springs Fike and Rod’s A’s 7 p.m. Saturday to climb into championship Sunday.
Undefeated through three games, an if-necessary game is required Sunday to top the Travelers in the double-elimination tournament.
“It’s huge,” Makings said of the day off. “It keeps the momentum going.”
Post 642 Sedalia scored two runs in the top of the first with help from three errors. Makings led off with a walk and advanced to second on an errant back-pick from the Outlaws catcher. Connor Tichenor delivered an RBI double and scored when Nichols’ pickoff attempt sailed wide and registered the third Outlaws error of the inning.
Tichenor relieved Makings, who had six walks and one strikeout, pitching for the final four outs. He is scheduled to start Sunday’s championship contest.
Outlaws starter TJ Nichols lasted 103 pitches and was one out away from a complete-game effort. After the three-error first inning, Nichols collected five strikeouts and faced two more than the minimum through five scoreless frames.
Makings carried a five-walk no-hitter into the sixth inning before allowing a single and stranding a pair of baserunners to keep the standing 2-1. Jaxson Hill chased him and tied the game 2-2 with a single in the sixth. In the seventh, Sedalia threw away a double-play attempt on the turn, allowing Lee’s Summit to close the gap, 4-3.
Post 642 advanced to Friday’s semifinal with a 4-0 victory over Post 69 Hillcrest and an 8-4 result against Rod’s A’s on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively.
Alex Agueros can be reached at 660-826-1000, ext. 1483 or on Twitter @abagueros2.