WEBB CITY, Mo. — Webb City baseball coach Flave Darnell was “fearful” runs would come at a premium on a day with high winds and brisk temperatures.
While neither team recorded an extra-base hit, Webb City played station-to-station baseball and grinded out double-digit runs for the third time this season.
And that was the only run support Noah Mitchell would need.
Mitchell faced two batters over the minimum through five shutout frames in the Cardinals’ 10-0 victory over Monett on Tuesday afternoon at Chuck Barnes Field.
“That was a really good win,” Darnell said. “It was really good to see Noah come back and continue to throw strikes. I thought his location was a lot better. His off-speed was a lot better. We really picked the ball up on defense today. We kept the ball down. We had some good approaches in the box. That was really good to see.”
Mitchell was incredibly efficient for Webb City (5-0). The right-hander found the strike zone with 33 of his 42 pitches and allowed only one hit — Estin McBroom’s single with two outs in the first inning.
He finished with three strikeouts and induced nine groundouts.
“My pitches were good, worked really good,” Mitchell said. “I was able to get them to roll over, trust my defense to make plays and they performed well behind me.”
Webb City struck first in the contest, grabbing a 2-0 lead in the opening inning. After sparking the rally with a leadoff single, Devrin Weathers came around to score on Treghan Parker’s single plus an outfield error.
Cole Gayman produced a run-scoring single to score Shane Noel, who swiped second and third base to get into scoring position for the Cardinals.
Webb City added two more runs in the bottom of the second when Jeremiah Leaming came across on an error and Matt Woodmansee hit an RBI groundout to plate Eric Fitch.
Mitchell followed with his second straight 1-2-3 inning in the third, allowing the Cardinals to break the game open in the bottom half of the inning.
As part of a four-run third, Aidan Brock started the rally off with an RBI single to right, scoring Gavin Stowell. Leaming and Weathers scored on passed balls, and Parker hit an RBI groundout that scored Brock.
Woodmansee and Noel each added RBI singles to help Webb City complete the run-rule victory in the fifth.
“We feel good offensively. We feel good we can run really well,” Darnell said. “It was really good to see our defense play well. I thought that was the cleanest game we have probably played. That was a tribute to Noah. It’s a lot easier to play defense when your guys are throwing strikes. I’m not sure where we are at, but I know this group is fun to coach.”
The Cardinals finished with 12 hits, led by Weathers, Parker and Noel, who amassed multihit performances. After Monett’s Tanner Wright reached on an error with two outs in the first, Mitchell retired the game’s final 13 batters.
“He threw his breaking ball well for a strike,” Darnell said. “His fastball command was better this go-around than last Monday. We know Noah isn’t a big strikeout guy, but he has got to locate his pitches and throw off-speed for strikes. He is able to do that.”
Mitchell felt like he was more poised as well.
“I had more confidence today than the other day,” he said. “I was able to control the 0-2 pitch and place it where I want it. Yeah, I throw hard kind of, but my pitches worked and I was able to get a lot of ground balls. It was a good day. The defense worked well behind me. It helped me a lot.”
Webb City plays at 4:30 p.m. Thursday at Springfield Catholic.