The Rolla baseball team (12-3, 5-2 OC) made the trip down to Joplin for an Ozark Conference matchup on Tuesday, April 25. The first five innings were the definition of a pitchers' dual, but late runs by Rolla let them walk away with a 4-0 conference victory.
Robbie Callistro was absolutely masterful on the mound for the Bulldogs. After having some control issues in his last outing, he locked things down against Joplin. The senior pitched a complete game shutout, allowing just three hits. He struck out six batters and walked two.
"He did an outstanding job. He's definitely a college level pitcher," said head coach Marty Hauck of his senior starter. "He worked through some kinks from the last game and learned from them. He was getting the calls at the knees and when he's getting the calls at the knees he's going to do a great job, there's no question about that."
Despite his stellar performance on the mound, the game was still in limbo for a majority of the contest. Rolla struggled to string together hits for the first five innings and were held scoreless as a result. Rolla was finally able to get going by scoring two runs in the sixth and two in the seventh to jump out in front for good. Tristan O'Neal and Brett Gonzales had the lone runs driven in for Rolla, with Hunter House, Blaize Klossner, Davie Pound and Jonathon Reece each scoring runs.
Rolla made a simple change to jump start their offense according to coach Hauck.
"The biggest thing was we weren't swinging the bat at the top of the game," said Hauck. "We were looking at way too many and at the end of the game we started swinging the bat, making contact with the baseball then all of a sudden putting it in play and good things happen."
The win makes things very interesting in the Ozark Conference, as there are no undefeated teams within the conference. Most of the conference sits with one or two losses, which leaves the door wide open for the conference crown with a few weeks left in the regular season.
"It gives us great momentum," said coach Hauck of the win. "To have two away games right in a row. Going into the six inning it was still scoreless and for us to get out of a couple of jams and Callistro doing a great job on the mound for us, it gave us a lot of momentum going down the home stretch here."
The remainder of Rolla's schedule is a bit up in the air thanks to Mother Nature. Rolla's next scheduled game against Sullivan on Wednesday, April 26 was cancelled due to rain. They're hoping to play against Glendale on Thursday if the field dries out enough. They also have several games that they have had to reschedule that don't have makeup dates yet because too many teams have had to shuffle their schedules around.