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South Callaway’s Leeper to play in NCAA Regional for SEMO

by Robby Campbell | June 3, 2022 at 2:07 a.m.

South Callaway graduate Peyton Leeper had plenty of experience playing postseason baseball, winning a district championship all four years of his high school career and a state championship in 2017.

Leeper and No. 4 seed Southeast Missouri State will begin NCAA Tournament play against No. 1 seed Louisville at 1 p.m. today in Louisville, Ky., in the Louisville Regional.

Southeast Missouri (37-20) qualified for the NCAA Regionals with an automatic berth after winning the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament last Saturday.

This season, Leeper, a sophomore utility player, has primarily played third base for the Redhawks.

In 188 at-bats this season, Leeper registered a .229 batting average, recording 43 hits, six home runs and 29 RBI.

Four of Leeper’s six long balls came in a four-game home run streak from March 8-13. In that stretch, Leeper hit a solo shot in a non-conference game against Arkansas State and a grand slam, three-run and two-run home runs in a three-game set against conference opponent Valparaiso.

Defensively, Leeper notched a .903 fielding percentage and registered 34 putouts and 78 assists this season.

En route to a 2022 OVC title, Leeper went 4-for-9 at the plate with two RBI in four tournament games. All four hits were singles.

After playing 12 games and logging eight starts at third base in a COVID-shortened 2020 season, Leeper took hold of the starting third base role the following year in his redshirt freshman season.

That season, Leeper started 48 games at third base and was named to the 2021 OVC all-tournament team. In the conference tournament, Leeper hit .455 with three runs scored, two doubles and one RBI, while also recording two stolen bases.

Overall in 2021, Leeper hit .228 with 32 runs scored, 10 doubles, a team-high four triples and 14 RBI.

A notable moment for Leeper last season was hitting a one-out walk-off single in a non-conference game against Illinois State.

At South Callaway, Leeper was a four-year starter and earned first team all-state honors all four seasons from 2016-19. He was also was named the Show-Me Conference Most Valuable Player in 2019 and co-MVP in 2018 with teammate Kaden Helsel.

The Bulldogs went undefeated in conference play in Leeper’s senior season. At the plate, Leeper had a .442 batting average and on the mound he was 10-0 with a 0.61 ERA.

As a junior, Leeper notched a .410 batting average while recording a 1.15 ERA with 78 strikeouts on the mound.

Leeper and the Redhawks’ opening game against No. 12 Louisville will be broadcast on ESPN-Plus.

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