By Don Eskins
The Ozark Tigers rallied for two big runs in the top of the sixth inning to register a 4-3 come from behind win over the Glendale Falcons in semifinal round action of the Class 5 – District 11 Baseball Tournament, in Nixa, Monday night.
The Tigers exploded for four hits in the sixth to generate their tying and go ahead runs. Swinging the big bats for the Cats were Forrest Barnes, Carson Shaver (2B), Curt Gracey and Zach Ford.
On the mound for the win was Ozark’s Parker Hanks. Hanks allowed the Falcons no earned runs and gave up just six hits while striking out six and walking four. Hanks got relief from Forrest Barnes in the seventh. Barnes, who got the save, fanned two.
Taking the loss was Noah Lachnit. Lachnit gave up twelve hits, had two strikeouts and just one walk.
While he liked the prospects of moving on in the District 11 tournament, Tiger coach Mike Essick said his team needs to shore up on a few items in their game.
“We had a costly error in an inning that allowed them a couple of runs. That’s kind of been our nemesis all year,” said Essick. “We also got twelve hits tonight and only generated four runs. With twelve hits we should have scored a lot more.”
“But we got the opportunity we wanted,” the Tiger coach said. “It should be a good ballgame.”
For the Falcons- 22-8, 2017 has been good year.
“The ball just didn’t bounce our way tonight,” said coach Michael Snodgrass. “But our kids have had a great year. We’re co-champs of the Ozark Conference, our kids have tied a Falcon record for most team wins in a season and we had eleven seniors who have enjoyed an exceptional year. We just didn’t do enough to get the win tonight.”
The Tigers (19-8) will now take on the Kickapoo Chiefs (18-9), who downed the Branson Pirates 10-0 in the tourney’s other semifinal matchup, on Tuesday at 5 p.m. The winner will advance to the Class 5 State Tournament.
Box Score 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 F
Ozark 1 1 0 0 0 2 0 4
Glendale 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 3