Despite a fight back in the fifth inning, Belton eventually lost the Class 5, District 13 first round game to Lee’s Summit May 11 at KCMO 3&2 Park.
“We definitely had our opportunities,” Belton head coach George Shrum said. “(Junior) Nate Brown was pitching for us and he battled all game...They had some good at bats against him. They worked the strike zone.”
The Tigers started things off in the bottom of the second inning. Senior Jordan Knutson was walked and made it to third base on an overthrow to first base as Belton pitcher Brown tried to pick Knutson off. Lee’s Summit sophomore Clint Jennings was walked as well and while senior Jackson McIntosh was at bat, Brown balked to send Knutson home.
Lee’s Summit extended their lead in the bottom of the third inning, after senior Drew Blair and sophomore Noah Arni were walked. Senior Jake Fromson smashed a double to center field, sending Blair home. Then junior Travis Simonin hit a sacrifice fly ball to left field to send Arni home and give the Tigers a 3-0 advantage.
In the top of the fourth, the Pirates got on the board after Brown was walked and sophomore Josh Hicks singled. Junior Jordan Turner hit a single, sending Brown home to cut the Tigers lead to 3-1.
But Lee’s Summit fought back with another run in the bottom of the fourth as Jennings was hit by a pitch and McIntosh singled. Blair hit a sacrifice fly to right field to send Jennings home to put the Tigers ahead 4-1.
Belton heated things up in the top of the fifth inning with one out. Senior Daniel Buckley and junior Tucker Perkins both singled. Then Brown hit a double to send Buckley home.
The Tigers put Arni on the mound to replace senior Jordan Cox, but the Pirates responded with a single from Hicks to send Turner home and close the gap to 4-3.
Lee’s Summit wasn’t done yet though, as the Tigers scored four more runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. Senior Austin Buhr doubled to send both Fromson and Simonin home, and then scored a run off a single from Jennings. Knutson scored with bases loaded as Lee’s Summit senior Justin Givens was hit by a pitch.
“The thing about this season was, we got to see different kids playing different positions,” Shrum said. “We feel pretty confident moving forward next year.”
The Pirates end their season with a 7-13 season.