Festus Edges Pacific

Festus' Josh Mobley slides home while Pacific catcher Hunter Finney takes the throw during the championship bracket semifinals of the Four Rivers Baseball Classic at Borgia. Mobley was called safe on the play. Festus defeated Pacific 2-0 and went on to win the tournament title over Washington. The Indians topped Borgia in the third-place game.

Pacific didn’t have much of an answer for Festus pitcher Matt Phillips in the championship bracket semifinals of the Four Rivers Baseball Classic.

Phillips tossed a three-hit shutout in leading the Tigers to a 2-0 victory over the Indians Saturday at Borgia High School.

In seven innings of work, Phillips allowed no runs on three hits with three walks and eight strikeouts.

“Give him credit because he did an excellent job. He mixed his pitches well,” Pacific Head Coach Jeff Reed said of Phillips. “We didn’t adjust to his curveball very well. His curveball made his fastball look harder than it really was.”

Festus (4-3) went on to win the tournament title with a 7-6 victory over Washington.

Pacific (3-1) knocked off Borgia in the third-place game, 10-1.

“Overall, it was a good way to start the season,” Reed said. “Both of the games we played on Saturday were good for us. We were on the wrong end of the Festus game, but it will make us better.”

The Indians wasted a solid pitching performance against Festus by senior southpaw Hank Vandaveer.

In seven innings of work, Vandaveer allowed two runs, one earned, on five hits with two walks and six strikeouts.

“It was one of the better pitching performances I’ve seen from Hank,” Reed said. “He gutted it out. Festus has a good-hitting team and they never got much going.”

Festus took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning when Travis Spraul doubled and later scored on a passed ball.

The Tigers made the score 2-0 in the sixth inning on a double by Josh Mobley followed by an RBI single by Andrew Hayden.

Pacific had runners on base in the third, fourth, fifth and sixth innings, but could never push a run across.

Trailing 2-0, the Indians had runners at second and third bases with two outs in the sixth inning, but didn’t take advantage.

“We had chances, but couldn’t get that big hit,” Reed said.

Tyler Straatmann collected two of Pacific’s three hits. Noah Brocato had the other.

“Straatmann had a decent day with two hits in both games,” Reed said.

James Howie, Lane Smith and Drew Fonner each drew a walk.

Kyle Lewis, Ethan Reando, Spraul, Mobley and Hayden each had one hit for Festus.