The Cassville Legion baseball team is competing in the district tournament this week, and already picked up their opening win, defeating Monett 7-4.
The local squad feels ready for the challenge of district play and have seemed to find their nitch lately. After losing three out of their first four games of the season, Cassville comes into the tournament as the second seed with a 6-2 district record.
However, one of their losses inside the district came at the hands of their next opponent, Carthage. This game was played Tuesday, but scores were not available at press time.
If Cassville wins that game, they will face either Neosho or Miller. Earlier in the season, Cassville defeated Miller but fell to Neosho, the district tournament's top seed.
Neosho is the defending champion of the district and not likely to hand over that honor easily.
"The squad is 8-0 in district play and is known for playing solid and not making mental mistakes," said Cassville Assistant Coach Jeremy Marple.
Cassville will have to play top-notch baseball to get passed the defending champ.
At this point in the season, Cassville is doing well as a team. The squad is batting .300 as a team and possesses many unique assets.
One of Cassville's top seniors in high school this year was Kason Koelsch, who is continuing his good play this summer. The next-year collegian is batting .365 with 29 runs, 19 RBI and five extra base hits. Koelsch leads the team in runs, hits, home runs (2), RBI and stolen bases (8).
Another standout for Cassville this year has been Kelby Haynes, a pitcher who continues to show his all-around skill. The soon-to-be senior is great at the plate, leading the team with a batting average of .385. Haynes has 22 runs with 14 RBI and two extra-base hits.
All together Cassville has eight batters batting over .300. They have scored 172 runs on 183 hits. The squad has accumulated 36 extra-base hits, including five home runs, and 36 stolen bases. The team is also disciplined at the plate with their 125 walks outnumbering their 85 strikeouts.
With all of this, Cassville hopes to continue Coach Jerry Marple's winning legacy. For the past eight years, Marple has guided his team to 20-plus win seasons.
If Post #118 wins, the team will play either Neosho or Miller on Thursday, July 19 at 4:30 p.m. If Cassville loses. they play either Webb City or Carl Junction on Wednesday, July 18 at 4:30 p.m.
All tournament games will be held on the campus of Crowder College in Neosho.