Rolla bounces Lebanon from district tournament

LDR photo/Alex Boyer
Lebanon sophomore Troy Reynolds throws a pitch during the first inning of a high school baseball game on Monday night at Hillcrest High School. The Rolla Bulldogs defeated Lebanon 4-1 in the district semifinal game.

By: 
ALEX BOYER ALEX@LEBANONDAILYRECORD.COM

SPRINGFIELD — In a season that the offense has done so much for their team, the Lebanon offense struggled on Monday night, falling to the Rolla Bulldogs in the Missouri Class 5 District 10 semifinal game, 4-1 at Hillcrest High School.

Rolla (22-6-1), had already defeated the ‘Jackets once earlier this season, yet Lebanon (18-8) was still seeded ahead of the Bulldogs, which didn’t seem to sit well with the Rolla players or fans.

“We just didn’t get our offense going tonight,” Lebanon head coach Dustin Young said. “I thought defensively we played our best game all year and on the mound, they got a couple of big hits when they needed to and won the ball game.”

The Bulldogs got off to a fast start, plating two runs in the top of the first inning when senior Joel Simmons delivered a single with two outs that scored two runs and senior Brett Gonzalez came through with an RBI single in the second inning and RBI double in the fourth inning as he finished with four hits in the contest.

Senior pitcher Levi Loughridge (5-2) got the start for Rolla and made the most of his start, going five innings and allowed just one run on three hits while striking out nine Yellowjackets.

“When you run into good pitching like that it is tough to get going,” Young said. “Offensively, we struggled to get going and get the big hit to get an inning started. They (Rolla) didn’t put runners on base, and it’s tough to spark something when they were missing barrel like they were.”

“We tried to do some things to break up his (Loughridge) timing. He has been one of their aces all year long and has had the numbers all year long.”

The ‘Jackets’ best chance at a rally came in the bottom of the fifth inning when sophomore Drew Dustin delivered a one-out double that scored a run and LHS had runners on second and third with just one out but were retired quickly as the next two batters popped up to end the threat.

“We started to get a little bit of momentum there with a big knock from Drew Dustin and had second and third with one out … their guy did a good job of staying away from their barrel and got a couple of pop-ups and escape damage,” Young said about the chance. “That was the big opportunity we had, but we were just unable to execute.”

For the complete article, see Wednesday's print edition of The Daily Record, or view the e-Edition online.

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