Cubs survive dramatic, error-filled game

Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Bell City's Josh Overbey, left, celebrates with teammate Terrance Johnson after scoring during the eighth inning Monday in the Class 1 District 2 tournament in Chaffee, Mo. (Fred Lynch)

Bell City needed eight innings to oust SCC 9-7 in the first round of district play

CHAFFEE, Mo. -- Bell City and Scott County Central combined for as many errors as runs scored in Monday's Class 1 District 2 baseball opener.

The Cubs won 9-7.

It was that kind of game.

"We were ready to play," Bell City's Leonard Schaefer said. "It's just such a big rivalry between us. We didn't want to lose, tried too hard. Just simple mistakes."

Both teams committed eight errors, but Bell City finally grabbed a lead and held on in eight innings.

"We haven't been the St. Louis Cardinals out there, but made a little more than usual today," Scott County Central coach Matt Limbaugh said of his team's errors. "They cost us."

The Cubs took the lead for good in the eighth by plating a pair of runs. Jerad Yates singled to left field and Cody Kight scored after the ball squirted past the left fielder. Schaefer added an insurance run when he doubled to left to score Josh Overbey, who had reached on a fielder's choice.

"I just wanted to drive it," Schaefer said. "I went up there every time and hit it off the end of the bat or something. I finally made contact."

Yates earned the save by working a scoreless bottom of the eighth. He was helped by his defense when Eddie Dembowski fielded a hard hopper to first base and stepped on the base for the final out.

"The pressure's not as much on the pitcher, and he's only a freshman," Schaefer said of the two-run lead entering the bottom of the eighth. "The less pressure you put on him, the better he's going to do. He's been big for the team this year."

The Braves grabbed a 5-4 lead after four innings on Trey Johnson's single to right field that scored Steven Minner. After Ben Freed pitched a scoreless fifth inning for the Braves, Limbaugh went to Josh Boese.

Boese was 5-0 this season, but Bell City scored a pair in the sixth with the benefit of three errors to grab a 6-5 lead. Overbey belted a run-scoring double to left field to give his team the lead.

The lead was short-lived, thanks to more errors.

The Braves evened the score by capitalizing on three Cubs miscues in the sixth.

Not to be outdone, the Braves dropped a fly ball to right field that allowed a run to score in the top of the seventh, which put the Cubs ahead 7-6.

"They don't want to lose," Bell City coach Matt Asher said about his team. "Nobody ever wants to lose, but sometimes you're more scared to win more than you are to lose. They kept coming back, they kept battling."

But the Braves answered again.

Nathan Ballard led off the bottom of the seventh with a double and scored when Minner tried to bunt him to third. Cubs pitcher Jeff Long fielded the sacrifice bunt attempt and tried to get Ballard at third, but threw away the ball, which allowed Ballard to score to tie the game.

The Braves ended up loading the bases with two outs in the seventh and their No. 3 batter, Bryan Freed, batting. But Long got Freed to ground out to second to end the threat.

"In the seventh inning, you've got the bases loaded with the Nos. 2 and 3 hitters up," Limbaugh said. "You tell me I've got that situation coming up to win the game, I say I'll take that nine times out of 10. You don't get the big hit, you're not going to win.

"We've been a comeback team the whole year long and finally just ran out of magic."

That set the stage for the Cubs to win it in the eighth and advance to today's 2 p.m. semifinal against top-seeded Bernie. The Mules earned a forfeit win when Richland didn't show up for its first-round game Monday.

Dembowski understated the key to today's semifinal.

"We got to keep our heads up and play some defense," he said.

Bell City01300212--9108
SCC10310110--798

WP -- Jeff Long. LP -- Josh Boese. 2B -- Josh Overbey (BC), Eddie Dembowski (BC), Nathan Ballard (SCC). Multiple hits -- SCC: Nathan Holland 2-4, Ballard 2-4; Bell City: Jerad Yates 2-4, Leonard Schaefer 2-4, Tim Long 2-3, Dembowski 2-5. Records -- Scott County Central 9-8, Bell City 9-8.

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