Sedalia Bombers hit two home runs, post pair of 3-runs innings to win fourth straight and 14th of last 17 by 10-4 count over visiting Chillicothe Thursday, July 5, 2018
SEDALIA, Mo. — Baseball pitchers with odd deliveries generally end up as relievers because good batters tend to get better attuned to the unusual release point or angle if they see it twice or more in a game.
As such, it was not a major surprise that the sidearm-to-“submarine” pitching motion employed by Thursday’s starting pitcher for the Chillicothe Mudcats, Derrek Trickel, navigated the first couple of innings against the Sedalia Bombers undamaged, in terms of allowing runs, but then became fodder for the league leaders, who eventually claimed a 10-4 MINK League triumph.
As Trickel (2-2) faced Sedalia batters a second time, his unorthodox motion rapidly became familiar to the Bombers. who began living up to their team nickname.
Tyler LaPorte, the No. 2 man in the Sedalia lineup, bombed the first pitch he saw in his second plate appearance over the fence at Liberty Park Stadium, starting his team on its way to consecutive 3-runs innings against the Chillicothe righthander.
The Bombers got another inning-opening home run from Justin Eads in the eighth to cap their scoring and counted five extra-base hits among their dozen hits off four Mudcats hurlers.
Sedalia improved to 20-7 in the league and overall; no other MINK League squad has more than 14 overall wins. The high-flying Bombers not only have won their last four, but also 14 of their last 17 to make a shambles of the North Division title race. After Thursday’s home win, they own a 6-games lead over Clarinda, Iowa, in the North. Chillicothe, slipping to 10-18 in the loop and 11-19 overall with its seventh loss in the last eight games, remained deep in the division cellar, 10-1/2 games back of the Bombers at the two-thirds point of the Mudcats’ league schedule.
The Mudcats, who got a triple, single, and a run batted in from top stick Gaven Strobel in the loss at Sedalia, will step out of league play for the last time in 2018 Friday night (July 6) when they host the Springfield Redbirds in a 7:05 p.m. game at “June” Shaffer Memorial Park stadium.
Hoping to build some momentum off its 10-runs-rule Tuesday home victory over Ozark, Chillicothe was denied it by Sedalia starting pitcher Dakota Stone.
He retired the first four Mudcats to step in the batter’s box and quickly atoned for Dalton Robison’s string-snapping 1-out single in the second by getting a ground-ball double play from the next Fish. He followed by retiring five of the next six, pitching around a 2-outs walk in the third.
By the time Nate Gawelko got Chillicothe’s second hit, leading off the fifth, the visitors trailed 6-0.
After LaPorte’s leadoff blast began the Bombers’ 3-runs third, a hit batsman – the third one Trickel struck – began the fourth and led eventually to another three tallies.
The Mudcats began trying to climb out of their 6-0 hole in the fifth. Gawelko’s leadoff single, a 1-out walk, a run-scoring error with two outs, and Strobel’s single trimmed the deficit to 6-2.
Sedalia turned a leadoff walk in its fifth into a seventh run, a tally the Fish matched in their sixth via consecutive, 2-outs triples – first to right field and then to center – by recently-improving Nick Ray and Peyton Cormane.
When Strobel tripled with two outs in the Chillicothe seventh and scored on Andrew Williams’ hit to right, the Mudcats had a hope, having cut the gap to 7-4. However, another leadoff hit-by-pitch in the Sedalia half helped set up a killer, 2-outs, 2-runs by Nathan Tribble off oft-used Chillicothe reliever Hayden House as the guests’ momentum quickly vanished. Justin Eads tagged third Mudcats pitcher Ryann Gray for another leadoff homer in the eighth to close the scoring.
Statistically, Strobel’s strong day with the stick continued his team-best batting performance. The Jefferson Citian ended Thursday batting .350 with a .465 on-base percentage, team-high nine extra-base hits, and .616 slugging percentage.
Williams joined Strobel in having two hits, but Sedalia’s LaPorte went four for six with two runs batted in, two scored, and his roundtripper. Tribble was three for five with two doubles and three runs driven in and Eads’ homer, following an earlier double, was his third of the season.
Winning pitcher Stone threw six innings of 1-earned-run ball, fanning seven, to earn the win. Three relievers tossed an inning apiece.
For the Mudcats, Trickel surrendered seven hits – three for extra bases – and six runs in his four innings. House was touched for three runs in his three innings and Gray, who threw two shutout innings in his team debut on Monday, for one in his one frame.
In the ninth inning, Cormane stole his league-high 29th base.