The Seneca Indians have now won two-straight as they kicked off Big 8 Conference play on Tuesday with an 8-5 victory over East Newton at East Newton High School.
After topping Webb City in their final game of the Bill O’Dell Classic on Saturday in Carthage, the Indians continued their winning ways as they collected 13 hits en route to the win. They are now 7-3 overall, 1-0 in the Big 8.
Senior shortstop Marty Mailes carried the Indians offensively with three hits, including a double, a stolen base and two runs scored. Teammate Cole Lankford also had three hits, while Brayden Larson, Cade Cornett and Brett Roark had two hits apiece. Dalan Merriman, Kyler Ng, Colton Webber and Payton Rawlins each had a hit.
Rawlins also picked up the victory on the mound as he went all seven innings and allowed nine hits, five runs — three earned — on two walks and five strikeouts.
“We played well enough to win today,” Indians coach Chris Yust said. “Payton battled out there on the mound. At times we hit the ball well, so there’s some good things we can take from it. Obviously, there are a lot of things we can improve on.
“The bottom of the order came through for us today,” he added. “We just need to get that production consistently throughout our lineup.”
Despite the loss, Patriots coach Seth Johnson said he was proud of the way his team hung in there against a tough Indians team.
“Definitely very proud of the kids,” Johnson said. “We came out against a very tough opponent and played well. I think we showed ourselves and showed everybody that we can go out there and play with anybody in the conference. As long as we’re mentally ready to go, we’re going to be right there.”
The Patriots (5-4, 0-1) were led by senior Paxton Hill, who turned in a solid performance on the mound, as well as contributing two hits and a run at the plate. Sam Swartz, Rocky Liveoak and Jacob Patterson also had two hits apiece for the Patriots, while Dillon Bunch and Cody Jordon also had a hit.
“Very proud of Paxton Hill,” Johnson said. “He did a very good job of keeping the ball down and getting lots of pop fly’s and ground balls today, and I thought our defense did an outstanding job as well. We’re disappointed that we lost, but on the other hand it’s probably the best game we’ve played all year. Our bats came alive last Friday and they’ve just continued to get better and better.”
Page 2 of 2 - Both teams are on the road Thursday with the Indians at Mount Vernon and the Patriots at Aurora. Both games begin at 5 p.m.