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Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014

Mineral Area knocks off Scott County 7-3 in regional semifinals

Friday, August 5, 2011

(Photo)
Joseph Baker of Scott County leaps over Mineral Area's Holden Mayberry as he slides into third during Thursday's semifinal game in the Cal Ripken 11U Midwest Plains Regional Tournament. Brent Shipman, Staff
SIKESTON -- Playing Mineral Area in the semifinals of the Cal Ripken 11U Midwest Plains Regional Tournament on Thursday, the Scott County All-Stars saw their season come to a close with a 7-3 loss.

"We could've done more on our part," Scott County coach Scott Nichols said. "Don't take anything away from Mineral Area, they did everything they were suppose to do.

"We just didn't do everything we were suppose to do."

Opening the game up with a two-run rally, the All-Stars were able to seize control early as Cole Nichols and Kaden Robert hit back to back singles before being driven in by a base hit from Bobby Wright Jr.

It was in the bottom of the frame, however, that Mineral Area was able to respond with a five-run outburst to take the lead. Starting off the rally, Dillon Manion came up with a runner on first base and hit a double to right center field to score Mineral Area's first run of the contest.

Then, with a pair of runners on and no outs, Holden Mayberry cleared the base paths with a double to left centerfield to give his team a 3-2 advantage.

Finishing up the rally, both Mayberry and Lucas Spray, who reached on a walk, came around to score to give Mineral Area a 5-2 lead.

From that point on, the All-Stars tried to claw their way back into the lead, coming their closest when Joseph Baker hit a two-out double to right field in the third inning. He was then brought home in the next at bat on a double by Wright Jr. to close Scott County's deficit to two.

Unfortunately for the All-Stars, Mineral Area came back in the bottom of the fourth and rallied for a pair of runs.

In the frame, three straight batters reached on a single and a pair of errors as Manion and Jason Mahurin both scored to push their team ahead 7-3.

Down by four and with only six outs to go to save their season, Scott County spent the final two frames unsuccessfully trying to find the magic that helped them score 15 runs on Bemidji, Minn., just two days prior.

After going down in order in the fifth, the All Stars came up in the sixth and opened up the inning drawing a full count walk. Following a ground out to short for the first out, however, Mineral Area sealed the game when their shortstop caught a pop fly before throwing back to first for a game-ending double play.

"We played them in the state championship game," Mineral Area coach Mike Mahurin said of Scott County. "We were lucky enough to beat them there.

"They were kind of out of pitching at state, but they had all their pitching today and we still had a good outcome for us."

With seven hits on the contest, the All-Stars were led by Wright Jr. who reached base on all three of his plate appearances, including a single, double and a walk. Nichols, Robert, Baker, Wyatt LeDure and Ben Fox each contributed a single to Scott County's cause.

Though he obviously would have liked to have left with his team claiming a regional title, Nichols was pleased to see his kids still playing on the final day of the tournament.

"We talked about that and that was one thing we wanted, was to play on the last day," he said. "We said that in Farmington (at state).

"Everything happened for us except we didn't get the last two wins (for a regional championship)."

For Mineral Area, Manion had a team-high two hits, going 2 for 4 with a double. Mineral Area finished the game with six hits.

Going all six innings, Manion picked up the win on the mound. He allowed all three runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out three.

"Dillon Manion is as good of a pitcher as you're going to see," Mike Mahurin said. "He's not overpowering, but he spots the ball well and he puts it where the coach asks him to."