CHS drops to 5-13 on season when Spoofhounds' Connor Weiss ties game at 2-2 with 2-runs single in bottom of the seventh inning, then wins it 3-2 with his third hit of the day in the ninth
MARYVILLE, Mo. — On Friday (May 3, 2019), the Chillicothe (Mo.) HS baseball Hornets found the proverbial shoe on the other foot, but still they could not make it fit.
Six days after seeing their own attempt to rally and win at home against Maryville with two outs in the last inning expire when one of their best hitters was retired with the potential tying run at second base, the Hornets held a 2-0 lead at Maryville with two outs in the scheduled final frame, only to have one of the Spoofhounds’ best hitters deliver a game-extending 2-runs single.
Two innings later, that same ’Hound – sophomore cleanup hitter Connor Weiss – smacked a walkoff hit to center field, this time delivering a teammate from second base with one out, as Maryville successfully capped its comeback in a 3-2 Midland Empire Conference win.
Weiss’ game-ender followed back-to-back 1-out walks from CHS’ second relief pitcher, Matt Smith (0-2), who had been touched for Weiss’ tying hit in the seventh before recovering to force the game into extra innings and then working a scoreless eighth.
Chillicothe, which was without one of its best players – sophomore infielder/pitcher Mason Baxter, netted single runs in the fifth and seventh innings. It loaded the bases after its first two batters in the ninth were retired, but a strikeout stranded them, increasing the Hornets’ game total to an unhealthy 14.
According to the Hornets’ digital scorebook, CHS (5-13, 2-3 MEC) broke up a scoreless game in the fifth on a 2-outs throwing error by the MHS catcher on a would-be inning-ending strikeout. The errant peg let Westley Brandsgaard, who had begun the inning with a single to center field – one of his two hits in the game, race home from second base, where he’d moved on a walk to Brock Ward.
Chillicothe picked up an earned insurance run in the top of the seventh on Kam Ward’s 1-out single, a walk to B. Ward, a wild pitch, and senior pinch-hitter Gage Kirkland’s groundout to second.
Having blanked Maryville on three hits through six innings, CHS junior righthanded pitcher Jaden Winder had the Nos. 8 and 9 men in the Spoofhounds’ lineup to face with now a 2-runs lead to protect, beginning the bottom of the seventh.
However, after jumping ahead of the first batter 1-2, he ended up losing him on a walk on a 3-2 pitch. While Winder recovered to strike out the next batter and retire the leadoff man on a ground ball, in doing so, he reached his 105-pitches limit for the day and, by rule, had to be replaced.
Hornets head coach Canaan Fairley selected freshman B. Ward, who had thrown two scoreless innings of relief against MHS in the game six days before, to try to get the last out. However, he could not find his control and issued a pair of walks, loading the bases for cleanup man Weiss. Fairley quickly summoned another righty, Smith, but the senior, after immediately jumping ahead of the ’Hound, made his 0-2 pitch too hittable and the Maryville batter served it into right field for a score-squaring 2-runs single.
Statistically, Chillicothe had one more hit (8-7) than Maryville and received one more base on balls (7-6), but it also committed two errors to MHS’ one.
Individually, both Brandsgaard and Baxter’s fill-in at leadoff, Dawson Wheeler, stroked two hits each. Weiss finished three for five with all three MHS RBIs.
Forced from the hill by rule – had he thrown one less pitch earlier in the game or in that seventh inning, Winder would have been allowed to face one more batter and, if he got him, close out the game. Instead, he had to settle for a no-decision after 6-2/3 very good innings in which he allowed only three hits, walked three, and struck out six.
The winning pitcher for Maryville was its third hurler of the day, Peyton Schieffer. He threw the last three innings, surrendering one run, which was earned.
The baseball Hornets’ next action is slated for Monday (May 6) at 4:30 p.m. at home against rugged MEC foe Savannah.