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Mineral Area too much for Scott County in championship

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

(Photo)
A dejected Layne Robinson of the Scott County Rippers walks off the field as the Mineral Area All-Stars celebrate after winning the 9-and-under Midwest Plains Regional Monday morning in Kelso. David Jenkins, Staff
KELSO -- Fighting their way through the winner's bracket, the Scott County Rippers came up one game shy of their Cal Ripken 9-and-under Midwest Plains Regional Championship dreams.

Taking on Mineral Area out of the loser's bracket in Monday's championship game, the Rippers saw their title chances slowly slip away as they allowed five runs in the final two innings to seal a 12-2 loss.

"(Mineral Area) are unusual for a 9-year-old team," Scott County coach Danny Dumey said. "You can really tag one and they'll come up with it. That's just the caliber of ball team we played.

"They're good and we just couldn't find a hole today."

Building a lead early, Mineral Area started off the top half of the first inning with a three-run rally led partially by Eli Claywell, whose base hit to right would score runners from second and third.

Scott County would respond in the bottom of the frame with Cayden Dannenmueller reaching on a single before advancing to third base where Jonathon Tyler brought him in on a sacrifice fly to right field.

Unfortunately for Scott County that was as close as they came to closing the gap with Mineral Area scoring in each of the final four innings after a scoreless second to pad their lead.

The Rippers last burst of offense came in the fifth when, with the bases loaded and two outs, Nate Hulshof hit a line drive to right field to score Scott County's final run of the game.

In the Rippers last chance to make a comeback in the sixth inning, Samuel Gebhardt would reach on a walk with two outs before a ground ball to the first baseman by Layne Robinson would end the game.

"When you play Mineral Area we keep telling them, you have to play these guys six innings," Dumey said. "And as the game went on and things weren't going our way, we started falling out. Kind of disappointing."

Dumey added he thought a major turning point for his boys came in the bottom first when they were down 3-1.

"We came back and scored one and had two runners on and Todd Priggel came up," he said. "Todd got a hold of one, outfielder ran back as far as he could and caught it going over his shoulder like five foot from being over the fence.

"That would of put us up 4-3, but instead that's not the way it went down and our boys kind of let a little bit of their air out and they just didn't stay tough."

With Mineral Area taking first and Scott County second in the tournament the top three teams in regionals mirror those of last weeks state championship.

In that tournament, Mineral Area also beat the Rippers in the title game while Sikeston took third place, the same as their finish in regionals. The area's other local team, SEMO North, bowed out in the second round of the loser's bracket with a 14-6 loss to Sikeston.

Of the four teams from out of state, two from Colorado and two from Kansas, Fort Scott, Kan., held out the longest losing in the semifinals of the loser's bracket to Sikeston 8-1.