Will Knight battled through six innings, Landon Dull scored five runs and the Post 642 Sedalia Travelers defeated Blue Springs FIKE in a 16-6 result Thursday at Liberty Park Stadium.
Knight stranded the bases loaded to escape the first inning, and left another pair on the basepaths in the second. He fielded a comebacker, completed a force out at third base and ended the second frame with his first strikeout, retiring Christian Lynn looking.
With two runners and no outs, Tyler Slinkerd recorded his second RBI and tied the game at two runs each with a double. Hayden Engman and Johnny Miles followed with run-scoring groundouts, and FIKE led 4-2 after two frames.
The Travelers sent nine batters to the plate during a three-run fourth. Lynn issued a pair of walks and hit a batter before surrendering singles to Braiden McEachern and Levi Betts, who drove in one run apiece. Baron Austin drew a bases loaded walk to start the scoring, and Post 642 led 10-5 through four innings.
A throwing error in the sixth allowed Brody Kindle to reach base and Dull to score, increasing the lead to 11-5. The Travelers put both Kindles on the corners, but Andrew Asinger — who relieved Lynn — induced a double play off the bat of Austin.
Sedalia’s fifth error of the game allowed Aaron Jones to score Blue Springs’ sixth run. Adam Webb started an inning-ending double play that ended Knight’s outing at six innings. He was charged with five runs on eight hits and four walks.
McKee said he was pleased with Knight’s ability to grind through control issues and defensive miscues.
“What can make a pitcher go from average to good, is those guys that don’t have it that day can find it,” McKee said. “He’s one of our best as far as staying composed when it comes to that.”
The Travelers entered the Zone 2 doubleheader with a shot to leap Post 499 Blue Springs FIKE for third place in league standings. Sedalia previously defeated Blue Springs 6-0 at the Branson Tournament in June, their first tournament of the summer.
Rod’s A’s (11-1 Zone 2) paced the standings after July 5, with the Lee’s Summit Outlaws (12-2) following closely.
Sedalia head coach Tanner McKee said the Travelers’ inconsistencies amounted to middle-of-the-pack standing down the stretch.
“We’ve beaten the best and have lost to the worst,” McKee said.
The Travelers nearly ended the first inning on a 6-4-3 double play. Lynn beat out the two-ball to extend the inning. A hit batsmen and two singles loaded the bases for Slinkerd, who scored Lynn with a chopper that cleared Sedalia’s middle infielders on two hops.
Brandon Kindle delivered a bases-loaded knock to give Sedalia a 2-1 lead in the first. In the third, Brandon Kindle beat out a slow roller to second to put runners on the corners with two outs. He stole second and scored with Dull on an Austin single.
After plunking Webb to load the bases, Slinkerd traded positions with Lynn at third base. Duffin Makings connected to score two runs, and make it a 7-4 Sedalia lead.
In the fourth, two misplays helped FIKE produce an unearned run. Webb, shortstop, and McEachern, center field, were charged with errant throws and FIKE trailed 7-5.
McEachern wore a pitch to lead off the seventh and Betts drove him home, pushing Sedalia’s advantage to 12-6. Dull’s second walk of the game and the team’s fifth loaded the bases for Brody Kindle, who scored two with a single. An error again juiced the basepaths, Brandon Kindle batted home run No. 15 and McEachern legged out a single to end the game.
Travelers 16, Blue Springs 0 (F/5)
Duffin Makings surrendered three hits in five scoreless innings as the Sedalia offense collected 16 runs on 12 hits during a five-inning, 16-0 victory.
Braiden McEachern and Brandon Kindle homered. One of four Travelers with two hits, McEachern registered four RBIs.
Makings recorded three strikeouts and walks apiece.
Alex Agueros can be reached at 660-826-1000, ext. 1483 or on Twitter @abagueros2.