Legion ball wraps up with a bang
Cassville's Legion baseball team finished up its summer season last week in the district tournament. Post 118 played well but ultimately could not get past defending champion, Neosho.
The squad, seeded second in the tournament, finished 3-2 with both losses coming at the hands of the top seeded Nighthawks.
In their first contest with Neosho, Cassville went punch for punch with the offensive juggernaut. For the first seven-innings there were 10 lead changes and five ties. Then in the bottom of the eighth Neosho broke things open.
Tyler Pogue led off the attack with a walk and the rest of the Nighthawks followed suit with 10 runners reaching base, totaling up five hits and six runs. Cassville committed two errors in the frame.
A lead-off double by Kelby Haynes in the ninth gave Cassville a glimmer of hope, especially because just the night before Neosho had given up five runs to Miller in the final frame.
However, Neosho was determined not to make that mistake again, bringing in their best pitcher who got the last two outs of the game.
The Nighthawks won the game 12-7 and thus advanced into the district final. Cassville meanwhile had to fight its way back to see them again.
Post 118 did exactly what it needed to as it got past Monett 13-2. This set up a Neosho versus Cassville match-up for the championship.
Cassville gave a valiant effort, especially after playing five games in five days and playing in their second game of the day but were unable to get the victory.
Neosho pounced upon the weary squad and had seven runs in the first four frames. Post 118 got two runs back in the fourth inning, but Neosho did not let up, scoring eight more times in the next thee innings and winning 15-4.
Cassville could not beat Neosho but did well in the tournament overall. They shut out a very good Carthage team 4-0 and beat Monett twice 7-4 and 13-2. David Gilley and Haynes combined for the five-hit shut-out win against Carthage.
"The team never gave up," said Head Coach Jerry Marple about the season. "The players never quit."
Marple and his staff continued to show their coaching prowess, ending the season with a 21-10 mark. The Cassville Legion team has finished with at least a 20-win season for the past nine years under Marple.
In other notes, Monett served as this year's district upstart. Coming into the tournament, Monett was seeded seventh but finished the tournament in third place, beating Aurora, McDonald County, Miller and Carthage during their run. Area players Mason Roller and Ryan Veith, both from Purdy, play for the Monett squad.