CHILLICOTHE — The Sedalia Bombers, defending MINK League Champions, ended their season Tuesday with an 8-6 loss to the Chillicothe Mudcats at Chuck Haney Field at Shaffer Park.
Jackson Schmedding pitched 5 1/3 innings and exited with a 6-5 deficit and runners on the corners. Mudcats outfielder Logan Eickhoff, the first batter to face Garrett Morrow, extended the Chillicothe lead flicking a shallow single to score Marty Lenhart. A passed ball put the Mudcats ahead 8-5 through six innings.
Eickhoff tripled three times and finished a home run shy of the cycle. He plated two runs to give the Mudcats a lead in the first inning and scored on a sacrifice grounder from Hunter Johnson to make it 3-0. Eickhoff’s second triple answered a crooked third from Sedalia, and his fifth-inning, game-tying double scored Tate Warge from first base. He represented the go-ahead run on a Johnson single.
The Bombers (20-17) took the lead with a five-run third. Jake Lufft tripled and AJ Gardner doubled to help the Bombers tie the game. Chillicothe outfielder Don Trevino appeared to snare an inning-ending catch in center but, after an appeal from Bombers head coach Craig McAndrews, Blake Ford was awarded two go-ahead runs on his two-put bloop.
Quin Reasoner smoked a run-scoring grounder off the glove of Chillicothe shortstop Wargo and the Bombers trailed 8-6 with one out in the seventh. Brice Pannier lined into a double play at second to end the inning.
Chillicothe advances to play the top-seeded St. Joseph Mustangs 7 p.m. Wednesday at Phil Welch Stadium.
Sedalia and Chillicothe split the regular-season series, with the visiting team winning each time in six meetings. In their most recent matchup July 17, the Bombers sent 11 batters to the plate during a six-run fifth inning to help beat Chillicothe, 7-3.
Schmedding had pitched well against the Mudcats in two regular-season outings, picking up the win after 6 2/3 innings July 6 and receiving no decision after 11 strikeouts through six frames June 29. The Mudcats (26-15, 24-14 MINK) took advantage of the Bombers’ bullpen June 29 and July 2 to beat them in back-to-back games at Liberty Park Stadium, with the latter ending in extra innings.
Andrew Frank, Cole Young and Connor Darnell followed Morrow out of the bullpen, with Young and Darnell stranding the bases loaded in the eighth.
AJ Gardner entered the game tied for the Bombers’ single-season record with 10 home runs. He singled in the ninth.
The Bombers, who finished third in the MINK League North, endured a rash of injuries that shortened the season for infielders Tyson Cushman (Pittsburg State), Harrison Schnurbusch (Central Missouri), outfielder Tre Turner (Nicholls State) and limped out to a 3-7 start after the All-Star Break.
Alex Agueros can be reached at 660-826-1000, ext. 1483 or on Twitter @abagueros2.