It was a landmark day for the Missouri Military Academy as it's baseball program once again entered the Missouri State High School Activities Association playoffs for the first time in a long time after an extended hiatus, meaning the school stopped offering the sport until this year.
On the other side things at South Callaway on Friday in the opening contest of Class 3, District 8, the North Callaway varsity went 8-16 overall under first-year head coach Zeth Lavy and now that former skipper Kevin O'Neal is about to become Athletic Director the squad was looking to impress. Both teams had clear and obvious motivation to keep this season alive and those hopes and dreams were tangibly present in this contest, especially early on as both sides scored a run in the first inning.
While neither team got on the board in the second prior to this game becoming deadlocked at 2-2 in the third, it was the fourth when everything began to slide in one direction. More specifically, the Thunderbird's bats caught fire during that stanza and the end result was four runs and a 6-2 advantage. MMA did come back to score once more in the sixth, but considering it also committed five errors in this affair, that proved to be too-little-too-late as the T-Birds came out on top 6-3.
Even though North Callaway also made a pair of errors in this game, it also outhit the Fighting Colonels 6-5 according to maxpreps.com. This included a 2-for-3 performance with one RBI and a walk by sophomore Christian Griffith that senior Dawson Wright backed up by coming in at 1-for-4 with two RBI. junior Finnian Clark also made his way onto the hit-list for the T-Birds by going 1-for-3 with one RBI and one walk, as did senior Brendan Deters with a 1-for-3 with a run performance.
The pitching effort for North Callaway was much more concentrated as upperclassman Justin Coffman put his 2.62 earned run average to the test, and the end result three runs allowed, two earned, on four hits and four walks with 10 strikeouts in five and a third inning of work to earn the decision. Clark then thre the final one and two third innings to get the save and gave up a hit and two walks with five strikeouts against eight batters faced.
The Thunderbird's will now face Hallsville, 11-8 overall, the number two seed for this district, today at 6:30 p.m. In the other game to open this district last Friday fourth-seeded Father Tolton, 8-12 overall, bested number five seed New Bloomfield, 5-18 overall, 11-1. Father Tolton's next game is against number one seed host South Callaway, 21-8 overall, today at 5:00 p.m. The championship will then be decided Tuesday at 5:00 p.m.
Also, on Thursday MMA ended the regular season with a 15-3 defeat to Macon, 13-5 overall, according to MSHSAA.org.