Legion team prepares for district play

Thursday, July 17, 2008

By George Ulmer

The Cassville Post 118 American Legion team has finished its regular season and now will get ready for district play.

The Legion team, which will start the district tournament on Saturday, had a disappointing week, going 1-2. The squad fell to both Webb City and Neosho and beat McDonald County.

Post 118 traveled to Webb City on Wednesday to face a squad they had previously beaten.

Webb City set the tone early, scoring three runs in the first inning. Two errors and two singles allowed the home team to plate three runs and grab an early lead.

Cassville cut into the lead with a run in the fourth and crept even closer in the fifth. Travis Northern led the inning off with a single and was brought home on Jake Nolan's sacrifice fly, making the score 3-2.

Webb City responded, gaining one run back in the bottom of the fifth and scoring three more in the sixth to put the contest away by a score of 7-2.

Cassville's offense was anemic all night. The squad garnered only four hits and left two men on base. The defense also suffered, surrendering five errors with two that led to Webb City runs.

Cassville next traveled to Neosho for an unorthodox home game. Post 118's home field was too wet to play so the game was held in Neosho.

Neosho scored six runs before Cassville even got on the scoreboard. The Nighthawks' first two batters singled, and with the aid of two sacrifice flies and an error, scored.

In the third inning, Neosho's ninth hitter in the line-up blasted a 3-1 pitch over the wall for a solo home run. The squad also got another run on an RBI single.

Neosho tacked on two more runs in the fourth inning before Post 118 could get anything going.

In the bottom of the fourth, Post 118's offense came alive. Michael Baker led the inning off with a double and was followed by consecutive singles by Nolan, Jody Cavness and Tyler Miller. With the singles and a ground-out by Levi Roberts, Cassville cut the lead in half at 6-3.

Neosho expanded its lead back in the sixth with one run, but Cassville rallied in the seventh.

Kelby Haynes led the inning off with a walk and Josh Hartin followed him to first after getting hit by a pitch. After a ground-out, Nolan walked, Cavness reached on an error and Miller got a run home when the left fielder misplayed his hit. However, the rally ended there as the next batter popped up to end the contest 7-5.

Post 118's offense showed up again for its final game this week. The team destroyed McDonald County 17-11 after losing to the Mustangs twice before.

Cassville got the offense going early, and after a three-run home run by Josh Hartin in the fifth, the team led 11-5.

McDonald County struck back in the seventh. Two out of the first three McDonald county batters were retired in the seventh, but the next seven all reached base, allowing them to score six runs to tie the game and force an eighth inning.

Post 118 handled the adversity in the eighth, scoring more runs that were highlighted by Haynes' two-run double. Nolan finished off the opposing squad with a one-two-three inning, striking out the last two batters.

The team will now prepare for district play. The district tournament will begin Saturday at McDonald County. Seedings and game time will be decided Wednesday. Cassville's district record stands at 4-4.

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