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Mustangs rout Ruskin, advance to district semifinals

by Graham Thomas | May 18, 2023 at 4:00 a.m.
Graham Thomas/McDonald County Press McDonald County junior right fielder Destyn Dowd throws the ball back in during a game earlier this season as center fielder Jack Parnell (left) runs in on the play.

WARRENSBURG -- The baseball postseason trail began with a bang for the McDonald County Mustangs on Tuesday.

The No. 1 seed Mustangs exploded offensively for a 15-0 mercy rule win in three innings against Ruskin in the opening round of the Class 5 District 7 Tournament.

McDonald County scored a run in the first inning and then plated five in the second inning to go up 6-0. The Mustangs added nine runs in the third to complete the run-rule victory.

McDonald County (19-8) had nine hits offensively, while Weston Gordon pitched a three-inning shutout with six strikeouts and one hit allowed.

"Yeah today was just an all around good game," said McDonald County coach Heath Alumbaugh. "Weston faces only one hitter over the minimum. Offensively we were disciplined but jumped at pitches when we got a strike. We had a lot of very hard hit balls and capitalized when we could."

Gordon also led the Mustangs at the plate with two hits, two RBIs and one run scored.

Isaac Behm and Jacob Gordon each had one hit and three RBIs for the Mustangs, while Destyn Dowd and Cross Dowd each scored three runs and had a hit and RBI.

Tucker Walters had a base hit and scored two runs, while Devin Stone had a base hit, an RBI and scored two runs. Fischer Sanny scored a run and drove in a run, while Jack Parnell scored a run and had a base hit.

Hayden Lett also scored two runs for the Mustangs.

"The boys performed exactly how they should have and now we focus on Thursday," Alumbaugh said. "From this point on we have to be playing our best baseball and we'll be ready to go."

The Mustangs will now play at 4 p.m. today against tournament host and No. 4 seed Warrensburg (11-14), which beat No. 5 Carl Junction 4-2 on Tuesday.

The winner will move on to the championship game at 5 p.m. Monday with a state tournament berth on the line.

In other opening round district games on Tuesday, No. 2 seed Webb City defeated No. 7 Grandview 13-0, while No. 3 seed Belton defeated No. 6 Bolivar 6-1. Webb City and Belton are scheduled to play at 6:15 p.m. today in the other semifinal round at Warrensburg.

Republic 3, McDonald County 0

Republic's Gavyn Beckner pitched a one-hit shutout as the Tigers defeated the Mustangs 3-0 at Mustang Field in Anderson on Thursday, May 11.

The Tigers (21-10) scored a run in the third inning and two more in the fourth to account for the only runs of the game.

McDonald County's lone hit came off the bat of Angel Ruiz.

Beckner finished with seven strikeouts in a complete game effort.

Cross Dowd gave up three unearned runs, allowed two hits and four walks with two strikeouts in five innings. Ruiz worked two perfect innings in relief.

McDonald County 7, Aurora 6

Jack Parnell hit a solo home run in the top of the seventh inning and Angel Ruiz pitched a scoreless inning in the bottom of the seventh to wrap up a 7-6 victory at Aurora on Wednesday, May 10.

The Mustangs scored a run in the first and two in the second to take a 3-0 lead.

Aurora got a run back in the second, but McDonald County went ahead 5-1 with two runs in the fifth.

Aurora (5-18) answered with five runs in the fifth to take a 6-5 lead. The Mustangs tied it back up with a run in the sixth before Parnell's second home run to take the lead for good in the seventh.

Parnell finished with two runs, two hits and two RBIs. Isaac Behm scored two runs and had a base hit. Behm also was the winning pitcher, allowing two earned runs, six hits, five strikeouts and one walk over six innings.

Fischer Sanny had a hit and an RBI for McDonald County, while Cross Dowd also had an RBI.

Jacob Gordon and Tucker Walters each had base hits, while Devin Stone, Lane Pratt and Hayden Lett each scored runs.

Heath Hoffman and Juan Guido-Castro each had two hits, a run and RBI for Aurora.

photo Graham Thomas/McDonald County Press McDonald County senior Weston Gordon, seen here in a game earlier this season, pitched three shutout innings and had two hits and two RBIs in the Mustangs' 15-0 win against Ruskin on Tuesday in the opening round of the Class 5 District 7 Tournament at Warrensburg. The Mustangs play host Warrensburg at 4 p.m. today in the district semifinals.

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