There’s no place like home.
Playing at its field, Liberty Park Stadium, Sedalia Post 642 captured the Missouri Senior Legion State Tournament title over Festus Post 253 Saturday afternoon, 3-0.
The game wasn’t a simple one, however. The game was scoreless through the regulation seven innings and two additional frames before the Travelers finally broke the deadlock.
The winning rally started with Connor Tichenor reaching on a single to first base. Brandon Kindle then walked and Braiden McEachern loaded the bases when he reached on a bunt.
Baron Austin singled to center, plating both Tichenor and Kindle. McEachern went to second.
McEachern went to third on a sacrifice fly by Adam Webb. He scored on a bloop single by Aaron Hughes to right field to make it 3-0.
That proved to be all of the game’s scoring.
In the bottom of the 10th, Charles Pratt singled and Ed Martin walked. Tichenor got the first out on a fielder’s choice at second. With runners on the corners, Tichenor struck out the next two batters to seal the win.
There is good news for both teams, though. Missouri has two spots at the Mid-South Regional in Hastings, Neb., this week, so both finalists will advance.
Sedalia (27-9) had to win its way through Zone 2 to be able to play in the state tournament. As part of the bid to be the permanent host for the Senior Legion State Tournament, Sedalia had to agree to no host team spot. Sedalia was fourth in last year’s state tournament and last won the title in 2016.
Both teams threatened before Sedalia finally scored.
Sedalia had the first scoring chance in the top of the second.
Tichenor led off with a single and moved around before he was tagged out on a fielder’s choice at the plate by Isack Hamilton after a play by pitcher Brendan Smock.
Festus, which last won in 2011, seemed to score in the bottom of the sixth. Jordan Duncan ripped a liner to right field with Jacob Bridges sprinting around the bases from first. He was close to home when Duncan was tagged out trying to stretch his hit into a double. Brandon Kindle fired a strike from right field to Webb for the out.
Those plays kept it scoreless until the 10th.
Each side had six hits and Festus made the game’s two errors.
Neither starting pitcher, Smock for Festus nor William Knight of Sedalia, figured into the decision.
Smock lasted for 7.1 innings, reaching his pitch limit. He allowed two hits and one walk while striking out five.
Knight only had 82 pitches when he departed after seven innings. He allowed five hits and struck out three.
It came down to the relievers. Sedalia’s Tichenor was the winner, going three innings while allowing one hit and two walks. He struck out four for the win.
Christian Hancock took the loss for Post 253. He went 2.2 innings, allowing three runs on four hits and one walk. He struck out a pair.
All of Sedalia’s hits were singles. Tichenor led the way with two. Hughes, who came into the game when starter Duffin Makings was shaken up in a collision at first base to lead off the game, had one of the other hits. McEachern posted a bunt single and Austin singled.
Tichenor and Kindle walked.
Tichenor, Kindle and McEachern scored the runs. Austin drove in two and Hughes had one RBI.
Festus had six singles with Bridges, Duncan, Levi Ebersoldt, Pratt, Martin and Jeremy Isenman reaching on hits.
Martin and Hamilton walked.
Each side turned a double play.