MOBERLY, Mo. -- The impressive season for Cape Girardeau's Ford & Sons American Legion baseball team ended Friday with two losses in the state tournament.
Cape, after winning its first-round game Thursday in the four-team event, fell to Blue Springs 13-3 in a winner's bracket final stopped after seven innings by the 10-run rule, then was eliminated by Joplin 7-5 in the loser's bracket final.
Ford & Sons, which earlier won its first district and zone titles since 1995, ends the year with a 29-16 record and a third-place state finish.
"We ran into two very good teams here, but to finish third in the state is still a big accomplishment," Cape manager Tom Reinagel said. "A lot of teams would have loved to be here."
Friday's winner's bracket final saw the Blue Springs A's (54-12) flex their muscles by rolling to their 24th consecutive victory. They won Thursday's first-round game over Joplin 10-1.
Ben Malick struck out 15, walked three and allowed just five singles as he improved to 12-0. John Thies (5-6) took the loss, allowing nine runs (seven earned) and 13 hits in 5 2/3 innings. He struck out three and walked one.
Blue Springs pounded out 16 hits, including six doubles and two triples. Brad Davidson had four hits. Seth Hudson led Cape with two hits.
"We got beat by a good pitcher, and they're a good hitting team," Reinagel said. "We didn't lose to any slouch team. They're very good, the class of the tournament."
The A's scored in each of the first four innings and piled up a 5-0 lead. It was 9-0 before Cape scored its three runs in the sixth, but the A's came back with four in the seventh.
Joplin's Miners (40-12) then held on to bounce Cape from the tournament. Ford & Sons trailed 6-1 before scoring four runs in the eighth inning. Down 7-5, Cape put runners on second and third with one out in the ninth before the threat ended.
Cape matched Joplin with 11 hits. Tyler Schlosser led the way with three while Hudson, Chris Conrad and Kyle Diveley all added two.
Lee Essner (6-3) took the loss, allowing six runs (five earned) and nine hits in five innings.
In Thursday night's late first-round game, Cape beat Jefferson City 16-8.
Wayne Essner (5-1) pitched 7 2/3 innings for the victory. He allowed seven runs (three earned) and nine hits while striking out nine and walking five.
Aaron Dohogne went 5-for-6 and drove in three runs to lead Cape's 15-hit attack. Lee Essner added two hits -- including a home run -- and had four RBIs. Schlosser, Conrad and Matt Wulfers all also had two hits.
Cape jumped on top with a five-run second inning that featured Essner's three-run homer and Dohogne's two-run double.
Ford & Sons led 9-3 when Jefferson City rallied with a four-run eighth inning to make it 9-7, but Cape came back with seven runs in the bottom of the eighth to put the game away.