Saints split tight I-70 matches

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

A three-game week yielded one victory for the Saint Paul Lutheran High School Saints baseball team. The boys dropped a tight, 12-inning contest to Carrollton High School to start the week, but earned a tight victory of their own against Lone Jack High School just days later before ultimately dropping their second I-70 Conference game of the week, a comeback victory for Sweet Springs High School.

Monday, April 1 — Non-conference — Carrollton HS
SPLHS 3
Carrollton 4 (12 innings)

Baseball fans looking for a good value should have found themselves content with the Saints first game of the week despite the results, as the Saints and Carrollton High School Trojans gave fans five extra innings of baseball before the Trojans finally put the game away in the 12th inning, pulling away from the Saints, 4-3.

Carrollton got the scoring started in the bottom of the first inning with two runs and it would hold for some time, but the Saints would jump ahead for the 3-2 lead in the top of the fourth inning as junior Aaron Kirby, freshman Philip McCaslin, and sophomore Justin Griffith crossed the plate.

The lead wouldn’t hold for very long, however, as the Trojans picked up an equalizing run of their own, moving it to 3-3 heading into the fifth inning.

Both teams came close to putting runs on the board, but nobody would crack the scoreboard until way down the road in the 12th inning, when Carrollton finally plated the game-winning run behind a two-out rally.

Despite plenty of opportunities, Saints batters collected just six hits. Griffith and senior Micah Lemmons each collected two hits, with Lemmons smoking a double for one of his hits. They also drew just one walk as a team but struck out 23 times.

Saints pitchers did a great job of stepping up and eating a bunch of innings early in the week. Junior Josiah Kunkel (three innings), Kirby (four innings) Lemmons (2.2 innings) and Griffith (two innings) combined to allow 13 hits over 11.2 innings while also striking out 13 and walking just six.

The Saints fall to 1-6 (1-2) with the long loss.

Carrollton advances to 3-3 with the victory.

Wednesday, April 3 — I-70 Conference — Saint Paul Lutheran HS
Lone Jack 1
SPLHS 2

They only recorded two hits, but that’s all the Saints needed to get the victory over the Lone Jack High School Mules in their I-70 Conference matchup, holding on for the 2-1 victory.

The second batter of the game crossed home for the Mules, but the scoring would stop there for quite some time.

After multiple innings of stagnant offense, junior Aaron Kirby drew a two-out walk. Juniors Jonathon Grass and Avery Johnson would turn the free pass into a rally as each put balls into the outfield, driving home Kirby before Grass also scored on Johnson’s at-bat.

The Mules would fail to get another runner on base before the game ultimately concluded with the Saints on top, 2-1.

Kirby and sophomore Justin Griffith split the workload from the pitching mound, going 3.2 and 3.1 innings, respectively. Each struck out four, while Griffith didn’t yield a walk or hit in his time pitching.

Grass and Johnson collected the only hits for the Saints, while Mules hitters collected just four hits themselves.

The victory advances the Saints to 2-6 (2-2).

Lone Jack falls to 4-2 (2-2) with the loss.

Saturday, April 6 — I-70 Conference — Saint Paul Lutheran HS
Sweet Springs 12
SPLHS 4

Things looked great for the Saints early on, but couldn’t hold the lead against Sweet Springs High School in the week’s finale, falling to the ‘Hounds 12-4.

A two-out rally featuring two doubles plated two in the bottom of the first inning. Senior Micah Lemmons got the juices flowing with a two-out walk, and juniors Aaron Kirby and Jonathon Grass followed that up with back-to-back doubles. Junior Avery Johnson then singled, driving in Grass and moving the score to 3-0.

The second inning saw sophomore Peyton Arnold reach via error and steal a base, eventually crossing the plate when junior Luke Roepe smoked a double to right field.

The score did hold through a three-run third inning, 4-3, but seven runs in the fourth and two in the fifth were enough to put the Saints away, 12-4.

Roepe and Kirby went 2-3 with one double and walk apiece. Each also drove in an RBI, while Kirby crossed one time himself. Grass also doubled, finishing 1-4.

SPLHS falls to 2-7 (2-3) with the loss.

Sweet Springs advanced to 3-3 (2-2) with the victory.

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