Saturday, May 10, 2014
New Bloomfield The New Bloomfield Wildcats’ lineup was at the mercy of South Callaway senior pitchers Gordon Arthaud and Smith Kemper.
Arthaud and Kemper collaborated on a two-hit shutout and also combined to drive in four runs as South Callaway charged past New Bloomfield 13-0 in six innings in a Show-Me Conference matchup Friday night.
The Wildcats’ only hits came off Arthaud — a double by senior third baseman Clark Philbert in the bottom of the second inning and a single by junior designated hitter Sam Niedergerke in the third. New Bloomfield struck out a season-high six times.
“We saw two pretty good pitchers; both threw strikes and they shut us down,” Wildcats head coach Brandon Talbot said. “We didn’t hardly sniff either pitcher.
“Both were on, and were hitting their spots. They were in command at all times. You tip your cap to them — I was impressed.”
Arthaud logged the victory, striking out three and issuing a pair of walks in his three innings of work. Kemper followed by not allowing a hit over the final three innings, also finishing with three strikeouts while walking one.
“Gordon and Smith are experienced pitchers and didn’t get rattled,” South Callaway head coach Heath Lepper said. “They were able to bear down when they needed to make pitches.”
Kemper went 3-for-3 with a double, three RBIs and three runs scored as the Bulldogs (16-5, 5-1 SMC) accumulated 12 hits, while Arthaud was 2-for-4 with an RBI and scored twice. Junior center fielder Cory Hanger just missed hitting for the cycle, going 3-for-4 with a single, a double, a triple and two runs scored.
“We adjusted our approaches at the plate very well, and we were selective on the pitches we were going after,” Lepper said. “We battled with two strikes (in the count) extremely well; we were very disciplined.”
Junior starter Brady Wiler was tagged for eight runs — six earned — on six hits in 4 1/3 innings to take the loss for New Bloomfield, which was crippled by four errors. Wiler walked two and struck out one.
“It’s a shame, but the boys didn’t play very well,” Talbot said. “Two or three errors early in the game set the tone. This is one (loss) we’ve got to erase and move on.”
In a rescheduled conference game played earlier Friday in New Bloomfield, South Callaway downed St. Elizabeth 8-1. The Bulldogs trailed 1-0 after three innings, but broke out with five runs in the fourth and three more in the fifth to pull away.
Freshman first baseman Grayson Peneston finished 3-for-4 with a double, an RBI and scored two times as South Callaway collected 10 hits. Junior shortstop Dax Helsel went 2-for-2 with a double and an RBI, while junior catcher Trevor Miller was 1-for-1 with a triple and two RBIs.
“We were a little overly aggressive (early on),” Lepper said. “When we don’t score in the first three innings, we question our approach at the plate. We just started to relax (in the later innings) and not try to do too much.”
Senior starter Ethan Ward went the distance to pick up the win. Ward gave up an earned run on only five hits, struck out 11 and walked three.
“Ethan pitched extremely well when he had to; I liked his composure,” Lepper said.
The Bulldogs were voted Friday as the fourth seed for the upcoming Class 3, District 13 Tournament in Eugene. South Callaway will face No. 5 seed Warsaw in the first round at 10 a.m. next Saturday.
Blair Oaks — tied for fifth in the Missouri Baseball Coaches Association state poll — is the top seed in the formidable district, followed by No. 2 Southern Boone and defending state champion Fatima at No. 3. Host Eugene is the sixth seed and Versailles is seventh.
“Whoever comes out of this district is going to have to win two or three very good games,” Lepper said. “They’ll have to be playing very good ball at this time.”
New Bloomfield’s fielding woes continued Saturday as it committed six errors in a 9-0 SMC loss at Linn.
Sophomore starter Clay Jensen gave up nine runs —three earned — on 10 hits in taking the loss. He walked four and struck out two in five innings before being relieved by senior Ethan Massman in the sixth.
Linn plated three runs apiece off Jensen in the first and second innings, scored two in the fourth and finished the day with a run in the fifth.
Senior right fielder Justus Zumbehl was 1-for-2 as the Wildcats (8-11, 2-6 SMC) managed just five hits, while Niedergerke — playing second base — was 1-for-3 with a double. Massman, senior first baseman Cam Edwards and sophomore shortstop Grant Nichols were each 1-for-3.
“Guys were swinging the bat, they just weren’t finding the holes,” Talbot said. “Hitting the ball or not, we’re going to have to score a lot of runs if we can’t field the ball.”
South Callaway hosts Fulton in a Callaway County clash on Monday, while New Bloomfield plays at Calvary Lutheran. Both games start at 5 p.m.
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