68 / 45
      72 / 52
      82 / 61

      Triple-play plunking

      This is what you call taking one for the team.

      Actually, three for the team.

      With two out and nobody on in the bottom of the first inning, three straight Jefferson City Jays were hit by a pitch Saturday at Vivion Field.

      This just doesn't happen.

      "Maybe I've seen three in an inning," Jays coach Brian Ash said, "but I've ever seen three straight."

      The Jays then put a ball in play --- it was a two-run single by Brenden Ogletree that helped the Jays beat the Blair Oaks Falcons 4-3 to advance to the championship game of the Capital City Invitational.

      It hurt so good for Ash, former head coach of the Falcons.

      "I've been removed from it long enough now, it's not as awkward," said Ash, in his fifth year at the Jays' helm. "But still, I had a lot of those kids when they were in elementary and junior high."

      The win for the Jays (9-4) started with the triple-play plunking, which was also a first for Harv Antle.

      "I've never seen that," the Falcons coach said. "But that's the great thing about baseball, every time you come to the park, you're going to see something new.

      "It's not always what you want to see, but that was something different."

      This entire game was a bit different for the Falcons, who were 10-0 entering the game because they'd played good baseball. They left the game 10-1 after playing, well, not-so-good baseball.

      They committed four errors, left the bases loaded in the second, didn't score after having the bases loaded with one out in the third, had a runner picked off to end an inning, and lost another runner at home on a botched squeeze attempt.

      "At times, we played well, at other times, we didn't," Antle said. "We can probably call this a game of missed opportunities.

      "We had opportunities to make plays defensively and we didn't do that. We gifted them a couple of runs, but both teams kicked some balls on plays they normally make. And we couldn't seem to come up with the big hit and left a lot of runners on (10).

      "But Jeff City's a good team, there's no shame in losing to those guys."

      The Falcons had taken a 1-0 lead in the top of the first on an RBI single by Cody Stegemann, tied it at 2 in the second on a run-scoring single by Dalton Fifer, and took a 3-2 in the fifth on an RBI blow by James Reinkemeyer.

      Two of those runs were unearned.

      "Both teams made some errors," Ash said. "They took advantage of our mistakes, we took advantage of their mistakes."

      The Jays tied it with an unearned run in the bottom of the fifth, the run scoring on an RBI fielder's choice by Rylie Klosterman.

      Then came the bottom of the sixth, when Jake Walker turned a routine lead-off single into a hustle double.

      "That was the play of the game," Ash said. "That was a great base-running read and that's ultimately what won the game for us."

      Walker scored on a double down the line by Adam Grunden, a grounder that caromed off the third-base bag.

      Logan Bax went the distance to take the loss, while freshman Jacob Weirich --- who wasn't even listed in the program --- got the win. The slender lefty allowed no earned runs on two hits in three innings of relief.

      "It was a big situation for a freshman," Ash said. "But he's been in a lot of those situations when he was playing his youth ball, so he's been in some big games.

      "He competes. He's probably only 120 pounds soaking wet, but he comes right after hitters, that's what I like about him."

      In the third-place game, the Falcons then lost another tough decision, a 7-6 loss to Hickman when Blair Oaks (10-2) couldn't hold a late 6-2 lead.

      Now, about the championship game. The Jays, the winners of Pool A by a tiebreaker, were scheduled to meet Pool B winner Rockhurst. But the Hawklets returned to Kansas City after their 9 a.m. game Saturday to attend a mandatory school fundraiser.

      No make-up date has been announced.

      "It's disappointing," Ash said, "but it seems like there are conflicts in this tournament every year.

      "It's just the way it is."


      POOL A

      Blair Oaks 6, Blue Springs 5

      St. Charles Lutheran 5, Jefferson City 3

      Jefferson City 5, Blue Springs 4

      Blair Oaks 12, St. Charles Lutheran 6

      St. Charles Lutheran 9, Blue Springs 5

      Jefferson City 4, Blair Oaks 3

      POOL B

      Hickman 2, Fatima 0

      Eureka 6, Rockhurst 3

      Hickman 9, Eureka 3

      Rockhurst 7, Fatima 4

      Rockhurst 6, Hickman 3

      Fatima 15, Eureka 9


      Jefferson City vs. Rockhurst, postponed


      Hickman 7, Blair Oaks 6


      Fatima 11, St. Charles Lutheran 0


      Blue Springs 13, Eureka 4