PITTSBURG, Kan. — A standout showing at the plate by McDonald County product Cole Martin aided the Southwest Missouri All-Stars in a lopsided 14-2 victory over the St. Louis South Prospects on Thursday night at Pittsburg State University’s Al Ortolani Field.
The triumph improved the All Stars’ record to 2-1 at the conclusion of the first round of pool play in the 16-Under Premier Baseball National Championship. SOMO suffered a 4-3 loss to the 417 Cardinals earlier in the day before it bounced back with a five-inning run-rule over the Prospects.
“Our guys came in ready to go in the second game today,” SOMO coach Kevin Burgi said. “Bats were a little slow in that first game, but they did a really nice job of making adjustments, putting the barrel on the ball and rounding the bags a lot better. It was big for us because we needed that run differential to advance us.”
SOMO, which finished second in its pool behind the unbeaten 417 Cardinals, advanced to the tournament’s second round of pools and will take on the Chiefs at 11 a.m. today at Webb City.
The All Stars scattered 11 hits across five innings in their win, plating two runs in the first inning and jumping out to a 9-1 lead by the end of the third and an 11-1 lead by the end of the fourth.
Martin went 3-for-3 with a triple, a double, a single, two runs scored and two RBI. The 3-hole hitter put SOMO on the board in the bottom of the first with an RBI double to right-center field that plated Justin McReynolds, who tripled to center field in the prior at-bat. Martin later scored from third on a passed ball to give the All Stars an early 2-0 cushion.
SOMO tacked on six more runs on three hits in the second inning, which was highlighted by a two-run double to left field by Bodee Carlson.
Martin’s final plate appearance in the top of the fourth resulted in a run-scoring triple down the line in right field to give the All Stars a 10-1 advantage.
Carlton finished 2-for-3 with two RBI, while Kyler Perry, Tyler Schuman and Jordan Woodruff each finished 1-for-2 with one RBI.
Starting pitcher Hunter Cantrell went two complete innings for SOMO and limited St. Louis South to one earned run and two hits. Reliever Dalton Mills shut out the Prospects in the final three frames and surrendered three hits.
“This game helped a lot since we were able to conserve some of our arms,” Burgi said. “So we’re in good shape as far as that goes. (Cantrell and Mills) did a great job of finding the zone and forcing them to put the bat on the ball. Then the defense did what it needed to to back them up.”
The Webb City Redbirds suffered an 8-0 loss to the Rawlings Tigers to finish 1-2 in the first round of pool play.
The Redbirds finished third in their pool behind runner-up Rawlings and the first-place Dallas Mustangs. In the new round of pool play that begins today, Webb City plays top-seeded Fort Worth Cats at 3:30 and the St. Louis Prospects Loggins at 5:30, both at Wendell Redden Stadium.
“It was one of those nights where you struggle to make plays in the field and struggle to string enough hits together to score runs,” Webb City coach Flave Darnell said. “We told the guys after the game that we know we made some mistakes and didn’t play as crisp as we know they can. So we’ll regroup and get back after it tomorrow.”
Rawlings starting pitcher Gabe Kerr limited the Redbirds to just two hits in a complete-game effort.
The Tigers drew first blood with a two-run third inning and then tacked on one run in the fifth, one run in the sixth and then four runs in the seventh.
Webb City starting pitcher Cole Gayman went five innings and struck out five batters while limiting Rawlings to one earned run and three hits.
Webb City lost its final two games of pool play, falling to Inside Edge 13-4 and St. Louis Prospects Lloyd 10-5.
The Redbirds won their opening game on Thursday by an 8-0 margin over Perfect Timing Blue 14s. Ironically, the Blue 14s won the pool with a 2-1 record and a head-to-head victory over Inside Edge.
Webb City opens its second round of pool games at 3:30 today at home against Perfect Timing Blue 15s.