Tiger baseball sees season end in district semifinals

By Will Johnson, Sports Editor
Posted 5/18/22

Carry the momentum.

That was the goal over the weekend for Bryce Gehlert’s Belle Tigers during the Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA) Class 3, District 8 Baseball …

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Tiger baseball sees season end in district semifinals

Posted

Carry the momentum.

That was the goal over the weekend for Bryce Gehlert’s Belle Tigers during the Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA) Class 3, District 8 Baseball Tournament semifinals Saturday against Steelville’s Cardinals.

Dropping a 9-1 decision to Steelville weeks earlier, Gehlert’s Tigers looked to avenge that loss and advance to last night’s (Tuesday) district title game.

Trailing 4-0 after five innings, Belle scored two runs in the top of the sixth inning before their late-game rally fell short to the tune of a season-ending 4-2 loss to their Gasconade Valley Conference (GVC) foes.

Returning from injury, sophomore Clayton Shockley started the game on the pitching mound for BHS helping hold Steelville scoreless during the first two innings.

In the top of the first inning, Belle started a two-out rally with a Shockley single followed immediately by another single from Carter Kinkead before a ground out ended the inning.

Kameron Newton led off the top of the second inning with a walk before being left stranded after three consecutive outs ended the frame.

Two hits and a hit batter by Steelville turned into a pair of runs and a 2-0 Cardinal lead after three innings.

Newton relieved Shockley in the top of the fourth pitching around a leadoff walk to keep the Cardinals from adding to their lead.

A Newton one-out single went for naught in the top of the fourth with two consecutive outs ending the inning following the base hit.

Picking up two more runs on three hits, two fielder’s choices and a walk doubled Steelville’s lead to 4-0 after five innings.

Shockley singled and scored on a Newton RBI single before Zane Strunk also singled and scored on a Cole Loughridge RBI single for Belle to cut Steelville’ lead in half to 4-2 after six innings.

Unable to get a base runner in the top of the seventh inning, Belle saw their season end at the hands of the second-seeded Cardinals.

Four days earlier, Belle took on Linn’s Wildcats with Highway 89 baseball bragging rights on the line last Tuesday at Belle City Park.

Trailing 5-2 entering the bottom of the fourth inning, Belle was able to utilize the long ball to give themselves the lead before eventually holding on for a 9-6 victory.

Kale Loughridge started the bottom of the fourth reaching on an error before Isaiah Sullinger was hit by a pitch.

Sam Willis then singled with two outs to load the bases for Shockley.

Six pitches later, the Tiger sophomore sent a pitch over the center-field fence for a grand slam home run giving Belle a 6-5 lead after four innings over their Highway 89 neighbors to the north.

After a scoreless fifth, Belle caught another case of home run fever in the bottom of the sixth inning.

Sullinger walked to lead off the inning before Shockley blasted his second home run of the game for a two-run shot and an 8-5 lead.

Kinkead then came up and lifted a solo home run to left-center field capping Belle’s scoring allowing them to hold on for a victory.

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