One poor inning doomed the Cape Girardeau Ford and Sons American Legion baseball team Wednesday night, as new district opponent Twin Rivers used a four-run sixth to win 6-3 in the opener of a doubleheader at Capaha Field.
This was the first district game for Twin Rivers, which joined the district this season. Ford and Sons fell to 1-1 in district play. In the seven-inning, nondistrict nightcap, Cape Girardeau won 9-5 (see Page 5B).
"It's great," Twin Rivers coach Dustin Benson said of his team's district-opening triumph. "We knew Cape's a tough team, and we were hoping to compete. We had a good sixth inning, and that was the difference."
Cape starter Kirk Boeller had been cruising along through five innings, allowing just three hits and one run, all in the third inning. The sixth inning even started well for Boeller, who retired the leadoff hitter.
A walk -- Boeller's third of the game -- started the Twin Rivers rally. Canon Bagby and Seth Blackwell followed with consecutive doubles, with Blackwell's two-run double tying the score at 3-3. Ryan Adams followed with a line-drive that nicked off the glove of shortstop Steve Miinch into short center field.
Blackwell scored on the hit, as the throw from the outfield was off target and got by catcher Dane Balsmann. Boeller collected the errant throw, but threw the ball away as Adams went for third, allowing Adams to score for a 5-3 lead.
"I think we were a little down after winning the game in Ballwin and getting in late," Cape coach Dave Meyr said. "I think we were a little tired today."
Ford and Sons had plenty of chances throughout the game. In two of the first three innings, Cape stranded a runner on third with one out, leaving runners on second and third in the third inning. In all, Ford and Sons left 10 runners on base.
"We just ran into a good left-handed pitcher, and we didn't hit well," Meyr said.
Twin Rivers starter Jimmy Cornell threw all nine innings, allowing three runs on nine hits. Cornell, a Twin Rivers High School product, struck out six and walked three.
"Jimmy threw a heck of a game," Benson said. "He kept us in it."
Cape scored one run in the third and two in the fifth. Zac Hudson, Ty Craft and Scott Brueckner each had an RBI. Craft finished 3-for-5 with two triples.
Twin Rivers finished with eight hits, led by Blackwell with two hits.
Boeller threw seven innings for Cape, allowing six runs on seven hits. Mike Taylor pitched two scoreless innings in relief.