Lebanon beats Kickapoo and Bolivar

LCR photo/Alex Boyer
Lebanon senior Jayton Cromer delivers a base hit during a high school baseball game against the Bolivar Liberators on Monday afternoon at Bolivar High School. Lebanon won the contest, 13-1.

By: 
ALEX BOYER ALEX@LACLEDERECORD.COM

In a game that almost didn't happen due to wet field conditions, the Lebanon baseball team picked up their biggest Ozark Conference win of the season, defeating the Kickapoo Chiefs 5-4 on Friday night at Oley Scott Field.

The ‘Jackets scored all five of their runs in the bottom of the fifth inning after trailing 2-0 when senior Jayton Cromer and junior Tyler Paul got the rally started by consecutive base hits and were eventually scored by Troy Reynolds and Zack Stewart to tie the game at 2-2.

With the bases loaded and the game tied, the Chiefs brought on a sidearm relief pitcher who walked two consecutive batters and then hit sophomore Drew McBride with a pitch that led to a sacrifice fly from junior Curtis Mobley to cap the Lebanon scoring and took a 5-2 lead.

“If you looked at the field at 12:30 in the afternoon (on Friday) and thought we were playing tonight, I would’ve told you that there was no way it was going to happen,” Lebanon head coach Dustin Young said. “Their coach was chomping at the bit to play and was willing to push it back, but it worked out, and I can’t say enough about these guys.”

Overall, Young was happy about the victory and beating a talented Chiefs team that always finishes in the upper-tier of the Ozark Conference standings.

“I felt like offensively we hit the ball well out of the shoot, but just hit it right at people,” he mentioned. “Kickapoo is a pre-season top 10 team and has a centerfielder who is a legit DI kid and may get drafted this year in Mason Auer and are very well-coached.

“We came out and had a big five-run inning and did enough to get the win today.”

Junior Troy Reynolds moved to 3-0 on the season after going 5 1/3 innings, allowing just three runs on four hits and struck out eight batters. Tyler Graham came into relief and had one strikeout and allowed one earned run and also struck out a batter.

“He was good (on Friday),” Young said. “He was a little wild with his curveball, spiking them in the dirt on a regular basis, but other than that, he was sharp.

“When he is on, Troy can keep us in any ball game, and what is most impressive is that he throws as many pitches as he does and then goes to right field and almost throws a guy out at the plate. He has a good arm and can go deep in games, but Tyler did a nice job of embracing the reliever role and came in and threw well.”

On Monday, Lebanon continued their winning ways, beating the Bolivar Liberators 13-1 at Bolivar High School to win their seventh-straight game.

The ‘Jackets’ offense came through with 12 hits and took an early 3-0 lead in the game. In the bottom of the fifth inning, Lebanon scored five runs.

Stewart continues to come up huge for LHS as the freshman bombed a ball over the centerfield fence for a two-run home run for the first varsity home run of his career.

“He (Stewart) is a kid who is a big thumper,” Young mentioned. “When we saw him this winter, we knew his bat was loud, but we didn’t know how it was going to play when you see live pitching, but at the freshmen level he had nine RBIs by himself and can hit.

“He is the perfect example of why exit velocity is important. It increases the window from launch angle, and he hits the ball so hard, that he can get away with a little higher launch angle. He makes adjustments well and has stepped into this varsity level situation and has done a great job.”

For the complete article, see Wednesday’s print edition of The County Record, or view http://digital.laclederecord.com/ online.

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The Laclede County Record

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