That’s how the Seymour High School varsity baseball team opened its spring season at the annual Pleasant Hope Invitational, where the Tigers of head coach Jason Duey finished fifth in the eight-team tournament.
Victories were recorded over Fordland and Appleton City-Montrose.
Losses came to Marionville and Strafford.
Seymour closed the tourney last Friday with a 9-6 win over Appleton City-Montrose, taking an early lead, adding to it in the middle innings, then holding off a late rally in the final frame.
The Tigers won their tournament opener on March 19 by a 5-3 count over Fordland, then fell on Monday, March 22, to Marionville in an 8-6 thriller that went into extra innings.
Last Wednesday, March 24, Seymour lost 9-0 to Strafford.
Seymour’s record entering this week stands at 2-2.
Duey said he was very proud of his ballclub after the
Tigers defeated Appleton City-Montrose in Friday’s tourney finale.
Sophomore Cohen Koop, making his debut as a varsity pitcher, led Seymour to its second spring win and fifth-place honors by going five full innings on the mound, giving up just three runs on eight hits. He struck out three and walked none.
When Koop left the game, the Tigers led 9-3.
“We needed innings, and Cohen not only did that, but he also gave us some quality innings,” Duey said. “He went five full innings and only threw 58 pitches. He didn’t walk anyone. He was very efficient.
“What’s most impressive was that this was his first varsity game on the mound. And he got the win.”
Junior Caleb Cook pitched the final two innings and gave up three runs on three hits.
Seymour led from start to finish.
After Appleton City-Montrose scored a run in the top half of the opening frame, the Tigers responded with two runs in the bottom of the first inning to take a 2-1 lead.
The Tigers added two more runs in the bottom of the third innings, then scored five runs in the fourth.
No runs were scored in the fifth and sixth frames, then Appleton City-Montrose added its final three runs in the top of the seventh inning.
Leading Seymour’s offensive charge was freshman Luke Rasmussen, the team’s center fielder, who was 3-for-4 with three runs scored, five stolen bases and two runs batted in (RBIs).
Adding two hits each were senior Nathaniel Hosiner and freshman Brayden Baker.
Baker had a double, three stolen bases and led the Tigers with three RBIs.
Hosiner scored twice and had two stolen bases.
The Tigers’ other two hits came from senior Brock Pearce and junior Payton Bryant.
Bryant swiped three bases and scored twice.
Pearce had one stolen base and one RBI.
Scoring runs were junior Canaan Park and sophomore Derek Akers.
Akers also had one RBI.
“This was a nice win for us,” Duey said. “There’s a big difference early in being 2-2 versus being 1-3.”
Narrow loss to Marionville
After the tourney-opening win over Fordland, Seymour faced Marionville on March 22.
“It was a matchup of two pretty evenly matched teams,” Duey said.
The contest was close throughout.
Both teams scored a pair of third-inning runs, and the score was tied 2-2 through four innings.
In the bottom of the fifth, Seymour added two more runs to lead 4-2, and after Marionville added a run in the top of the sixth, the Tigers responded with a run of their own to lead 5-3 entering the final inning. Marionville plated a pair of runs to tie the score at 5-5, which sent the game into extra innings. The rival Comets then scored three runs in the top of the eighth inning to lead 8-5, and Seymour only mustered a single run in the frame’s bottom to fall 8-6.
“We had a lot of opportunities,” Duey said. “We left 10 runners on base, so we had a chance to put this one away before it went into extra innings.”
Pearce was the starting pitcher and went five full innings, allowed two runs on only two hits. He struck out seven and walked three.
Going the final three innings was Bryant, who allowed six runs (five earned) on nine hits. He struck out two and walked two.
Park and junior Brycen Owens led Seymour’s offense.
Each had a pair of hits. Park scored one run.
Junior Bryson Benson doubled and had two RBIs.
Pearce singled, scored twice and added one RBI.
Rasmussen singled, scored a run and had one RBI.
Akers and Bryant added hits. Akers also scored once and had one stolen base.
Hosiner rounded out the Tiger offense by scoring a run.
Two days later, Seymour took on state power Strafford and fell 9-0 to the talented Indians.
The game was scoreless through three innings.
Strafford then exploded for six runs in the fourth frame, followed by three more in the fifth, which accounted for the game’s nine runs.
The Tiger offense only managed one hit in the contest.
It came from Pearce.
Hosiner was the starting pitcher.
He went four innings and gave up six runs (only one was earned) on six hits. He struck out six and walked one.
Baker pitched one inning and allowed three runs (only one earned) on no hits while walking four and striking out two.
Cook pitched the final inning and recorded three outs on only seven pitches.
This week, the Tigers play three games.
On Monday, Seymour traveled to Houston. The team then played its home opener Tuesday against Marion C. Early of Morrisville.
This Thursday, the Tigers travel to Hartville for their Summit Conference opener.
Game time is 4:30 p.m.
Seymour travels to Conway next Tuesday for a league game also set for 4:30 p.m.