Saturday's Missouri Class 5, District 10 Tournament first-round game appeared a do-over of the April 9 Ozark Conference outing between the two rivals on the FCNB Field at the Bray Sports Complex.
ROLLA – Saturday's Missouri Class 5, District 10 Tournament first-round game appeared a do-over of the April 9 Ozark Conference outing between the two rivals on the FCNB Field at the Bray Sports Complex.
Then, Waynesville jumped out to a 4-0 lead over the host Rolla High Bulldogs, only to see RHS rally for four runs in the bottom of the seventh inning and RHS ended up winning 5-4 in the eighth frame.
This time around, fourth-seeded Rolla trailed fifth-seeded Waynesville 5-2 heading into the bottom of the seventh before rallying for three runs to tie the game and force extra innings.
However, with the stakes higher it was the Waynesville Tigers who pulled out an eighth-inning win, getting two runs in the top of the inning to post a 7-5 victory to end Rolla's season.
Struggling much of the way against Waynesville's left-handed starting pitcher Zach York (Sr.), Rolla put its rally caps on in the bottom of the seventh. Sophomore Jake Stephens opened with a walk followed by a bloop single by sophomore Andy Satulla and a single to right field by junior Bryan Peach to load the bases with no outs.
Senior Michael Pickrell delivered an RBI sacrifice fly, and on the play an error by the Tiger first baseman allowed Satulla to score.
With sophomore Landon Maynard running for Peach, junior Seth Stevens cracked an RBI single, plating Maynard and tying the game.
Waynesville head coach Scott Turner then took York from the game in favor of freshman right-hander Ryan Pendleton. Pendleton got a fielder's choice out and the Tigers then threw out a RHS runner trying to steal to get out of the inning with the score tied 5-5.
In the top of the eighth Waynesville's Dylan Newcomb (Sr.) reached base on an error, and then moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by senior Samuel Nevinger. He was joined on base by York, who reached base on another RHS error. Pendleton then doubled to left-center to give Waynesville the lead.
Rolla's starting pitcher, Stevens, was lifted in favor of sophomore right-hander Mason Pickrell. The first batter Mason Pickrell faced was Justin Wagner, who successfully laid down a squeeze bunt to score the run and also reach first base safely. The Tigers tried another squeeze bunt, but RHS catcher Michael Pickrell tagged out Pendleton at home and then fired to second base, getting Wagner in a run-down for the third out.
There wouldn't be another Bulldog rally, as they were retired in order in the bottom of the eighth.
"They're scrappy," RHS head coach Karl Odenwald of Waynesville. "You've got to tip your hats to them. When they've got Zach York on the mound they always have a chance to win. We've (come from behind) all season. That's the thing about this group; they never stopped fighting."
"It looked like it was going to be a repeat of the last time we played them," Turner said. "But my guys prevailed this time. We got down some clutch bunts and had some clutch hits."
The Bulldogs loaded the bases with no outs to open the bottom of the first, as Satulla and Peach both singled and Michael Pickrell walked. Stevens delivered a double to right field for one run. However, on the play Peach slipped rounding third base, fell down and was passed on the bases by Pickrell, which resulted in an out. Senior Hayden Nielsen beat out an infield single for a RBI to make it 2-0 before in the inning ended.
Waynesville tied it 2-2 in the top of the third, as Pendleton singled to left and, after a wild pitch, junior Trent Simpson got an RBI single. With two outs senior Ethan Howser banged a triple down the right-field line to tie the game.
The Tigers responded with three runs in the fourth, as Newcomb singled and after a sacrifice bunt, scored on York's RBI single. After a RHS error, Wagner singled to load the bases. Freshman Trey Simpson followed with a two-run single to left-center.
Waynesville outhit Rolla 11-9 and took advantage of four RHS errors.
Satulla, Peach and Stevens each had two hits for Rolla. Howser was 3-for-4 to pace Waynesville.
In the other first-round game Saturday third-seeded Springfield-Hillcrest hammered sixth-seeded Springfield-Central 19-4.
In Monday's semifinal games at FCNB Field top-seeded Springfield-Glendale (14-9) was to play Waynesville (8-16) while second-seeded Lebanon (12-9) met Hillcrest (6-21).
The district championship game is slated for 5 p.m. Wednesday.
Rolla ends the season with a 12-13 record.