CHAFFEE - The Chaffee Red Devil Classic kicked things off on Friday despite cool, drizzly conditions.
In first round action Perryville defeated the host school Red Devils 5-1, Notre Dame beat Scott City 9-2 and Dexter beat Oran 6-5.
In the best game of the day, Dexter held off a four-run rally by Oran in the seventh inning to win the game.
The Bearcats led 6-1 entering the final inning but Trey Graviett's towering home run off reliever Geoff Mouser over the tall centerfield fence at Harmon Field cut the lead to 6-5. Relief pitcher Justin Sanders entered the game and struck out the final two batters to record the save.
"I wanted to give Mouser an inning there in kind of a mop-up role but he ended up give up a bomb to the Graviett kid," said Dexter head coach Brian Becker. "He just drove that ball -- that's one of the longest home runs I've seen this year. After the home run I wasn't too concerned because I knew we had another at-bat and we had some good hitters coming up. I put Sanders in there and he shut the door on them."
Prior to the seventh, Dexter starter Eric Bowling was virtually untouchable. The lithe left-hander struck out 11 in six-plus innings, allowing just two runs off two hits with six walks and three hit batters.
"He's got that kind of stuff that can be overwhelming to some teams," said Becker. "Oran's a good hitting team and he shut their bats down for the most part. He gave up a few walks here and there but he didn't allow them to get the timely hitting. That's back-to-back good outings out of him."
Dexter (10-3) grabbed the early lead with an RBI-double from Brandon Miller. Kermit Thomley followed that up with a two-run double to give the Bearcats a 3-0 lead. Dexter added another run in the fourth when Cody Boyer tripled and scored on a sacrifice fly by Bowling.
Oran (10-3) cut the lead to 4-1 on a Nathan Seyer sacrifice fly that scored Matt Seyer. But the Eagles stranded runners in the inning to keep Dexter's lead safe. Oran stranded seven base runners in the game.
"I thought the Bowling threw the ball well -- but we've got to put the ball in play more to win those types of games," said Oran head coach Mitch Wood.
Dexter added two more runs in the fifth inning to increase the lead to 6-1. Boyer added another triple to plate Matt Burnett. Boyer then scored on a wild pitch by Eagle starter Ryne Wood.
"He hadn't pitched but 10 innings all year," said Coach Wood. "This is his second time out starting and I thought he did alright. If we come out and pitch strikes like we did today then we're going to win ballgames."
Oran got its rally going in the seventh inning when Bowling hit Wood to lead off the inning. Mouser entered the game and gave up a single to Seyer and a walk to Joey Bickings to load the bases. Tyler Cookson then came up and hit a deep sacrifice fly to the centerfield fence that scored Wood. Graviett followed that up with his clutch home run.
"Like I always tell the kids, we're not out until that third out -- that's the way we felt at that point," said Wood. "Cookson needed another 10 or 15 feet and it could've gone out and if that happened then we're talking a tie ballgame."
Wood threw a complete game, allowing six runs off eight hits with four strikeouts and three walks.
"Wood's a good pitcher and I was proud of the way the kids hit the ball against him," said Becker. "I thought we made contact and did it with authority. We hit it harder against him than I thought we would. We had some extra base hits and that helped us score some runs."
Thomley and Boyer each had two hits for the Bearcats. The Eagles had no player get multiple hits.
Dexter played Perryville in the winner's bracket while Oran played Chaffee in the loser's bracket on Saturday. Results will be in Monday's edition.
Perryville broke a 1-1 tie in the fourth inning with two runs and never looked back to defeat the host team. Chaffee's (9-6) Andrew Horrell threw 6 1/3 innings, allowing five runs off 13 hits with a walk and a strikeout in taking the loss. Meanwhile, Chaffee's offensive struggles continued.
"We're just not playing very smart," said Chaffee head coach Brian Horrell. "I think our kids allowed themselves to be on this roller coaster and it's going to continue as long as they allow it to. We don't play with much emotion -- not to take anything away from Perryville, but I think if we played this game yesterday it would've been a different story. We played with emotion yesterday, today we just didn't seem like we wanted to be here. It seemed like our kids had the attitude that we'd have all day to score runs and we just never got it done."
Chaffee banged out nine hits but couldn't get any run production. Zac Horman and Derrick Uhrhan each had two hits for the Red Devils. Horman had an RBI and James Reischman scored Chaffee's only run.