(Updated to reflect the second game of Monday's doubleheader)
A defeat in the first game of Monday’s doubleheader against Odessa at Liberty Park Stadium solidified Sedalia Post 642 AUX’s junior legion district tournament for the upcoming weekend.
The Bulldogs out-hit Sedalia 7-3 and captured Game 1 by a score of 6-2, rendering the evening’s second act meaningless with respect to the postseason.
Rather than play a doubleheader in Odessa last Wednesday, the two teams played just one game due to an umpire shortage, an 8-6 loss by Sedalia. Monday night represented a head-to-head tiebreaker for the No. 1 seed.
Settled into the second seed, Sedalia opens the District 7 Tournament, hosted at Liberty Park Stadium, against third-seeded Warrensburg 5 p.m. Friday.
“Now we’re going to have to take the long way, but that’s OK,” said Post 642 AUX head coach Alex Lang. “We put ourselves in this situation, now we’ve got to find a way to get out of it.”
The winner of Friday’s opener faces Odessa in the following game, scheduled for 7:30 p.m. The losers of Friday night’s games will meet on Saturday at 1 p.m., with whoever emerges victorious in that game taking on the winner of Friday’s second matchup.
If necessary, a decider in the double-elimination format would be held Sunday at 1 p.m.
“We’re at a point where it’s pretty much win or go home,” Lang said. “It just depends how long they want to play.”
Andrew Lazenby’s double put Sedalia ahead 2-0 early in Monday’s first game, but it was all Odessa from that point as Post 642 AUX committed errors that proved too costly as much of the contact throughout the game found its way right to Bulldogs’ fielders.
“They’re still beatable, but it’s hard to win when you don’t hit the ball,” Lang said of Odessa. “We really didn’t put pressure on them throughout the whole game, and usually in the games we play well, we’re running the bases, bunting, doing all the small stuff. Today, we couldn’t get runners on or even get into situations to steal or bunt.”
If only to build momentum for the district games, Sedalia topped the visitors 11-8 in Game 2 of Monday's action despite falling behind by six runs. Hitters teed off on the Bulldogs' relief arms while Chase McMullin allowed just one hit without giving up a walk in 3 1/3 innings of work out of the pen for Post 642 AUX. McMullin, Zach Simmons, Jeffrey Goodson and Carson Hunolt all had a pair of hits in the nightcap.
Trint Grotzinger is assured of a start this weekend for Sedalia, and Lang says that Goodson or Simmons are the options on the bump after that to get the nod, with Blaine Kreisel one of the top choices out of the bullpen when needed.
This past weekend, Sedalia went 1-2 in its pool at the Fike Wood Bat Classic Tournament and then captured a crossover victory over a Topeka club to close out play in Independence. Caleb Egbert led the team with five hits over the four games of play, while Hunolt went 3-3 with four RBIs in Sunday’s win that closed out the action.