WEBB CITY, Mo. — When the Missouri High School Baseball Coaches Association released its first state rankings of the spring on Monday afternoon, the Webb City Cardinals were listed at No. 3 in Class 5.
A few hours later, the Cardinals showed all those in attendance why they’re deserving of that type of recognition.
In a solid overall performance, the host Cardinals got the bats going right away en route to a 12-2 win over McDonald County in five innings on a windy afternoon at Chuck Barnes Field.
“We had a long week with doubleheaders Friday and Saturday, so I wasn’t really sure what kind of energy we’d have coming out today,” Webb City coach Flave Darnell said. “But I was pleased. We’ve been swinging the bats really well and we got the bats going right away today. Devrin (Weathers) really sets the table for us. We’ve got a lot of punch behind him. And Eric Fitch in the nine-hole has been doing an awesome job turning the lineup over.”
With a fifth-straight win, Webb City improved to 10-1.
“We’ve been getting good pitching and good defense and our offense is clicking top to bottom,” Darnell said. “We’ve had a lot of guys step up and hit the ball well. This is a fun group to watch and a fun group to coach, so hopefully we can keep it rolling. We’ll just keep trying to get better.”
The Cardinals wasted little time in taking control of this one, as the hosts plated four runs in the bottom of the first inning.
Devrin Weathers walked and Treghan Parker followed with an RBI triple to center field. Matt Woodmansee doubled to left, scoring Parker, before Shane Noel and Cole Gayman both contributed run-scoring singles, giving the Cardinals a four-run cushion.
The Mustangs got on the board in the second when Cross Dowd singled and later scored on Isaac Behm’s RBI single.
Webb City added three runs in the bottom half of the second, as Parker hit an RBI single, Woodmansee had a run-scoring groundout and Parker scored on a wild pitch to give the Cards a 7-1 advantage.
The hosts extended their lead with three runs in the third.
Aiden Brock doubled, Eric Fitch singled and then Parker launched a three-run home run over the fence in right field for a comfortable 10-1 lead.
McDonald County received a run-scoring single from Behm in the fourth, scoring Levi Malone, but Webb City ended the game early by pushing across two more runs in the fifth.
Brock and Cooper Crouch both walked before Weathers lined an RBI single to center. Crouch later scored on a wild pitch for the final margin.
NAMES & NUMBERS
Webb City recorded 13 hits, with eight different players contributing.
A Missouri Southern recruit, Parker drove in five runs on three hits to lead the Cardinals. The shortstop singled, tripled and homered.
Weathers, Gayman and Fitch had two hits apiece. Recording one hit apiece were Cy Darnell, Woodmansee, Noel and Brock.
Woodmansee drove in two runs.
Noah Mitchell was the winning pitcher. The senior right-hander limited the Mustangs to five hits. He struck out two and walked one.
“Noah did well,” Darnell said. “I don’t think he felt as good as he did the other day. I think he was frustrated, but he grinded it out. Noah’s a great kid and he’s a competitor.”
Behm went 2-for-2 with two RBI for the Mustangs (6-5).
A sophomore right-hander, Cross Dowd took the loss for McDonald County. He allowed 10 earned runs on 11 hits in 2 2/3 innings. Ethan Francisco allowed two runs in 1 2/3 of relief.
McDonald County travels to Farmington (Ark.) on Tuesday. Webb City hosts Joplin at 4:30 on Thursday.