North Callaway tops Wright City to advance to district semifinals

— Junior starter Paul Zerr threw a four-hitter and struck out eight in the No. 3 seed Thunderbirds’ 7-2 first-round win over the No. 6 Wildcats at the Class 3, District 8 Tournament on Saturday night.

Zerr allowed two unearned runs and walked two while raising his season record to 4-2. Helped by four North Callaway errors, Wright City (14-11) tallied both of their runs in the top of the second inning.

Zerr backed his own cause at the plate by going 1-for-2 with a double and two runs scored as the Thunderbirds (14-8) finished with nine hits. North Callaway quickly broke on top with four runs in the bottom of the first, added two more in the third and scored its last run in the fifth.

Junior center fielder Brandon Hagedorn was also 1-for-2 with a sacrifice fly, two runs batted in and a run scored for the Thunderbirds, while senior second baseman Nate VanBoening finished 2-for-4 and scored once. Junior third baseman Trevor Crisp went 1-for-2 with an RBI.

“It was a good win and an excellent pitching performance by Paul,” North Callaway head coach Kevin O’Neal said. “It’s good to move on and we’re happy to get another shot at Hallsville.”

The Thunderbirds will square off against No. 2 seed Hallsville (11-8) in the semifinals at 7 tonight. The Indians advanced with a 6-3 victory over No. 7 seed Montgomery County on Saturday.

North Callaway will be looking to avenge a 9-5 loss to Hallsville in the third-place game of the Fulton Tournament on May 9.

Top-seeded Centralia (14-6) will face No. 5 Hermann (11-11) in today’s first semifinal at 5 p.m.

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