By Anvil Welch
Globe Sports Writer
WEBB CITY, Mo. - Webb City's Shane Moreland, driven from the mound in a district prep baseball championship game last week, had the perfect rebuttal Saturday.
The left-handed Moreland, allowing just two hits, sent the Cardinals winging into the semifinals of the MSHAA Class 3 playoffs with a 7-0 shutout of Rogersville on Barnes Field.
The defending champion Cardinals (20-4) face St. Louis Westminster Christian Academy (20-5-1) at 2 p.m. Friday in the semifinals on Simmons Field in Columbia. Westminster Christian won its quarterfinal 8-6 at Mexico.
Moreland, a 5-foot-7, 170-pound junior, struck out six and walked only one in improving to 6-1. He was backed by solid defense and an 11-hit attack.
"He (Moreland) bounced back and pitched a great game," Cardinal coach Bryce Darnell said. "We - the coaching staff - challenged him after the no-decision against Seneca (an eventual 6-5 victory for Webb City). It's obvious by his record and earned run average he's thrown strong games throughout the season."
Webb City, the visiting team on the scoreboard, scored three runs in the top of the first on five hits.
"There isn't much you can say about this game. It was the Webb City pitcher," Rogersville coach Brad Lotz said. "We'd fallen behind early in our previous six games. But that pitcher was a stud. They would have won if they had scored only one run.
"We were playing the state champions,'' Lotz said. "They're still the champions until proven otherwise."
Said Moreland: "I felt real good. I knew I was good for seven innings. I threw Friday - not hard but about 25-30 pitches - just enough to be at 100 percent.
"Scoring those early runs helped a lot. Jordan (sophomore catcher Jordan Hickman) called an excellent game.
"I let some things mentally get to me during the Seneca game," Moreland said. "My job is to throw the ball and let my defense work behind me. The curve today kept them off balance. I was able to get ahead with the fastball.
"My best game of the season? My top game, hopefully, will come at state,'' Moreland added while grinning.
Four Cardinals each finished with two hits - left fielder Brad Workman (including a double), third baseman Chance Sossamon (both doubles), first baseman Jerick Swarens and designated hitter Mack Kyle (including a triple). Center fielder Darren Aggus, second baseman Marcus Ozbun, Sossamon, Swarens and Hickman drove in runs.
"We hit the ball hard," Darnell said. "Still, we left too many runners (10 overall)."
Chris Sartin, whose infield pop dropped safely among a flock of Cardinals, and Chad Yates had singles in the first and second, respectively, for the Wildcats (16-9).
By Anvil Welch