Cassville American Legion Post 118 prepares for road trip
American Legion Post 118 is getting set to hit the road after going 2-1 last week. The team will leave Thursday for a trip and tournament to the St. Louis area. Before leaving, Cassville picked up some big victories.
The team was scheduled to play in the Monett tournament last weekend, but rain on Saturday shortened the tournament to just Sunday. Cassville won both games that they played.
Post 118 was simply too much for its first opponent, Fairland, Okla.
After a one-two-three first inning, Cassville opened things up in the second. The inning started with Tyler Miller reaching base on a catcher's interference call, and 23 plate appearances later, the inning ended.
Cassville scored a colossal 17 runs in the second inning, amassing 10 hits and five walks. Fairland also committed four errors in the frame. The inning was highlighted by Travis Northern's two-run double.
Fairland went quickly in the third inning and the game was called 17-0. Northern picked up the win, striking out three through two innings. Levi Roberts pitched in relief of Northern and had two strike-outs in an inning.
Cassville's second contest was against rival Monett.
Jake Nolan for Cassville and Kyle Coatney for Monett were locked in a pitchers' duel for most of the game, but Post 118 came through in the clutch, scoring two runs in the fourth and another two in the fifth to win 4-1.
Miller opened the fourth with a walk and after a strike-out was sacrificed to second by Aaron Brooks. Kelby Haynes came up with the big hit in the inning, ripping one to the short-stop who could not handle the ball allowing Miller to score. Haynes then came home after a walk and an RBI single from Cody Pierson.
Monett answered the runs with a score of its own in the bottom of the fourth. A lead-off walk looked okay after a strike-out and fly-out, but Purdy's Ryan Veith blasted a shot into the outfield to make it 2-1, Veith was thrown out on the play trying to advance to second.
The momentum quickly turned back to Cassville's favor in the fifth when walks to Jody Cavness and Brooks, along with a hit from Haynes and a ground-out from Miller, turned into two more Cassville runs.
Monett got only three more runners on base in the contest, leaving Cassville with a 4-1 victory.
Nolan pitched the complete game for Cassville, going six innings while allowing three hits, one walk and one run. Nolan struck-out eight and needed only 87 pitches to notch the victory.
Veith went one-for-three for Monett in the contest and picked up the team's only RBI. Chris Bennett and Josh Wiseman, from Purdy, also both played in the game.
Cassville finished its week with a loss, but in many minds, it was considered a "quality" loss.
The Bentonville, Ark., legion team traveled to Cassville on Monday night and came in with a high pedigree. Bentonville had beaten Neosho 13-3 several weeks ago. Their win came against the same Neosho team that beat Cassville last year for the district championship.
Post 118 got off to a rocky start and never could quite recover. The game started with Bentonville tallying a lead-off single, a walk, an RBI double, a two-run triple and then a sacrifice fly. Two of Bentonville's next three batters ground-out to end the inning but left the score 4-0. Bentonville got another run in the third before Cassville got back into the contest.
Bentonville's pitcher needed only 26 pitches to retire Cassville through the first three innings, but in the fourth, the home team finally got to him.
Josh Hartin and Caleb Mitchell both had singles to open the inning. Next Northern bunted and reached when no one covered first base. With the bases loaded and no outs, Brooks reached due to a catcher's interference call, scoring Cassville's first run. Mitchell came home on Nolan's walk, but the next two runners were cut down at the plate on fielder's choice plays. Jody Cavness drew a walk to score another run, before Bentonville brought in their next pitcher, Matt Garza, who struck-out the next batter.
Trailing 5-3, Cassville's luck seemed to run out. Garza controlled the game easily, throwing the next two innings without giving up a walk or a hit while striking out five.
On top of Garza's dominance, Bentonville got back on the scoreboard. Haynes settled down after a rough first inning, surrendering one run on two hits and two walks over the next four innings while striking out seven, but Bentonville scratched out four more runs in the top of the sixth making it 9-3.
Cassville made a rally in the seventh. Baker, Cavness and Hartin all drew walks and Mitchell singled to help Post 118 score three runs, but the visitors shut them down from there to win by a final score of 9-6.
Haynes was saddled with the loss in the contest. He threw six innings, surrendering nine runs on 11 hits and four walks. He struck-out eight. Baker relieved in the contest and got in one inning of work, giving up a hit while striking out two.
Cassville's offense was led this week by a variety of members.
Northern batted .300 for the week with an extra-base hit along with three RBI. Nolan and Haynes also had good weeks offensively. Nolan hit only .250 but had an on-base percentage of .800. He also had one extra-base hit and drove in three. Haynes batted .500 with three runs and three RBI.