One thing baseball's detractors tend to mention is the length of the game.
The claim is contests should conclude in about two hours or so. But, sometimes the reason the action keeps going beyond that mark is because the people playing that game aren't done having fun yet, which was exactly the case when North Callaway traveled to Wellsville-Middletown for an Eastern Missouri Conference makeup contest on Wednesday.
This game ended up going just over three hours and was almost called because of darkness despite starting at 4:30 p.m., and the action went back-and-forth from start-to-finish starting with the T-Birds going up 1-0 in the first, only to find the Tigers coming back hard with an eight-run second. It wasn't until the sixth that North Callaway was actually able to claim the lead back at 14-12, but once it did it held on tight, scored twice more in the seventh and then got out quickly with its 16-12 victory.
"We hit the ball well enough and scored enough runs to overcome our deficiencies on defense," said Thunderbirds coach Zeth Lavy.
North Callaway actually entered the fifth trailing 8-7 and then fell even further behind at 12-10. The difference was that it scored four runs in the sixth and two in the seventh and that was only possible because of performances like Jackson Althiser going 4-for-5 with three runs. Gabe Cash also went 3-for-6 with two doubles, four RBI and three runs and coming in at 2-for-4 with three RBI and two runs was Finnian Clark.
Clocking the decision in relief for North Callaway was Justin Kaufman, who raised his record to 1-2 by allowing four runs, zero earned, on two hits and no walks with one strikeout in one inning pitched. Christian Griffith then earned his initial save by giving up no runs on no hits and four walks with two strikeouts in two innings of work.
On the flip side of things for the Tigers it was Clayton Ebers who git pinned with the loss after allowing six runs, two earned, on six hits and one walk with one strikeout in just over two innings on the mound. Cameron Huff came across like a human fireworks display, though, going 3-for-4 with one RBI. As a team Wellsville-Middletown had 12 hits and four errors. It also allowed 15 hits.
"A couple of defensive miss plays hurt the team tonight, but I liked the way the team kept fighting this evening," said Tigers coach Earl Burton. "The Tigers are improving and we feel we are headed in a positive direction."
Wellsville-Middletown had eight different players with hits for the game. It also made six errors.
North Callaway, 2-8 overall, 2-2 EMO, is at the Marshall Tournament this weekend.
The Tigers, 4-1 overall, 2-1 EMO, are at Elsberry on Monday.