CO-GVC CHAMPIONS

By Will Johnson, Sports Editor
Posted 5/11/22

Maries County baseball bragging rights and a share of the Gasconade Valley Conference (GVC) title.

Those two things were up for grabs Monday night at Belle City Park between the host Tigers and …

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CO-GVC CHAMPIONS

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Maries County baseball bragging rights and a share of the Gasconade Valley Conference (GVC) title.

Those two things were up for grabs Monday night at Belle City Park between the host Tigers and visiting Vienna Eagles.

Dropping a 4-3 heart breaker to Steelville over a week ago, Cory Nicholson’s Eagles looked to bounce back with a victory over their in-county diamond rivals.

Plating four runs in the top of the first inning, Vienna gave senior starter Bayrd Vanscoy more than enough run support to help the Eagles claim a share of the GVC baseball crown with Steelville’s Cardinals following a 15-0 victory in eastern Maries County.

Vanscoy helped his own cause leading off the game with a walk in the top of the first inning.

Consecutive runs batted in by Colin John, Landon Kloeppel and Lucas Magner helped the Eagles to an early 3-0 lead.

Lucas Magner later scored on a Duncan Wilkinson RBI double to cap the scoring in the top of the first inning.

Sam Willis reached on an error for Belle with one out in the bottom of the first inning before a Clayton Shockley single advanced him to third base.

An inning-ending double play kept the Tigers from scoring and leaving them with a 4-0 deficit after one inning.

Pitching around an Eli Hayes two-out single in the top of the second inning, Shockley kept the Eagles off the scoreboard and in turn gave his Belle offense a chance to get on the board in the bottom of the second inning.

Retired in order, the host Tigers went into the third inning trailing Vienna 4-0.

Four hits and an error later, the Eagles were able to add three runs to their lead in the top of the third inning.

Kloeppel led it off with a double followed by a Lucas Magner single.

Kloeppel scored on a Belle error before a Tanner Bock RBI double plated Lucas Magner giving Vienna a 6-0 lead.

Spencer Magner then delivered an RBI double allowing Bock to score pushing the Eagle advantage to 7-0 entering the bottom of the third inning.

Recognized as the lone senior on the Belle Tiger baseball team, Kale Loughridge started the bottom of the third inning from ninth spot in the lineup with a one-out single before moving to third base on a double by Kaiden Robertson at the top of the batting order.

Vanscoy then retired Belle’s next two batters ending the Tiger threat and keeping his shutout bid intact after three innings.

Adding to his first-inning single, John reached base on a fielder’s choice before scoring on a Lucas Magner RBI single bumping Vienna’s lead to 8-0.

Vanscoy once again retired Belle in order during the bottom half of the fourth inning keeping the Eagle lead at 8-0.

Eyeing a potential mercy-rule victory, Vienna looked to push their lead into double digits in the top of the fifth inning.

Wilkinson led the frame off with a single before scoring on a passed ball in the top of the fifth inning.

Pitching in relief of Shockley, Isaiah Sullinger limited the damage to that one run keeping Vienna in single digits entering the bottom of the fifth inning.

Another scoring opportunity presented itself to the host Tigers in the bottom half of the fifth.

Cole Loughridge led the frame off with a single before moving to second base on a one-out single from Kale Loughridge.

Robertson then reached base on a fielder’s choice that saw Kale retired at second base.

An inning-ending strikeout left two Belle base runners stranded on the base paths leaving the Tigers trailing Vienna 9-0 after five innings.

Sullinger pitched around a one-out double from Kloeppel in the top of the sixth inning to keep the Eagle run total in single digits entering the bottom of the sixth.

Shockley led the bottom of the sixth inning off with a single before Eagle reliver Will Veasman got the last two outs of the inning keeping a now combined shutout bid intact after six frames.

Already with a comfortable 9-0 lead entering the top of the seventh inning, Vienna strung together six hits that led to the same amount of runs.

Wilkinson led it off with a single before Spencer Magner made it back-to-back singles starting the top of the seventh inning.

Later in the frame, Kloeppel added to his RBI single in the first inning with a two-RBI single plating Spencer Magner and Vanscoy.

Bock added to his third-inning double with a with a two-RBI two-bagger that scored Kloeppel and Lucas Magner to give Vienna their final margin of victory.

Down to their last three outs, Belle started the bottom of the seventh inning with a Cole  Loughridge single before base hits from Kale Loughridge and Shockley loaded the bases with one out.

A game-ending double play gave Vienna a share of the GVC title in addition to Maries County baseball bragging rights.

Belle ended their regular season last night (Tuesday) hosting Linn while Vienna also ended their regular season last night (Tuesday) with a short road trip into Pulaski County facing Dixon’s Bulldogs.

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