Yes, that was the Rick Ball Ford Junior Legion team playing the Blue Springs Elks in the championship game of the Sedalia Fourth of July Wood Bat Tournament Sunday night at Dey Field at Liberty Park Stadium.
It just didn’t look like it. Rick Ball Ford committed errors and had only three hits in a 6-4 loss to the Elks in eight innings.
Rick Ball pitcher Kody Kozak went the distance, allowed six unearned runs, 13 hits, struck out seven and walked two. Of the 13 hits Kozak gave up four were infield hits and his defense played sloppily behind him.
The Elks, 19-12 on the season, jumped on Rick Ball or three unearned runs in the first inning. Kozak walked one and gave up a single but then Rick Ball Ford defense committed three errors that allowed three runs to cross the plate to give the Elks an early 3-0 lead. Three straight singles in the top of the fourth put the Elks up 4-0.
However, Rick Ball Ford has shown a knack for coming from behind all season. Saturday night, they trailed Post 21 2-0 going into the seventh, scored seven runs with two out in the seventh and scored the winner in the eighth.
Stephen Bradbury singled and scored on an Elk’s error in the fourth to make it 4-1. Jackson Smith walked in the fifth, stole second and thirds and scored on a single by Matt Miles to make 4-2.
Miles stole second and scored on a single by Maston Kelchner as the Sedalia squad crept to back within 4-3. Kelchner took second on groundout and scored on a wild pitch to tie the game at 4-4.
That brought an end to the night for the Elks’ starting pitcher Austin Fink. Austin Covey moved to the mound from third base and pitched 3 2/3 innings of scoreless relief to pick up the win for the Blue Springs team made up entirely of high school freshmen
Rick Ball, 17-8 on the season, was lacking in the timely hi category. They left the bases loaded twice and stranded 10 for the game.
In other final-round games Sunday, Hi Boy came from behind to beat Chillicothe 9-8 in the third- place game, Chillicothe edged Post 21 5-4 to give Post 21 fifth place, Oak Grove shutout Trenton 15-0 on a perfect game to capture sixth place and Hi Boy eliminated Warrensburg 9-0 Sunday morning. Photos by Randy Kirby, Sedalia News Journal.