Bolivar High School baseball is the champion of its home tournament.
The Liberators claimed a pair of wins to open their 2021 season, beating Clinton 8-3 in game one and Stockton 11-1 in a five-inning game two at the Bolivar Tournament on Saturday, March 20.
“It was a beautiful day to start the season on,” Liberator coach Brad Roweton said. “We had a big crowd the entire day. Our stands were full for both games. You could tell everyone was ready to get outside and watch some baseball.”
Roweton said, despite the scores, both games were exciting and felt closer than the scoreboard would show.
“We had a couple of big innings in both games that broke tight games open in the mid-to-late innings,” he said. “All three teams battled all day long to provide several exciting moments for the crowd that had come out to watch some baseball.”
Against Clinton, neither team scored until the fourth inning, when Bolivar broke open the stalemate to score seven runs.
Liberator pitcher Luke Goforth held down the mound for six innings, throwing 16 strikeouts, one hit and one run allowed.
Goforth clocked zero earned runs.
Bolivar recorded just two errors, Roweton said.
“We played pretty well considering it being the first game of the year,” he said. “Heads up defensive play by (right fielder) Luke Meents kept a hard hit ball from being a hit.”
On offense, Bolivar’s Ryan Hadank led his team with two hits with a double.
Jacob Anderson had a stolen base and reached base twice.
Against Stockton, Bolivar leapt out to a lead with a four-run first inning. The Liberators scored seven in the fifth to end the game early.
Cooper Cribbs pitched five innings in the near-shutout, throwing 11 strikeouts. Stockton had zero earned runs.
“Cribbs continued to pitch well, and we were able to get out of a few jams,” Roweton said.
Bolivar had four defensive errors, but also had several high points, Roweton said, including a heads up defensive play by second baseman Anderson that kept a hard hit ball from being a hit.
“We definitely did not play as clean as we wanted to, but two of those errors were tough opportunities and one of them was a throw we didn't handle,” he said.
On offense, Anderson had a hit and reached base three times. Ryan Hadank had three hits with a double. Liberator Kaden Degraffenreid had two hits with a double and a homerun.
The Liberators next play Fair Grove at 4:30 p.m. Monday, March 29, in Fair Grove.
Fair Play opened its season with a pair of losses on Saturday, March 20, falling 18-8 to Lighthouse Senior High and 11-1 to Weaubleau.
The team beat Humansville 17-2 on Monday, March 22.
The Hornets next play Macks Creek at 5 p.m. Monday, March 29, in Fair Play.
Halfway baseball opened its 2021 season against Miller on Wednesday, March 24, falling 17-0.
Halfway’s next game is 5 p.m. Monday, March 29, against Humansville in Halfway.
Humansville baseball started its 2021 regular season Monday, March 22, against Fair Play.
The Tigers play again Monday, March 29, then again at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 30, against New Covenant Academy in Springfield.
Marion C. Early
The Panthers opened their regular season Tuesday, March 23, against Springfield Central, winning 18-0.
That’s a strong start for a team that won a district championship when the program last competed in 2019. It also won its inaugural summer league title last year.
The Panthers next compete against Miller at 4:30 p.m. Monday, March 29, in Miller.
Pleasant Hope baseball opened its season with a win Saturday, March 20, beating Ash Grove 4-3.
The Pirates followed that up with a 10-0 win over Montrose on Monday, March 22, and a 20-0 win over Bradleyville on Wednesday, March 24.
Pleasant Hope is competing in its home tournament through Saturday, March 27. The team’s next non-tournament game is at 5 p.m. Wednesday, March 31, against Hermitage in Pleasant Hope.
Pleasant Hope softball
The defending district champion Pleasant Hope Lady Pirates struggled against a familiar foe in their first spring outing since 2019.
Pleasant Hope fell 10-0 to Purdy on Friday, March 19.
The Lady Pirates split a pair of games against Purdy early in the 2019 season.
Pleasant Hope is competing at the Pleasant Hope Softball Invitational which runs through Saturday, March 27.