Double elimination sounds so much more friendly than one and done. However, in the American Legion's District 15 field of 12 teams, the reality is simple mathematics. A team can sweep through the winner's bracket and earn the trophy with a paltry four wins, thanks to a first-round bye. But if you lose in the first round, then you have to win seven consecutive nine-inning games to take the title.
|So, with an opening-day loss, It gets late early, as Yogi Berra used to say.|
|The opening round of the District 15 tournament at Carl Junction was delayed a day thanks to Monday night's torrential rains. Action finally got underway Wednesday morning with the defending champion Nevada Red Sox throttling Everton Post #443 to the tune of 24-0.|
|In the second game, McDonald County Post #392 defeated Monett Post #91, 5-1, on the strength of a nine-inning complete game victory by Dusty Stites.|
Stites was extremely efficient, throwing only 107 pitches in his nine innings of work. Five times he sat down Monett in order and never faced more than four batters in an inning.
Monett's lone run came in the top of the seventh inning when starting pitcher Colby Brown found the center field fence with a leadoff double. He later scored on an RBI sacrifice by Trenton Boykin.
|That run reduced McDonald County's lead to 4-1, but Post #91 would not threaten or even reach base in the final two innings.|
|McDonald County scored one run in the first inning and then Kyle Smith took advantage of the prevailing 35 mile-per-hour west wind with his moon shot over the fence in right center. His homer would prove to be the winning run, as his Post #392 team went on to win by a 5-1 margin.|
|McDonald County Post #392 moves on to play Joplin in a winner's bracket game at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday. Monett Post #91 will play an elimination game at 6 p.m. Friday.|