Clinton (Mo.) righthander Schmedding silences Chillicothe Mudcats on one run over last six innings Sunday as Bombers earn 10-5 road win
By PAUL STURM, C-T Sports Editor
CHILLICOTHE, Mo. — Behind a sensational long-relief stint by righthander Jackson Schmedding of Clinton, Mo., the Sedalia (Mo.) Bombers shrugged off blowing a 4-0 lead they took in the first half-inning and eventually doubled up the host Chillicothe Mudcats 10-5 Sunday evening in MINK League college-level, wood-bat baseball.
The Bombers (4-1, 4-1 league) responded to falling behind 5-4 in the fifth inning by plating two runs with two outs in the top of the sixth on Ryan Flores’ booming double off the wall in right field off losing Chillicothe relief hurler Ricky Espinoza, then tacked on three more tallies in the seventh and another in the ninth.
Those runs made a winning pitcher out of Schmedding, who took over on the mound to begin the bottom of the fourth inning and held the Mudcats (1-3, 1-2 league) to one run on five hits the rest of the way.
Chillicothe has Monday off before welcoming the Clarinda (Iowa) A’s Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. The Mudcats then have nine road games in a row over a 9-nights stretch, beginning with a Wednesday contest at defending MINK League champion St. Joseph.
Sunday evening’s game – played in splendid weather, but interrupted for 15 minutes after the third inning for the two umpires to switch roles, due to the onset of apparently-mild illness for the original plate umpire – saw Sedalia seize a quick 4-0 lead on consecutive 2-runs hits with two outs in the top of the first frame.
Only a few pitches into the home half of the first, Chillicothe had one of those runs back when Grand Canyon University infielder Nico Burgarello (burr-guh-RELL-oh) launched a high drive over the wall down the right-field line off starting lefthander Nathan Croner. It is believed to be only the second time in the Mudcats’ 17-years history their first batter of the game has homered; in 2010, outfielder Casey Solem began a game at Omaha, Neb., with a roundtripper.
In the Chillicothe third, a dropped force-play throw at second base opened the door for a tying rally. Connor Quick from North Central Missouri College at Trenton punched a bases-full, 2-runs single into center field and a wild pitch then let the equalizer score.
With the game square at 4-4 and both starting pitchers out of the game by the end of the fourth inning, the host Mudcats briefly inched in front in the fifth as the lefthanded-hitting Quick followed a 2-outs double by another Grand Canyon product, Nate Gawelko, with a bouncer over the second-base bag that took a bad, high hop off the shortstop’s glove and into short center field for a single and Quick’s third run batted in of the game.
That bad bounce was all that prevent Schwedding from posting six shutout innings of relief one night after Sedalia surrendered 14 runs in seven innings at Chillicothe.
When Flores’ double in the Sedalia sixth gave Schmedding a lead to protect, he did, allowing the Bombers to resume their fast start to the 2018 season after Saturday’s 10-runs-lead rule loss to the same Mudcats.
A big problem for Chillicothe was its pitchers’ difficulty in throwing strikes. It issued nine walks and hit three more batters and all four Sedalia scoring innings included at least one walk. Three of those four innings also included a hit batsman.
While Quick led the Mudcats’ attack with two hits and three RBI, Sedalia’s was paced by speedster Ashanti Wheatley’s three hits and three runs driven in.