The Southwest Trojans needed help in the Ozark 7 baseball race. The Purdy Eagles obliged.
|Purdy rallied from a 3-1 deficit at home against league-leader Wheaton and muddled the conference race with an exciting 8-3 victory over the Bulldogs on Monday, April 26.|
That upset created a tie atop league standings between Southwest and Wheaton, both 4-1 in conference play. It gets better.
|Purdy still has a league date remaining with Exeter. Originally scheduled for Friday, the makeup of the washout will determine if the Eagles can claim a piece of an Ozark 7 Tri-Championship.|
|In the Ozark 7 Conference, only one game against league opponents in spring play counts in the conference standings. Not all teams even play a home-and-home series with the other league teams. The minimal number of contests almost guarantees some bizarre situations, and the possibility of co-champs or more. With Verona and Thomas Jefferson not fielding teams this season, the mix of five teams was volatile indeed.|
|At Washburn, Kenny Ferguson's team earned only the second Ozark 7 baseball championship in school history with the first coming just last year. There were no apologies for the sister-kiss with Wheaton either. A championship is simply that and is always a reason to celebrate.|
|Ferguson owes a smooch to Purdy too. By tripping the Bulldogs, the Eagles handed Southwest their share of the title.|
|Teams are now preparing for district competition. Both Wheaton and Exeter play in a tough Class 1 District 6 that includes state-ranked Jasper.|
|Class 2 District 12 is loaded with area teams. Southwest, Purdy, Pierce City, Sarcoxie, Diamond and two Joplin private schools comprise the field.|
|"We seed the district tournament May 5," reported Coach Ferguson.|
|With the trainwreck atop the Ozark 7, a consensus for the top position is unlikely. Several darkhorses loom in the field, including Pierce City, led by fireballer Jared Barchak. No team from the district is included in the state rankings, although Southwest made an early-season appearance in the polls.|