Seymour head baseball coach Jason Duey said his ballclub was good at two things last Friday after playing a Summit Conference road contest against district foe Gainesville.
“I guess we’re good at extra innings and baserunning mistakes,” a smiling Duey said after the Tigers’ defeated the rival Bulldogs 8-6 in eight innings.
The two-run victory in Ozark County improved Seymour’s spring record to 9-4 overall and 2-3 in the conference.
It also was a crucial district decision.
“If we lose this game, then we’re likely seeded behind (Gainesville) when the district tournament comes to Seymour next month,” Duey explained.
“This was a big game for us. And although it wasn’t the prettiest win, I’ll take it.”
The win was Seymour’s second extra-inning decision in as many games. Three days earlier in home action against Ava, the Tigers won 7-6 in 14 innings.
“These are the types of games that pay dividends later in the season, especially at district time,” Duey noted. “Both of them were big wins against very good teams.
“(Bulldogs’ coach) Nathan Jones has done a great job at Gainesville rebuilding that program. They have several quality wins this spring. To go down there to their field and get a win is a big thing.”
It almost didn’t happen.
Seymour led the contest 5-3 entering the bottom of the seventh inning.
Gainesville rallied, aided by a pair of Tiger errors, and scored twice in the frame, tying the score at 5-5. A clutch strikeout by Seymour sophomore hurler Nathaniel Hosiner ended the frame with the winning run on third base.
In the top of the eighth inning, Seymour took back the lead. A two-out double by junior Carson Sturdefant plated a pair of runs, then a single by Nathaniel Hosiner scored a third Tiger run, giving Duey’s troops an 8-5 lead.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, Nathaniel Hosiner survived an error and recorded two key outs with two on base for the two-run victory.
Nathaniel Hosiner was the winning pitcher, recording his second win of the week by pitching three innings. He gave up three runs (two earned) on four hits while striking out six and walking two.
Sturdefant was the starting pitcher and went five innings.
He allowed three runs (none earned) on four hits. He struck out five and walked four.
Offensively, Nathaniel Hosiner also was the Tigers’ catalyst as he was a perfect 5-for-5 at the plate with a team-best four runs batted in (RBIs).
“Nathaniel played a great game for us, both on the mound and at the plate,” Duey said. “We’ve had trouble scoring runs all spring, and he came through with some key hits that drove home runs.”
His brother, senior Truman Hosiner, was 3-for-5 with two runs scored, while classmate Brady Brooke was 3-for-4 with a double, two runs scored and one RBI.
Sturdefant was 1-for-3 with two runs scored, senior Keaton Owens singled and had one RBI, junior Nathan Baker singled and scored, while sophomore Larry Benson had a double.
Senior Eric Helms also scored a run.
In total, Seymour had 15 hits, drew five walks and had two baserunners reach on errors.
“Eight runs looks good, but we had more than 20 baserunners,”
Duey said. “Again, we left a lot of runners on base in this one. We also had our fair share of base-running mistakes that cost us runs.”
This week, the Tigers are competing in the annual Southwest Missouri Wood-Bat Tournament, which is a five-team, round-robin event played at various sites.
A schedule of tourney games appears elsewhere in this week’s newspaper.