CHS WEDNESDAY SPORTS ROUNDUP: Diamond Hornets stroke 13 hits, score season-high nine runs in home triumph. Golfer Hayden Montgomery medals with 83 in Cameron tournament. Tennis boys fall at St. Joseph: Bishop LeBlond
By PAUL STURM, C-T Sports Editor
CHILLICOTHE, Mo. — Trailing visiting Cameron 2-0 after 31⁄2 innings, the Chillicothe baseball Hornets bats grew noisy for the first time this season and delivered a pulling-away Midland Empire Conference victory.
After Isaiah Boon followed a hit, a walk, and an error with hit to left to put CHS on the scoreboard, Wes Brandsgaard’s 2-outs, 2-runs single through the right side of the infield flipped a 1-run deficit to a 1-run lead in the home half of the fourth inning and Chillicothe tacked on six more markers after that to defeat the Dragons 9-2.
The victory ended a 2-games Hornets losing streak and lifted their records to 5-2 overall and 2-1 in the MEC, heading into back-to-back tournaments. Cameron, which had played and lost to Smithville the day before, fell to 2-7 in all games and 0-4 in the league.
Chillicothe now prepares for, if the weather permits, three games in 20 hours today and tomorrow in the Marshall Invitational Tournament before participating in the Pony Express Tournament at St. Joseph, scheduled for a Monday start.
Although the weather forecast creates some doubt, the Hornets are slated to face North Callaway in a 5:30 p.m. contest at the Marshall High School field today and then face the host Owls at 9 a.m. Saturday, followed by an 11:30 a.m. clash with Clinton in the 4-teams round-robin tourney there.
Wednesday’s home win was not assured, by any means, midway through after the Dragons nicked sophomore lefthanded starting pitcher Kam Ward for a run in the top of the first inning and an unearned tally in the third, both plated by Nathan Nelson 2-outs doubles.
As the home club came to bat a fourth time against Dragons starting righthander Sam West, who earlier in the day had played 18 holes of golf in the tournament Cameron hosted, it had generated good or great scoring opportunities in every previous inning, but cashed in on none. That included hitting and running into a triple play in the first as Drew Toedebusch line drive to center was snared.
The worry Hornets fan were starting to feel after three missed chances vanished in the bottom of the fourth, however, as Boon’s and Brandsgaard’s hits made a winner out of senior Toedebusch (2-0), who had taken over on the hill from Ward at the start of the Cameron fourth and blanked the Dragons on a couple of hits the rest of the way.
Jaden Winder singled to center field to begin the bottom of the fourth and he scored on Boon’s hit. However, a Hornet was thrown out at the plate on that play, as well, so, with the bases full and two outs, the home team still was behind and looking for a clutch blow.
Sophomore catcher Brandsgaard delivered it, a sharply-hit ball between the first and second basemen which scored Konner Sewell and Boon, making it 3-2, Hornets.
With Gage Kirkland having advanced to third base and Brandsgaard to second on a late throw home on Brandsgaard’s hit, a throwing error on Mason Baxter’s grounder let a fourth Hornets run score.
Chillicothe built on its momentum with more and louder damage in the fifth and sixth innings.
Trace Staton’s hard-hit grounder inside the third-base bag off relief pitcher Jacob Roach in the fifth went for a double. After K. Sewell’s tap down the third-base line, which he might have beaten out anyway, eluded the third baseman for an infield hit as Staton advanced 90 feet, the righthanded-swinging Ward followed K. Sewell’s steal of second with a line-drive double down the line in left. That made it 6-2, Chillicothe, through five.
With Roach still on the bump in the sixth, the Hornets continued adding on with a 2-outs eruption.
Toedebusch bases-empty grounder into left field was backed by Winder’s sharp hit past the shortstop and into left. Staton once more victimized the Cameron relief pitcher, drilling a sizzling line drive past the shortstop to his right. The blow, which conceivably could have threatened to leave the park had its trajectory been different, had such velocity that the left fielder could not cut it off, despite the ball having gone to the right of the shortstop resulting in a double as Toedebusch jogged home from second.
With men at second and third, a ground ball to third was fumbled briefly, then thrown past the first baseman, allowing both Winder and Staton to cross the plate for Chillicothe’s eighth- and ninth-consecutive runs of the game.
Statistically, the key numbers were the season-high 12 hits and nine runs Chillicothe posted in – perhaps not coincidentally – easily the warmest and best weather in which it has played to date this spring. Its prior highs in runs had been six and in hits had been 10 in the season opener against Richmond. In their three most-recent prior games, the Hornets had totaled only 10 hits.
Staton, Boon, Baxter, and Winder had two hits apiece and Brandsgaard and Ward driving in a pair of runs each.
Neither team had a good defensive day, the Hornets committing four errors – three of them throwing – and Cameron five. Both also had issues running the bases, Chillicothe running into four outs on the bases and the Dragons three.
Golfer Montgomery Earns Medal in Hornets’ First 2018 Tourney
CAMERON, Mo. — While acknowledging to the C-T he wasn’t particularly pleased with how he played or scored, senior Hayden Montgomery of the Chillicothe HS golf Hornets nevertheless tied for seventh place and earned a medal in Wednesday’s Cameron Invitational Tournament.
Montgomery, a 2-times state tournament qualifier, posted a 42-41–83 on the Cameron Veterans Memorial Golf Course to share seventh place in the individual standings with Trey Howell of the host Dragons. Their scores were only one stroke away from a tie for fifth, but were 13 behind the scorching 70 posted by tourney medalist Lathan Croy of Trenton.
Croy, headed to play golf collegiately next year, his father Wes shared with the C-T last week, beat out Jett Simmons of team champion Gallatin by only one shot in the medalist standings. Gallatin, which had three of the top six finishers and four of the top 14, captured the team title with a 318, 14 strokes ahead of Cameron.
The tournament had 13 schools with enough players to register a team score. Despite veteran Montgomery’s solid day, Chillicothe finished 12th among the 13 teams with a score of 446.
Although each school could enter up to five players, the results provided for publication listed scores for only four Hornets – three of them freshmen participating in their first tournaments.
Colby Gillespie had Chillicothe’s second-best score – a 117. Keagan Valbracht finished with a 121 and Dalton Ripley a 125.
The golf Hornets are slated to have their first home appearance today (Thursday, April 12), hosting Lawson in a 4 p.m. match snowed out Monday.
League Favorite Bishop LeBlond Blanks Chillicothe Netters
ST. JOSEPH, Mo. — The host Bishop LeBlond Golden Eagles, considered by Chillicothe HS tennis Hornets likely to repeat as Midland Empire Conference champions this spring, blanked the visiting Hornets 9-0 Wednesday, although CHS came close to capturing a couple of sets.
In doubles, Chillicothe’s No. 2 combination of Tyler Maasdam and Seth Batye were within one game of forcing their set to a tiebreaker before falling 7-9.
Later, Maasdam tested the St. Joseph Catholic school’s top player, Gian Lombardino, in No. 1 singles, charging back from a 2-7 deficit to win three games in a row before G. Lombardino closed out his 8-5 triumph.
Aside from those two sets, the nearest the visitors came to claiming a set was Batye’s 4-8 defeat in No. 6 singles.
In addition to its No. 1 singles triumph, BLHS took the top doubles set behind Caleb Lombardino and his brother. They shut out Chillicothe’s Grahm Mayers and Noah Crowe 8-0.
In No. 3 doubles, CHS’ Matt Cullen and Gunnar Young fell 3-8. In singles, Mayers at No. 2, Callen at No. 4, and Young at No. 5 each fell by 1-8 counts. Crowe was downed 2-8 at No. 3.
The tennis Hornets (1-4, 0-2 MEC) are to compete Thursday and Friday afternoons and evenings in the “Tennis Under the Lights” Tournament at Kirksville.
They’ll play the other three schools – Trenton, Kirksville, and Grain Valley – in full slates (three positions) of doubles Thursday, then go back to play the schools in six singles sets each on Friday, coach Bob Long of the Hornets reports.