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Neosho Daily News - Neosho, MO
  • Patriots advance to district semis, Mustangs wrap season

  • Sam Swartz dazzled Carl Junction's lineup on Saturday.
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  • Sam Swartz dazzled Carl Junction's lineup on Saturday.
    With an effective mix of location and offspeed stuff, the Patriots' ace pitched a three-hitter with five strikeouts to lead East Newton to a 3-2 victory over the Bulldogs in the Class 4, District 11 Tournament at Seneca.
    McDonald County, meanwhile, closed its season with a 7-1 loss to Cassville.
    Swartz was also solid at the plate as his first inning double set up a Dillon Bunch single to make it 1-0. It would stay that way until the sixth when the Patriots scored two insurance runs.
    Rocky Liveoak singled to open the inning and Wyatt Hurn followed with a perfect bunt single that allowed Liveoak to score when the late, and errant, throw to first missed its target for an error. The Bulldogs then intentionally walked Bunch and Ryan Linton singled to load the bases. Dustin Lett then sent a sharp grounder to third that was misplayed for another error, allowing Hurn to score to make it 3-0.
    The Bulldogs would score two in the bottom of the seventh, but Swartz ended the game by stranding the tying run at third.
    The Patriots (11-8) advance to take on Monett (13-11) at 7 p.m. Monday in semifinals action at Seneca.
    The Mustangs, meanwhile, never could get going against Cassville pitcher Andrew Whitham. Whitham, a righty, went the distance to earn the win while holding the Mustangs to a run on seven hits with four strikeouts and no walks.
    Mason York took the loss for the Mustangs after allowing five runs on six hits, five walks and six strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings. Mark Hull, Dakota Stites and Zack Peck worked in relief for the Mustangs.
    McDonald County took a 1-0 lead in the first inning after Cooper Underwood reached base, stole second and then scored on an infield single by Peck. That lead would hold until the Wildcats tied it on an RBI groundout by Whitham to make it 1-1.
    Gabe Kirk made it 2-1 in the sixth when he hit a two-out pitch over the wall for a solo homer. They followed with three more runs in the inning before a two-run homer from Marcus Weatherman capped it in the seventh.
    Evan Acuff and Trenton Frazier had two hits apiece for the Mustangs, while York, Peck and Underwood had one.
    Weatherman led Cassville with two hits.
    "Today we kind of had a chance to put them away early, had some baserunners on in scoring position and didn't get the timely hit when we needed to," Mustangs coach Nick Martin said. "(Cassville) kept battling and took advantage of some mistakes. You've got to give them credit."
    While they didn't see it ending this way, Martin said his Mustangs improved this season and will continue to do so in the coming years.
    Page 2 of 2 - "I think we won seven games last year, and I think we took steps in the right direction this year," Martin said. "We've got some talented juniors coming back and we've got some things to build on. I'm very excited about that."
    Cassville takes on Seneca at 4:30 p.m. Monday in the semifinals.

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