David Reeder

Special to the Grove Sun

KANSAS - There was no doubt that if the Kansas Comets planned on beating Stilwell Monday evening at Dee Neel Field they would have to bring their ‘A’ game and hope that the Indians might leave something back at home in Adair County. Unfortunately for the Comets, Stilwell banged out a dozen hits and Kansas committed more errors than they got hits. Left hander Brett Odle got the start for the Comets and after getting the leadoff man out on a long fly ball to centerfield, he walked Austin Catron. Catron moved to second on a steal and came in to score the game’s first run on Gabe Coldwell’s RBI single. Odle avoided any further damage when his catcher C. J. Foreman gunned Coldwell down trying to swipe third for the second out and Forrest Paden grounded out to first base for the third. The Indians countered with their big sophomore right handed pitcher, Brody Clay. And for the biggest part of the afternoon the 10th grader kept the home team offense off balance and in the infield. The Comets got a base runner in the bottom of the frame, when the Stilwell shortstop misplayed Wade Lewis’s hard hit ground ball. But the Kansas third and fourth hitters went down in order to close out the opening exchange. Odle got the first pair of Indian batsman down in the second, but Alex Girdner drilled a single to left. Stilwell’s Derek Hamlin followed with a line shot to center. The Comets outfielder wisely played the ball in front of him, only to misplay the hop. With the ball rolling to the outfield fence, Girdner trotted home and Hamlin scooted into second. A.J. Deason put runners at the corners with his team’s third hit of the inning. Again, Foreman brought the rally to a close when he nailed Deason trying to steal second. Kansas wasted a one-out walk in the second, as Clay fanned the next pair of hitters. The top of the third proved to be the decisive frame of the afternoon, as the visitors sent 10 batters to the dish. Zack Bean led off with a standup triple and scored on Catron’s single. Two more hits and a pair of Comet errors later, Stilwell had scored three more runs. Trailing 6-0, Kansas went down in order in their half of the inning. Odle and his defense got the visitors to go down in order in the fourth. Zac Carnes worked Clay for a leadoff walk, as did Johnny Lewis. With one down Odle’s perfect sacrifice bunt moved both runners into scoring position. But again, the Comets were unable cash in. The Kansas offense finally got a ball out of the infield when underclassmen Casey Penner and Austin Hunt led off the bottom of the fifth with back to back to singles. But the top of the Comet order couldn’t keep the rally fires lit and went down scoreless again. And in the top of the sixth a leadoff double by Deason another error and a walk saw Stilwell score three more. Paden had the big blow with his two run single en route to the 9-0 runaway. Now 6-5 on the season, Kansas will travel to Chouteau this afternoon for a four o’clock game.