A successful comeback from a 7-1 deficit after 41⁄2 innings of the opener spurred the Chillicothe Cardinals American?Legion baseball senior-level team to a doubleheader sweep of the visiting Moberly Sixers yesterday at “June”?Shaffer Memorial Park stadium.
A 5-run bottom of the sixth overcame a 7-3 Chillicothe deficit in the opener and then the Cardinals again scored in what became their final at-bat in the home half of the sixth of game two as the Vern?R. Glick Post No. 25-sponsored team edged their long-time archrivals from Bazan-Bailey Post No. 6 3-2 to complete the sweep.
The 1-run wins pushed the Cardinals over the .500 mark for the season at 5-4 and got them off to a great start in their limited “league” play. Chillicothe,?Moberly, and Hannibal will play four “league” games against each other to determine seedings for the postseason district tournament – a total of eight games each.
The Cardinals will have a few days off from game play now after having five games in four days. An originally-slated road doubleheader at Harrisonville tomorrow has been cancelled, according to the team’s pages on GameChanger website. That leaves Chillicothe’s next play to be a doubleheader at Macon Thursday at 6 p.m.
The Cardinals will roll into that pair with momentum and growing confidence from its current 4-game winning streak.
That streak doubled yesterday in thrilling fashion at Shaffer Park.
In game one, Moberly put up 3-run innings in the second and fifth to own a seemingly-safe 7-1 advantage heading into the late going of the scheduled 7-inning contest.
However, in a momentum-building sequence in the bottom of the fifth, the Post No. 25 team saw a window of opportunity crack open and burst through.
A leadoff single to left field by leadoff man Trenton Troyer was followed by winning pitcher Zac Douglas’ ground-ball hit up the middle. A passed ball moved both runners up.
Derrick Leeper then tapped the ball to the third baseman, who threw to first for the out as Troyer initially held up and then broke for home once the throw was made. The first baseman’s throw to home plate eluded the Sixers’ catcher, not allowing Troyer to score, but Douglas to hustle home, too, the trail runner getting in under the tag thanks to a high, hurried throw from the catcher to pitcher Devin Cook.
The play cut the gap from 7-1 to 7-3 and even though Cook set down the next two batters, the Cardinals had gained some momentum and Moberly lost a bit of its confidence.
Following Douglas’ stranding of a couple of Sixers in the top of the sixth, Chillicothe came back to bat hoping to chip away further at the now-4-run deficit and give itself a reasonable chance of winning the game with a walkoff rally in the seventh or extra innings.
Page 2 of 2 - It got more than it bargained for.