Neosho 18U pitchers Bryce Slavens and Austin Wren stymied McDonald County's offense and the Neosho 18U offense plated three runs in the first and four in the fifth en route to a 9-0 win Thursday evening at Roy B. Shaver Stadium
Neosho 18U pitchers Bryce Slavens and Austin Wren stymied McDonald County's offense and the Neosho 18U offense plated three runs in the first and four in the fifth en route to a 9-0 win Thursday evening at Roy B. Shaver Stadium.
Slavens pitched the first five scoreless innings and Wren closed out the final four, as both hurlers found their grooves and predominantly kept McDonald County off the bases in the nine-inning contest.
In the Neosho fourth, Wren and Dylan Londo began the frame by reaching base against McDonald County starter Tyler Sellers on a hit-by-pitch and a walk, respectively. That's when Cameron Gorham deposited a line drive into right-center, allowing first Wren and then Londo to score for a 6-0 lead. Gorham ended up on third, advancing on the throw home. Gorham scored on a Gavin Kelley fielder's choice and Neosho later scored its fourth run with the help of a McDonald County throwing error.
Neosho took a 4-0 lead in the third, taking advantage of a Londo leadoff single and a McDonald County fielding error. Londo scored on a Kaleb Moreland fielder's choice. Carter Ezell advanced Londo and Gorham 90 feet on a sacrifice bunt and Kelley worked a walk, but McDonald County catcher and Drury recruit Emitt Dalton fired a strike to catch Moreland stealing at second to end the inning.
Neosho scored its final run in the seventh. Kelley legged out an infield single and eventually came around to score on Jordan Greenstreet's sacrifice fly.
McDonald County reliever A.J. Madewell and his sidearm delivery threw off Neosho a little bit for the final 3 2/3 innings, as Neosho only managed a run in the seventh against Madewell.
Slavens sat down McDonald County in order in the third, striking out the side, and the fourth. Incoming sophomore catcher Joe Brown hit a two-out single in the fifth, but he was picked off by Slavens and caught in the 1-3-4-1 rundown between first and second.
Wren retired the side in his first inning, the sixth, and Ty Shaver worked an one-out walk for the first runner to reach against No. 19. Shaver stole second and advanced to third on Dalton's fly out to center. Shaver served as Dalton's resident courtesy runner this past high school season. Jamie Hanke popped out to Wren to end the inning and preserve the shutout.
Victor Payne and Jon Martin hit back-to-back singles to begin the McDonald County eighth, but Payne was caught stealing at third base and Wren earned the other two outs to maintain the 9-0 status quo on the scoreboard.
Neosho won the earlier meeting of the two teams, 6-2 in Anderson. Londo drove in three runs for the Wildcats. Hank Selig pitched a seven-inning complete game for Neosho and struck out six; he led the offense with two hits. Like the game Thursday, Neosho started out strong, plating two in the second and four in the third.
Neosho returns to action Monday at Seneca and Tuesday at Webb City. The Mo-Kan League holds its championship games next Thursday at two different sites.
McDonald County's slated to host Monett on Monday.