There was little wait for Wednesday night’s fireworks show at Liberty Park Stadium.
It came courtesy of the Sedalia Travelers, who bashed a pair of home runs in the first inning in a 12-1 victory over Gladstone.
“That’s been the best we’ve played in the last week or so, I’ll tell you that much,” Travelers head coach Tanner McKee said. “We’ve been on a pretty rough run of it.”
Just the start of the evening’s output, Duffin Makings connected on a two-run blast in Sedalia’s first trip to the plate, then Brandon Kindle bashed a three-run shot later in the inning to counter an initial one-run offensive by the Owls.
The Travelers followed with consecutive three-run frames. Baron Austin’s two-out double drove in a pair and Aaron Hughes followed it up with a hard single up the middle to score him, making it 8-1.
In the third, Adam Webb and Landon Dull reached with no outs before Duffin Makings provided a sacrifice fly to score Webb. Brody Kindle made it 10-1 by launching a first-pitch offering over the center fielder’s head to drive home Dull with a triple, then Tichenor lofted a pitch that fell fair of the left-field foul line to score Kindle, extending the Travelers’ lead to double-digits.
Dull singled and made his way around the diamond, eventually touching home on a wild pitch to make it a dozen in the fourth inning. Kyler Simoncic came out for the fifth inning to cap off his shortened complete game and finished allowing five hits and no walks while striking out four in the victory.
Tonight’s victory in Game 1 marked the stop to a rough patch of league games. Coming off a pair of blown leads at St. Joe, McKee said there was a meeting of the minds to try and right the ship.
“We had just kind of nice talk, a meeting with them,” McKee said. “Things haven’t rolled our way at the end of games. We’re either getting going too late, or we’re catching fire early and not finishing, and I told them we’ve got to start putting it together. When we get going, keep the pedal on. And we did that every inning tonight.”
With injuries that have included Braiden McEachern battling a sore back the last week and arm soreness in Brody Kindle that’s persisted throughout the summer, McKee said some rest is in order before the upcoming mid-week wood bat tournament.
“After tonight, I’m probably going to give them the weekend off, let them enjoy the holiday,” McKee said. “There’s tired bodies, tired arms. We’ll probably have a practice Monday or Tuesday, get them hitting with the wood bat before the tournament starts.”
The Travelers enter the holiday break 18-13 overall and 8-5 in league play.