Kyler Finley turned in a solid performance on the mound and helped lead the Neosho Wildcats to their 10th victory of the season on Monday as they edged Branson 2-1 in the Central Ozark Conference Large Division opener at Branson High School.
Trailing 1-0, the Wildcats (10-2, 1-0) broke through in the fourth inning and plated two runs to take their first, and only, lead of the game. Jayce Parmley reached on a fielder’s choice and Tyler Johnson was hit by a pitch with one out to put runners at first and second in the fourth. After moving both runners 90-feet, Kody Kelly punched a two-out single to score both runners.
That was all the assistance Finley would need as the righthander shut down the Pirates the rest of the way to earn the victory on the hill. He allowed all five of the Pirates’ hits in the first inning, as well as their only run, before closing the game with six no-hit frames. He also worked out of a no-out second and third jam unscathed in the second inning.
In seven innings he allowed no earned runs, struck out four and walked two.
“He did a great job,” Wildcats coach Donny Pennington said of Finley. “He competed well, and we couldn’t have asked for any more from him.”
The Wildcats had four hits in the game with one each from Brendan Craig, Parmlee, Nathan Bankson and Kelly.
“We hit the ball well,” Pennington said. “We squared it up, it was just that everything we hit we hit right at them. We didn’t push a lot of runs across the plate, but we hit the ball well.”
Neosho’s B squad lost to Branson 6-2. Kris Finley led the Wildcats with two hits in that game.
The Wildcats travel to Carthage for a 4:30 p.m. tilt on Thursday.