The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Sports

July 18, 2013

Carl Junction, Miners reach winners' final

ANDERSON, Mo. — The upstart Carl Junction Post 781 American Legion baseball team continued its strong start in the Triple A District 15 Tournament on Wednesday.

Post 781, seeded last among the seven teams, reached the winners’ bracket final by holding off third-seeded Monett 8-6 at McDonald County High School.

Carl Junction will challenge No. 1 seed Joplin at 6 tonight. The Miners pulled away from fourth-seeded Carthage 7-2 in the first winners’ semifinal.

Webb City eliminated Cassville 11-3 behind a 16-hit attack on Wednesday night to cap the three-game session.

Today’s 1 p.m. opener is a losers’ bracket contest between Monett and McDonald County.

Joplin, 7-2

The Miners trailed 1-0 through four innings before coming alive with three tallies in both the fifth and sixth frames.

“Hitting, we had a rough start,” Joplin coach Drew Schulte said. “We didn’t come out like we’re capable. We weren’t attacking (on offense). But Johnny Maturino came up with a big hit in that fifth inning.”

Gavin Jones, who had three hits, walked and lined out, tripled to lead off the fifth. Brett Graham followed with a sacrifice fly to tie the game.

Passes to Tristan Ash and Rex Whisner preceded Maturino’s two-out, two-run double.

Chris Leonardi walked with one out in the sixth, Jones singled and Graham shot a two-run double to left center. Graham eventually crossed the plate as Colton Johnson was plunked with a pitch.

The Miners, who stranded 15 runners, received two hits apiece from Maturino and Graham.

“We had great pitching from Caleb (Garton) and Brett (Graham),” Schulte said. “Garton allowed just one run in six innings. Graham worked out of a no-out, bases-loaded jam in the seventh.”

The run permitted by Graham was unearned. He struck out four in notching the save.

Ryan Jinks was the only Carthage player with two safeties.

Said Merchants’ coach Doug Baugh: “Shaw (left-hander Shaw Robertson) actually pitched well enough to win. We didn’t play that well on defense and we couldn’t get the offense clicking. We couldn’t get the big hit.”

Carl Junction, 8-6

Post 781 rattled 17 hits around the cozy Post 392 diamond but the winner needed a strikeout from reliever Zach Beyer with two Post 91 runners aboard to nail down the victory.

Carl Junction, which left 11, had three runners thrown out at the plate and committed seven errors.

Said Carl Junction coach Flave Darnell: “Beyer did another nice job in relief after (fellow right-hander) Tyler Armentrout was solid (for 61⁄3 innings).

“We did some good things on offense (starting with Armentrout’s two-run home run in the first inning),” Darnell said. “We put some pressure on them. We had several timely hits to overcome some of our other problems.”

Said Monett coach Michael Calhoun: “I thought overall Carl Junction played well. We had some opportunities on both offense and defense and didn’t execute. You have to execute when given those chances.”

Carl Junction received three hits from Branche McGriff and Dylan Avery-Smith. Armentrout and Beyer joined Nathan Landes and Kurtlin Hulette with two hits. Austin Niemeyer added two RBI.

Kole Kelley had three hits and three runs scored for Monett. Cameron Witt drove in two runs.

Webb City, 11-3

Post 322 scored at least one run in each of the first six innings in ousting Cassville.

Dillon Brock’s three-run homer and Kyle Baldassarre’s solo blow highlighted the Webb City attack.

Said Webb City coach Chris Taylor: “We hit the ball much better than in our opening game (against Carl Junction). We did a good job with guys in scoring position. We had a much better approach at the plate. We didn’t strike out much and we were driving the ball.

“Joe Jones, who’ll be a senior, struck out five and walked just two in eight innings,” Taylor said. “(Fellow right-hander) Evan Slaughter finished with a scoreless ninth inning.”

Devin Pickett had three hits for Webb City. Adding two apiece were Baldassarre, Austin Carter, Tyler Davison, Maquel Harbin and Cooper Strasser. Also, Mason Williams doubled.

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