- Huge Hartville win

Tiger junior Chade Noble fired five hit-free innings last Thursday at Hartville in Seymour's 3-1 win.

After a lackluster effort in its fall opener, the Seymour High School varsity baseball team under new head coach Ty Lumley was looking at an 0-2 start entering Thursday’s road contest against Class 3 power Hartville, which had NCAA Division 1 commitment Brody McNiel, a junior left-handed hurler, awaiting his Tigers on the mound.

No problem.

Seymour defeated the host Eagles 3-1 in a pitching duel as Tiger junior Chade Noble went five innings and didn’t allow a single hit before being relieved by senior Payton Bryant, who kept Hartville scoreless over the game’s final two frames.

“I think this win showed the guys our potential — that we can beat a quality opponent,” Lumley said. “We won’t see a better pitcher this season, and we found a way to score three runs on him. It’s a good win for our confidence. Chade had a great game. And it was a high-level situation for Payton. It was big for him to have a strong outing.”

In five innings, Noble gave up a single run while giving up no hits. He struck out five and walked five.

“Chade had a rough first inning,” Lumley said. “He threw 30 pitches in the first and struggled with walks.

“But from the second through fifth innings, he was lights out. In those four (innings), he needed only 51 pitches, using his fastball and breaking balls. Ultimately, he outdueled a kid headed to Missouri State University, an extremely talented lefty with great stuff.”

When Bryant came on in relief, Lumley said the senior veteran found a way to pitch out of jams.

“Payton was throwing 80- to 90-percent curveballs,” he noted. “And (sophomore) Luke Rasmussen came up with a key defensive play at second base that saved us at least one run.”

Both teams scored a pair of runs in the fi rst inning, then a pitchers’ duel followed.

No runs were scored until the top of the sixth frame when Bryant was hit by a pitch, reached second base on a sacrifice, then Noble walked. With runners on first and third base, junior Kason Richards connected for a line-drive single, scoring Bryant.

Noble later scored, giving the Tigers a 3-1 lead.

Seymour’s first run came after Noble singled, stole second base, then scored on a wild pitch.

“We didn’t put on an offensive show,” Lumley said with a smile. “We only had two hits, but we found a way to get a win over a very talented pitcher.”

Noble singled, walked once and scored twice.

Bryant scored a run and had one stolen base.

Richards singled, had a stolen base and recorded one run batted in (RBI).

In the Tigers’ fall opener at Billings, Seymour fell 13-2 in a game Lumley described with a single word.

Ugly.

“Well, we did start off strong,” he said. “In the top of the first (inning), we jumped out to a 2-0 lead. From that point on, there isn’t a lot of positive to talk about.”

Seymour’s issue?

Walks.

As in issuing too many of them.

When the dust settled in the five-inning loss, Tiger hurlers issued 12 walks. They also gave up eight hits and hit two Wildcat hitters with pitches.

“It’s hard to win any game when you can’t throw strikes,” Lumley said.

Seeing mound duty for the Tigers was starter Dylan Henry, a junior, followed by classmate Cohen Koop and Rasmussen.

Lumley said he felt the game’s momentum shifted in the top of the second inning with the score tied at 2-2.

“We had the bases loaded with only one, and we didn’t score,” he said. “That turned the tide.”

Billings scored three runs in the second, three in the third and five in the fourth.

The Tigers managed only two hits — a double by Noble and a single by Rasmussen.

Rasmussen also walked twice, had two stolen bases and scored a run.

Noble had one RBI.

Richards scored a run; senior Bryson Benson had Seymour’s other RBI.

“There definitely were some first-game nerves present,” Lumley said. “There also may have been some carryover from the Fordland jamboree game, where we didn’t play well and had a lot of mistakes.”

Seymour played host to Marion C. Early of Morrisville on Tuesday.

On Thursday, the Tigers travel to Conway to take on the Bears of the Summit Conference.

Action starts at 4:30 p.m.

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