American Legion baseball has returned to Cassville. After not fielding a legion team in 2011, Irwin-Easley Post #118 is once again represented on the diamond.
A lot has changed since Cassville last took the field in American Legion play. Longtime coaches Jeremy Marple and Roger Brock are gone, and the team is under the direction of Kyle Wood, the Cassville High School baseball coach. Irwin-Easley is only fielding a AA team this year, with plans to resume a AAA schedule in 2013.
Cassville's Post #118 opened the season at Carl Junction on Friday night, splitting a doubleheader with Post #781.
Wood's team played the home opener on Monday night, defeating Mt. Vernon's 39ers 12-6 in a seesaw offensive show. Gabe Kirk rocked a three-run home run in the first inning to help build a 5-0 lead for the Irwin-Easley squad, and Marcus Weatherman's triple ignited a six-run rally in the bottom of the fifth frame as the Cassville club came from behind to claim the win.
Jordan Adams started the game for Post #118, but was lifted in the top of the fifth when the 39ers surged to a 6-5 lead. Andrew Whitham came to the mound with one out and runners on first and second. Whitham benefited from a loose interpretation of the infield fly rule as Austin Brown was ruled out and then escaped the inning with no further damage when Logan Rycraft popped out to end the inning.
Whitham earned the win, only allowing two base runners in the final two innings.
The 39ers bounced back to win the late contest, 14-8. Cassville's legion team sports a 2-2 season record.
Irwin-Easley Post #118 will play a twin bill at Webb City on Tuesday, June 12.