Rainfall washed out place games scheduled for Sunday, but Post 642 Aux still came away with a second-place finish in its pool at the Sedalia Wood Bat Tournament.
Just one game was played on the third and final day of the tourney to ensure that everyone got in three games, but contests were otherwise cancelled, including a third-place game that the hosts were slated to play for mid-Sunday afternoon.
It was still a relatively satisfactory wrap to the festivities at Liberty Park after a slow start in Friday night’s opener, an 8-1 defeat to Blue Springs Elks. Post 642 AUX followed with a 7-5 victory over Rock Bridge Southside and a 15-4 win over Moberly Post 6 on Saturday.
After being jumped on early in Friday’s game, Sedalia turned the tables and posted two runs in the first inning on Rock Bridge. Zach Simmons crafted an RBI single, then scored later in the inning on one by Lincoln Ditzfeld. The offense went quiet for two innings, then exploded for a handful of runs in a fourth inning highlighted by Andrew Lazenby’s two-run shot that brought in Jeffrey Goodson. Simmons and Blaine Kreisel added run-scoring infield singles and Simmons crossed the plate on the error.
Trint Grotzinger walked seven batters, but allowed just one hit in five innings to pick up the victory.
In the second outing of the day, Moberly got three runs in the second inning off Post 642 AUX starter Robert Burson, but Sedalia never trailed in the five-inning contest. A variety of self-inflicted wounds -- errors and wild pitches among them -- led to Sedalia’s first three runs, then Zach Simmons drove in a duo of teammates to mount a 5-3 lead after two innings. The home side added three more in the third and another in the fourth before a six-run fifth that included a bases-clearing double by Elias Washington helped bring about an early run-rule ending.
Sedalia head coach Alex Lang expressed satisfaction at the team’s ability to put together two quality showings on Saturday.
“This is the first time in probably two weeks that we’ve come out in back-to-back games and put runs up in the first, second and third innings,” Lang said. “I think we scored in almost every inning we played today. I think Friday night against Elks and having that one bad inning sparked them a little bit.”
He added that the team was also fundamentally sound in those wins.
“Trint threw well, Burson threw well, they limited the walks and that’s how you win wood bat games, with defensive play,” Lang said. “Overall, it was a good team win [Saturday night] and I think everybody got in, maybe everybody even got on base.”
Lang joked that Lazenby‘s homer, the only for Sedalia on the weekend, went 311 feet, referring to the 310-foot sign at the wall fair of the left-field foul pole.
“I didn’t know until I got right up to second base and saw the outfielder throw his hands up,” Lazenby said. “He hung a slider on the inside part. I swung and missed on an outside slider before that, then he hung that one.”
Lazenby said that despite having not swung a wood bat at all aside from batting practice heading into the weekend, he liked the feeling of his bat, which some teammates had an itch to use after the homer.
“My bat is smaller, so I feel like I have more control of it,” Lazenby said. “I like the handle smaller so I can just get the barrel through the zone.”
Post 642 Aux returns to action against Belton on Tuesday in a non-district matchup.