Put away the panic button.
“I told ‘em, I ain’t no Stephen A. Smith,” said Sedalia Travelers head coach Tanner McKee.
After a 3-0 start, including an extra-innings victory to start last weekend’s Jimmy Glenn Tournament, Post 642 fell to .500 with three losses to finish the weekend at Liberty Park. McKee expressed frustration that it’s already prompted chatter from naysayers.
“I’m already hearing noise saying that we’re weak at this position, or someone saying, ‘Coach, you’re looking down this year,’ stuff like that,” McKee said. “And that’s fine. That lights a fire -- and I told them [about it] tonight -- because I want it to light a fire under them the way it does under me.
“I had a lot of people saying that stuff last year, and look what we did.”
The Travelers enjoyed an exciting end to their lone win of the tournament, a 9-8 result over Lee’s Summit Outlaws. They let a 6-3 lead slip, allowing three runs in the sixth inning and two more in the seventh to fall behind 8-7, but down to their final two outs, Colton Zerilli sent a 2-0 pitch over the fence that sent the game into extra innings. Sedalia needed just one trip to the plate, winning on Brandon Kindle’s single that scored Braiden McEachern.
“I saw a fastball coming inside, and figured I just needed to turn in on it,” Zerilli said. “I like to pull my head when I swing. That last one I kept my head in, when I do that, good things will happen I guess. I was part of the reason why we got down in the game. I just knew we needed to ‘cowboy up’ and get back in it.”
Committing errors at inopportune times didn’t help Sedalia in its next two games. That included a 13-8 loss Saturday night to Washington Post 218, third-place finishers in last year’s Missouri State Tournament, and a 4-3 defeat Sunday afternoon to Blue Springs’ Rod’s Sports A’s.
“We played good ball until the sixth inning against Rod’s A’s, and that’s kind of been our niche right now, not being able to put the full game together,” McKee said. “Even that Outlaws game. We’ve only made one or two errors a game, but it seems like the ones we make are at the most crucial point. They’re the turning point, and then we lose. It’s unfortunate the way it’s falling right now, but I’m not concerned about it whatsoever [in the long run].”
The Travelers closed action with a shutout defeat to Jefferson City, last year’s state champs.
McKee planned to give the team Monday and Tuesday off to refuel before Wednesday night’s home game against Post 21.