Community R-VI head baseball coach Brandon Talbot knew his Trojans would need solid efforts on the mound and defensively in the field if they were to advance far in this season’s Class 1, District 11 Tournament.
His squad responded at the start of the postseason after they traveled to Shelbyville, Mo. and defeated the host North Shelby Raiders, 8-1.
Starting pitcher Matt Gastler tossed all seven innings and allowed no earned runs and just four hits while striking out nine.
Meanwhile, the defense made just one error in the victory.
“He really had his stuff on the mound,” Talbot said of Gastler. “Even after the rain delay he wanted the ball…The defense backed up Matt to keep our time on defense to a minium.”
Offensively, the Trojans were facing the same pitcher they lost to in last year’s district championship game.
They didn’t let the Raiders pitcher get the best of them this time around.
“But the seniors showed up with their bats ready to go and we got a great result,” Talbot noted.
Community R-VI took a 1-0 lead in the first inning as Gastler got things going with an RBI single that scored Jamie Householder.
Two innings later, the Trojans added on four runs. Collin Dungan had a two-RBI single and Levi Rafferty added an RBI single for three of the runs.
The Trojans added two more runs in the fourth inning as both Dungan and Cordell Hollensteiner had RBIs.
Gage Graves smacked a solo home run in the fifth inning to help seal the win.
Householder finished with three hits and three runs scored; Gastler had three hits and one run scored; Dungan added two hits and one run scored; Gatlin Curtis drew two walks and scored two runs; while Hollensteiner, Rafferty, and Graves each had one RBI.
The Trojans took on No. 1 seed Marion County in a re-scheduled district semifinals game at 5 p.m on Tuesday, May 17, which is close to press time.
A win will give the Trojans a match-up with either Silex or Wellsville in the district championship game at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, May 18.
Before districts, the Trojans traveled to Wright City and lost 22-1 after making six errors in the Wildcats’ 13-hit attack.
Gage Graves had the Trojans’ lone RBI in the second inning. Just Graves, Hollensteiner, and Rafferty had hits in the loss. Hollensteiner did score one run.
Wright City had three home runs in the win.