St. James, Paola, Holton advance in day one of Butch Foster Memorial Baseball Classic
Morning thunderstorms took their toll on opening day of the Butch Foster Memorial Baseball Classic on Thursday at CommunityAmerica Ballpark.
Weather didn’t force the games to be canceled — well, most of them (the Tonganoxie-Spring Hill game was pushed back to noon on Friday) — but a two and a half hour delay was required to work the field into playable condition. Once that was accomplished, games began at 2:30 p.m.
GAME ONE: ST. JAMES ACADEMY 12, PERRY-LECOMPTON 0
Rain delayed the start of the Butch Foster Memorial Baseball Classic, but St. James Academy did its best to help the tournament get back on schedule.
The Thunder made quick work of Perry-Lecompton in the first round as they disposed of the Kaws, 12-0, in five innings. With the victory, St. James advanced to the tournament semifinals for the second year in a row.
St. James sent ace John Huber to the mound, and he scattered three hits and struck out five in four innings of work. Freshman Derek Roberts threw the final inning and faced the minimum three batters.
St. James’ offense got in a groove early. Chase Jackson led off the first inning with a walk, Jake Decelles followed with a base hit and Otis Miller walked to load the bases. A single by Brent Mitchell brought home Jackson. Two more runs scored when Calin McCourt reached base on an error by the center fielder. Mitchell scored on a ground out by Jake Wodtke, and McCourt came home on a base hit by Sam Keith. That gave St. James a 5-0 lead. It was plenty of offensive support, but the Thunder weren’t done.
Jackson walked and scored in the second inning, extending the lead to 6-0.
A six-run third inning put the lead well out of reach. Included in that outburst was a triple by Alan Burns.
Jackson led the St. James offense with three walks and three runs scored. Decelles and Ben Reynoldson had two hits apiece.
St. James coach Brian Bucklin said he was pleased with the way his team performed in the victory, and he said he was particularly happy with Roberts’ inning of relief.
“That was his first varsity action,” Bucklin said. “He went 1-2-3 … pop out, strikeout, ground ball. He did a good job.”
GAME TWO: PAOLA 7, BASEHOR-LINWOOD 3
Basehor-Linwood successfully dug out of the first hole it faced on Thursday.
It was that second hole that proved to be too much to overcome as the Bobcats lost to Paola, 7-3, in the opening round of the Butch Foster Memorial Baseball Classic at CommunityAmerica Ballpark.
The Panthers tagged BLHS starter Justin Gripka for three hits in the top of the first inning — including a triple by Jonathan Pomatto that almost amounted to another run had shortstop Nathan Quigley not gunned him down at home with a relay throw to catcher Jared Patton.
The 2-0 deficit didn’t last long. Destry Bryan was hit by a pitch to open the bottom of the first. He later scored on a ground ball by Tyler Henley that made it 2-1.
Gripka sliced a one-out triple to right field in the bottom of the third. He scored on a sacrifice fly by Bryan, tying the game at 2-2.
BLHS had a chance to take control of the game in the fourth inning but stranded the bases loaded. Then came the next hole as the Bobcats had a rocky fifth inning. Gripka walked the first two batters. Then Nick Wilson bunted for a single and loaded the bases. A sacrifice fly brought home a run. The next batter singled, but Henley threw out a runner as the plate from center field for out number two. A hit batter reloaded the bases, and a throwing error allowed two more runs to score. That gave the Bobcats a 5-2 deficit.
Henley smacked a two-out double in the bottom of the inning, but he was unable to score.
Austin Stubbs ripped a leadoff single in the sixth and scored on a base hit by Brandon Leppke. With two on and one out, however, BLHS grounded into a double play. With that, the rally died at 5-3.
Paola took advantage of an error to tack on two more runs in the seventh inning.
Gripka scattered six hits, walked five and struck out two while allowing just three earned runs in a complete game effort. The Bobcats provided just five hits of offensive support, however.
HOLTON 1, BONNER SPRINGS 0
Luke Terrell did his best Zack Greinke impression Thursday night in the opening round of the Butch Foster Memorial Baseball Classic.
Unfortunately for Terrell, while his night of pitching resembled a Greinke masterpiece in a number of ways, he also received the type of run support that the Kansas City Royals ace has endured in years past.
Terrell tossed a two-hit gem and was backed by some flawless defense, but the Braves mustered just one hit all night in a 1-0 loss to Holton.
Terrell went the distance for BSHS, striking out 12 and walking four. It was the first of those walks that led to the game’s only run.
After allowing a leadoff walk in the bottom of the second inning, Terrell struck out the next two batters. He then allowed a double that allowed a run to score before striking out the next batter.
Bonner Springs had plenty of opportunities to give Terrell some run support. Three Braves reached base with walks. Three others reached base on errors. In fact, BLHS coupled a walk and two errors to load the bases in the top of the first inning but were unable to score.
Chris Smith recorded the Braves’ lone hit of the game when he led off the seventh inning with a single up the middle.
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