The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Sports

June 9, 2012

Carl Junction, Carthage register tournament victories

CARL JUNCTION, Mo. — Payton Walker scattered five hits in seven innings as Carl Junction defeated Joplin 3-2 Friday in the Carl Junction Post 781 AAA American Legion Baseball Tournament.

In the second game, Carthage second baseman Keaton Giett went 3-for-4 and scored three runs in a 10-2, five-inning victory against Webb City.

Walker, a senior left-hander, walked three and struck out nine. Four of Joplin’s five hits were infield singles.

“It was pretty hot. I was tired in the second half of the game,” said Walker, who allowed a run in the sixth inning on a leadoff walk to Tristan Ash, an error, and a double steal by Nate Brummer and Ash, who scored.

“The last three or four innings went a lot quicker than the first three,” Walker said. “I couldn’t find my fastball in the last four innings, but the curveball was working well and I got ahead of the batters.”

The tournament resumes today with four games. Joplin, 6-4, plays Hillcrest at 11 a.m., followed by Monett and McDonald County at 1 p.m., Monett and Carthage at 3:30 and Webb City and McDonald County at 5:30.

Joplin scored a run in the first inning on an RBI ground ball by Brett Graham that drove in Bryce Ash, who began the game with a single and went to third on a throwing error.

Carl Junction, 7-3, answered with three runs in the bottom of the first. The Bulldogs loaded the bases on a leadoff single by Walker and bunt singles by Josh Petty and Chase Marrs.

Branche McGriff drove in Walker with a sacrifice fly and Petty scored on a throwing error after a single by Nathan Skaggs. Marrs scored when a pop-fly single by Jaren Hulette fell in shallow center field.

“We took advantage of the opportunities that were given to us,” said Carl Junction head coach Andrew Doennig. “Chase Marrs laid down a very good bunt. Chase is a surprisingly good bunter from the three hole when asked.”

Joplin starting pitcher Caleb Garton allowed seven hits — three after the first inning — walked one and struck out one.

“He’s a tough-luck loser,” said Joplin head coach Bobby Stackhouse. “He threw the ball extremely well. He threw the ball well enough to win. There were five opportunities for us to make an out that we didn’t make.”

Carthage invoked the eight-run run rule after five innings in the second game by scoring five runs in the top of the fifth. Giett drove in two runs with a bases-loaded single, Jonathon Terry drove in a run with a ground ball and Ethan Wiggin drove in a run with an infield single.

Wiggin and designated hitter Blaine Diggs were 2-for-3. Kyle Lee and Koltin Greene scored two runs.

Webb City scored both of its runs in the third inning. Center fielder Klay James led off, was hit by a pitch and eventually scored on a wild pitch. Left fielder Nathan Schultz drove in starting pitcher Gage Belcher, who had singled, on a force play at second base.

Carthage right-hander Mark Ryan allowed three hits, walked four and struck out six. Webb City left the bases loaded in the first and third innings, and stranded runners at second and third in the second inning with one out.

“That’s pretty good, working yourself out of a jam and only giving up two runs with the bases loaded all the time,” said Carthage head coach Jason McVey. “We’ve had 26 hits in the last two games. That’s huge for us.”

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