REPUBLIC — The Neosho Wildcats earned a big win with a 3-2 victory Tuesday over Central Ozark Conference and district foe Republic.
Neosho evened both its overall and conference records at 6-6 and 1-1, respectively.
Neosho senior ace Jared Stephens came out on top against Republic pitchers Jared Hughes and Vincent Pyeatt.
Stephens allowed two runs (one earned) on seven hits with six strikeouts and no walks over seven innings. He earned his third victory of the season, following efforts against St. Mary’s Colgan and Lebanon, and he’s the only Neosho pitcher with more than one victory.
Stephens went the distance with 96 pitches.
Hughes allowed three runs (two earned) on seven hits with nine strikeouts and three walks over six innings. Pyeatt pitched a scoreless and hitless seventh with one strikeout and one walk.
Neither team scored the last four innings.
Tre Letts and A.C. Marion led Neosho with two hits each and Weston Durman, Brett Cook, and Mason Ray each rounded out the seven hits with one apiece. Durman and Letts doubled. Durman, Letts, Marion, and Cook each worked walks.
The Wildcats got off to a great start, as Durman led off the game with a walk, Letts doubled on a two-strike pitch, and Marion worked a walk to load the bases with no outs. Disappointingly, though, Neosho managed one run from this bases loaded situation, as Durman scored on a passed ball.
Republic went ahead 2-1 after plating two in the second, then Neosho answered in the next half-inning with the game’s final two runs.
Letts, Marion, and Cook hit consecutive singles with one down, Cook’s single bringing home Letts for a tie score. Stephens’ sacrifice fly brought home courtesy runner Kaden Dickens for the lead.
Neosho returned to action Thursday against Class 5 state-ranked Willard, 11-3 on the season after a 6-5 loss Tuesday to rival Nixa. All three of Willard’s losses have come by a single run — Hickman 4-3 and Bartlesville 9-8 in addition to Nixa.