March 13, Metropolitan Community College-Longview at Dey Field in Liberty Park Stadium
The Roadrunners defeated the Metropolitan Community College-Longview Lakers from Lee's Summit 5-2.
Both team's pitchers controlled the game early in the contest. SFCC got its offense going with four runs in the bottom of the fifth inning.
"Our bats started off the game a little cold," said Head Coach Jud Kindle. "However, we were able to put together a really good inning."
Longview responded with a pair of runs in the top of the sixth inning. SFCC tacked on a single run in the bottom of the seventh to provide the winning margin.
SFCC got another good outing from freshman pitcher Logan Bexten (4-1). He pitched 6.2 innings, gave up seven hits, two runs and struck out four. Sophomore pitcher Brett Wilbanks picked up his second save of the year.
"Logan has been solid for us all year," said Kindle. "Logan limits his mistakes, and he is extremely smart on the mound. He does all the little things right."
March 17, Mineral Area College at Dey Field in Liberty Park Stadium
The Roadrunners split a doubleheader with the Mineral Area College Cardinals from Park Hills in an important Region 16 matchup. SFCC took game one 4-3; the Cardinals won game two 6-1.
In game one, the Cardinals got on the scoreboard first, scoring two runs in the top of the second inning. SFCC struck back with four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning. Quarti hit a chopper to the first baseman who fired home. The first baserunner slid into the catcher causing the ball to bounce away, allowing him and another player to score. SFCC picked up two big insurance runs courtesy of a double from sophomore utility player Zack Ehlen.
"The pressure we were able to put on them in that inning was the key," said Kindle. "We had a little bit better of an approach at the plate. We were able to put together some quality at-bats. What really changed the game was Jacob Mitchell's base running. His ability to read that situation and score the second run was huge for us."
Mineral Area had a single run in the top of the seventh inning, but that was as close as they would get.
Freshman pitcher Conner Burnett (2-1) got the start on the mound for SFCC. He pitched five innings, allowing two runs, one earned run on four hits and struck out four. Sophomore pitcherConnor Jonas (1-0) picked up the win in relief. He pitched one inning and struck out two. Freshman pitcher Caleb Jonas earned his first save of the season.
The SFCC offense produced six hits as a team in the contest. Quarti and Ehlen drove in two runs apiece for SFCC.
In game two, SFCC struck first with a single run in the bottom of the fourth inning. The rest of the game was controlled by Mineral Area. The Cardinals took the lead with two runs in the top of the fifth inning. They would add one run in the top of the sixth inning, one run in the top of the eighth and two more in the top of the ninth.
The Mineral Area starting pitcher tossed a complete game and held the SFCC offense to just one hit.
"The Mineral Area starting pitcher was good," said Kindle. "He came out and executed his game plan. He was able to hit both sides of the plate with his fastball and was able to work off that. He also had a good breaking ball. At the same time, in a nine-inning game, we should be able to get more than one hit, especially with an offensive-minded team that we have. However, you can't take anything away from his performance on the mound."
Sophomore pitcher Josiah Imhoff (1-2) got the start for the Roadrunners in game two. He pitched seven innings, gave up three runs, one earned run on four hits, and struck out three. He was charged with the loss.
Sophomore outfielder Tyler Crane had the only hit for SFCC, and Ehlen scored the only run.
March 18, Mineral Area College at Dey Field in Liberty Park Stadium
The Roadrunners took on the Mineral Area College Cardinals in another important Region 16 doubleheader. The Cardinals won the first game 9-2. SFCC (15-9, 8-4 in Region 16) fought back in the second game to earn the split 8-0.
In the opening game, Mineral Area got its offense going scoring two runs in the top of the first inning and added seven runs in the top of the second.
"We would like to see our guys work past the big inning and win some innings later in the game," said Kindle. "That would allow us to get back into the game."
SFCC got a run back in the bottom of the fifth inning and added one more run in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Sophomore pitcher Chase Plymell (2-3) got the start for SFCC. He pitched 1.2 innings and was tagged with the loss.
Clark had a pair of hits for the Roadrunners. Crane had a run batted in.
In game two, the SFCC offense put four runs on the scoreboard in the bottom of the first inning. The Roadrunners scored a single run in the bottom of the second, and back-to-back solo home runs from Quarti and freshman infielder Gavin Jones made the score 7-0 in the third inning. SFCC would tack on one more run in the sixth inning to finish the scoring.
"I think our approaches at the plate were a lot better in game two," said Kindle. "We were on time with the fastball, and that was the key to winning game two. We had to make that adjustment in the game."
Sophomore pitcher Jake McMahill (5-0) was outstanding on the mound once again. He tossed a complete game one-hit shutout while striking out eight batters.
"It was a very solid performance on the mound from Jake," said Kindle. "He threw a lot of strikes, and his pitches were hard for hitters to time."
Crane, Clark and Jones had two hits each for the Roadrunners. Quarti scored twice and drove in a pair of runs. Jones also had two RBIs. Freshman outfielder P.J. Esposito scored twice for SFCC.