The Rolla (21-6-1) and St. James (13-9) baseball teams opened their District Tournaments on Saturday, May 12. The Bulldogs used a massive 14 run fourth to cruise to a 16-0 win over Central, while St. James mashed their way past Salem 14-3.
Rolla v Central: 14-0
The first two innings of this contest were a pitcher's duel, as no one was able to score until the third. After pushing two across in the third, Rolla absolutely exploded in the fourth. The Bulldogs mashed in 14 runs to cruise to an easy 16-0 win.
All but one of the Bulldogs scored a run in the win, with both Levi Loughridge and Blayne Yarger scoring three times a piece. Zeke Arthur, Noah Doyle and Joel Simmons each scored twice. While they scored 16 run, Rolla needed just six hits. They added nine walks, as every batter reach based with either a hit or a walk. Loughridge led the way with two hits, while walking once. Will Bolyard had the only official RBI with a two run double.
The run support made things even easier for a Rolla pitching staff that was electric all afternoon. Jeremiah Ruth started the game with four innings of one-hit baseball. He walked one and struck out four in the win. Yarger then took the mound in the fifth with a perfect inning, striking out the side to seal the victory.
The Bulldogs will now face Lebanon, the team that edged them in District voting for the second seed, on Monday. The District is hosted by Hillcrest.
St. James v Salem: 14-3
The Tiger bats have been rolling as of late, having scored in double figures in their two games leading up to Districts. That continued on Saturday when they faced off against Salem. St. James scored three runs in each of the first two innings, before smacking in seven runs in the third. Salem put a dent in the Tiger's lead with two in the fourth and one in the fifth, but St. James scored one more in the fifth to finish off a 14-3 win in five.
Andrew Branson had a spectacular game at the plate, going a perfect 4-4 with a double and a triple, scoring four runs and driving in one. He also swiped a base. Drew Bouse, who also took the mound for St. James, drove in four runs and scored twice. Ty Lewis was 2-3 with two runs scored and two RBI, while Alex Evans added two runs driven in. Drew Moritz and Chessley Plank each also drove in runs in the win.
Bouse was excellent on the mound as well. He pitched 3.2 innings and allowed just one base hit and walked one, while striking out a batter. Lewis finished off the final 1.1 innings, allowing three runs, two of which were earned, on four hits.
St. James will next face off against second seeded Southern Boone Monday afternoon at Sullivan.