The McDonald County 18U baseball team's trip to Branson last week wasn't as enjoyable as most people's visit to Missouri's entertainment capital.
Despite a couple of chances, McDonald County couldn't come up with a win in its five games of the College of the Ozarks Showcase played at several locations in the Branson area.
McDonald County opened the showcase on June 6 with a 5-0 loss to Springfield Hillcrest at Pirate Park, home of the Branson Pirates.
Parker Toney took the loss, allowing five runs on eight hits in six innings. The junior-to-be at MCHS struck out eight while not walking a batter.
Hillcrest took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first before adding two runs in the fourth and two more in the fifth.
McDonald County was shut out on just three hits, singles by Cole Martin, Wyatt Jordan and Junior Eliam.
In the rain-shortened second game of the day, Bartlesville scored six runs in the bottom of the first and cruised to a 10-2 win in four innings.
It took three McDonald County pitchers, Bo Leach, Shadow Keeling and Brandon Francisco, to get out of the first. Leach gave up a double, had a runner reach on an error and hit a batter before Keeling walked the only two batters he faced.
Francisco got the final two outs of the inning but also walked two batters in the frame.
Kameron Hopkins worked the final three innings, allowing four runs on three hits, while walking one batter and hitting three. McDonald County committed four errors in Hopkins' three innings of work.
McDonald County scored both of its runs in the first on an error and singles by Hopkins and Jordan and a sacrifice fly by Sampson Boles.
On June 8, McDonald County dropped a 5-3 decision to Central Missouri in its first game of the day. Boles took the loss, allowing four runs on five hits.
Central Missouri scored three runs in the bottom of the first and one in the third to take a 4-0 lead.
McDonald County cut the lead to 4-3 with two runs in the fourth and one in the fifth before Central Missouri added an insurance run in the fifth off Nevin Price.
Hopkins tripled in a run and scored on Boles' sacrifice fly to key McDonald County's fourth while Rylee Boyd drove in a run with a single for McDonald County in the fifth.
Boyd finished with two hits while Jordan and Hopkins both had one.
Branson handed McDonald County a 9-6 loss in the final pool game. Boyd took the loss, allowing two runs in the first without a hit. He walked four and hit another to give Branson a 2-0 lead.
McDonald County answered with five runs in the third to take a 5-2 lead.
Martin singled before Price was hit by a pitch and Hopkins walked to load the bases. Omar Manuel drove in two runs with a single before Wyatt Jordan drove in another with a ground out. Leach singled in the fourth run of the inning, while the fifth scored on Francisco's single and an error.
But Branson scored three runs in the third off Brandon Armstrong on two hits, a walk and a hit batter to tie.
McDonald County took a 6-5 lead in the top of the fourth on a single by Boles, a sacrifice bunt by Martin and a pair of wild pitches.
Branson came up with three runs in the bottom of the inning for the win when the game was called due to a time limit. Armstrong allowed a walk and an RBI single before Francisco gave up a pair of runs on two hits and a two-run error.
In McDonald County's final game of the showcase, Popular Bluff scored three runs off Francisco in the first on the way to a 10-1 win on June 9.
McDonald County cut the margin to 3-1 in the fourth, but Popular Bluff added two runs in the fifth and five in the seventh to clinch the win.
Toney worked four innings of relief, allowing just two runs, but Popular Bluff scored five runs in the seventh off Armstrong, Jordan and Manuel.
McDonald County was held to six hits, two by Boles and one each by Martin, Eliam, Price and Leach.
McDonald County split a regular season doubleheader with Seneca on June 5 at MCHS.
Seneca scored two runs in the top of the seventh to claim a 7-5 decision in the opener.
Francisco was let down by his defense in the first inning as McDonald County committed five errors that led to three Seneca runs on just two hits.
Seneca built a 5-0 lead after six innings, but McDonald County tied the game with five runs in the bottom of the sixth, only to commit two errors that allowed Seneca to score two runs in the seventh.
Hopkins had three hits and Martin had two to lead the McDonald County offense. Price, Francisco and Jordan added one hit each.
McDonald County claimed a 12-4 win in the nightcap. Boyd, Keeling, Leach, Jordan, Logan Harriman combined to hold Seneca to four runs on six hits.
Martin had four hits to lead the offense. Jordan, Boyd, Hopkins, Ethan Lett and Wade Rickman had one each.
McDonald County hosted Neosho on June 11 before going to Seneca on June 18.Sports on 06/13/2019
Print Headline: 18U Baseball Goes Winless In Branson