The Rolla baseball team (16-4-1) made the trip up to Fulton for the second round of their tournament on Tuesday, May 1. The Bulldogs faced off against Southern Boone and pulled out a 4-3 win to advance to the tournament championship.
Rolla was put behind the eight ball thanks to some defensive issues in the third inning. Southern Boone was able to score three runs in the inning thanks to some miscues, but the Bulldogs didn't let that get in their heads. Rolla chipped away at that lead with an RBI from Joel Simmons in the fourth, before Jonathan Reese, courtesy running for Zeke Arthur, and Blayne Yarger came around to score to tie the game at three in the fifth. Davie Pound drove in the game-tying run on a sac fly.
With the game locked at three, Rolla got the break they needed in the sixth. After Tristen O'Neal reached base, Jonathan Reese came in to pinch run. The senior was able to steal second and advance to third on a wild pitch. Wild pitches would be Southern Boone's downfall, as another wild pitch allowed Reese to score the game-winning run.
Levi Loughridge toed the rubber for Rolla and pitched masterfully on his way to a complete game. The senior allowed three unearned runs on four hits and a walk, while striking out eight. Head coach Marty Hauck was proud of Loughridge for not letting those unearned runs getting to his head.
"Levi did an outstanding job on the mound again and stayed composed in some adverse situations against a very solid Southern Boone team," said the Rolla head coach. "It was a great team win and great to see the team fight back from a bad inning defensively and put it back together!"
Offensively, Rolla had three hits, led by a two hit night from Arthur. Simmons added a hit and an RBI, while O'Neal, Brett Gonzalez and Noah Doyle each added base knocks.
Rolla will play Hallsville for the championship on Friday, but they have some games in the meantime. The Bulldogs traveled to Kickapoo on Wednesday for a rescheduled game, but results were not available at press time. They have another Ozark Conference game slated for Thursday when they host Parkview.