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A four-run first inning and strong pitching by senior starter Nathaniel Hosiner propelled the Seymour High School varsity baseball team to a 5-3 victory Saturday over Fordland in the squad’s season opener in tournament action at Strafford.

Playing in the first round of pool play at the Pleasant Hope Baseball Invitational, the Tigers of head coach Jason Duey defeated the Summit Conference rival Eagles behind the arms of Hosiner, senior Brock Pearce and junior Bryson Benson.

“We got off to a fast start,” Duey said. “Nathaniel (Hosiner) led off with a single, then our first three guys got on base. By the end of the inning, we had scored on a sacrifice fly and even manufactured a couple of runs.

“From that point on, we played with a lead, which I feel was a big advantage for us and our pitching staff.”

Fordland scored the game’s first run in the top of the first frame, then Seymour bounced back in the inning’s bottom half with four runs to lead 4-1.

Another Seymour tally came in the bottom of the second when sophomore Derek Akers walked, stole a base, advanced on a sacrifice and scored on a ground ball.

The Tigers led 5-1 through six innings.

In the top of the seventh, Fordland mounted a final rally against Benson, who closed the contest on the mound.

Ultimately, Benson induced a short fly ball to right field for the game’s final out and a 5-3 Seymour victory.

Hosiner recorded the pitching win after going four full innings, throwing 75 pitches.

He allowed just one hit and struck out nine. He walked two and gave up only a single run.

Pearce went two innings and didn’t allow a hit or run while striking out three.

Benson recorded the save after pitching the final frame.

He allowed two runs (none earned) on one hit.

“Bryson got that last out just before their best hitter came to the plate,” Duey said.

Offensively, Hosiner was the Tigers’ standout as he went 2-for-3 with one walk and one run scored. He also had two stolen bases.

Junior Payton Bryant and Pearce each singled and scored a run. Junior Canaan Park had the team’s only other hit, which was a single.

Freshman Luke Rasmussen reached base on all four of his plate appearances, drawing four walks. He scored a run and had one stolen base.

Freshman Brayden Baker and Akers scored the Tigers’ final two runs.

“We put the ball in play better than I thought we would in our spring opener,” Duey said. “We didn’t hit the ball very hard, but we did put it in play, and typically good things happen when you do that.”

Ultimately, Duey said the Tigers’ pitching delivered a big season-opening win.

“Our pitching was good,” he noted. “Fordland almost is a mirror image of us. For them to win, they have to throw strikes and play defense. It’s the same with us.”

Fordland’s only two hits came from Jack Coursey and Cameron Crowe.

Scoring runs were Kadin Kindall, Logan Swanson and Ethan White.

Seymour played Marionville in the second-round of poolplay action on Monday. Next up is the final pool-play game at 4 p.m. today (Wednesday) against Strafford in a tourney game to be played at Strafford High School.

Final-round tourney play arrives on Friday.

At 4 p.m., the No. 1 teams in each pool will meet at Pleasant Hope, while the No. 3 teams in each pool play at Strafford.

At 6 p.m., the No. 2 teams in each pool play at Pleasant Hope, while the No. 4 teams in each pool face off in action at Strafford.

Next Monday, the Tigers play their regular-season opener at Houston.

Next Tuesday, Marion C. Early of Morrisville visits Seymour for the Tigers’ home opener.

Both games start at 4:30 p.m.

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