Blair Oaks dominates Versailles

At Class 3 District 13 Tournament

WARDSVILLE, Mo. — Blair Oaks left no doubt about this one.

The second-seeded Falcons scored seven runs in the first inning en route to a 15-0, five-inning victory over seventh-seeded Versailles in the first round of the Class 3 District 13 Tournament on Saturday afternoon at the Falcon Athletic Complex.

“Once again the big inning worked in our favor,” Blair Oaks head coach Harv Antle said. “We got it early this time rather than the middle or late innings. We put a crooked number on the board there in the first inning and played from in front, and I think that helped everybody relax and just go out and let the game come to them and play and enjoy the day.”

Blair Oaks scored multiple runs in all four innings it came to the plate. The Falcons racked up 13 hits, with eight starters having at least one.

“We were able to bring some guys in off the bench and get them some at-bats,” Antle said. “You saw some guys come through and get hits and a lot of names in that boxscore. That’s a good feeling, a total team effort today.”

Ryan Abbott swatted a solo homer in the third inning, making it the fourth straight game with a home run for the Falcons, all after not hitting one the entire season up to that point.

“We had some good at-bats,” Antle said. “Credit our kids for having a disciplined approach. They weren’t trying to pump the ball over the wall. Instead, we scalded several line drives and got the ball in the gap and some hard ground balls and then eventually worked the big fly into it.”

The first inning put the game out of reach. Blair Oaks sent 12 batters to the plate and scored the seven runs on eight hits.

Kyler Maxey provided all the scoring the Falcons needed with a two-run single just three batters into the contest. Hayden Haney and Daniel Castillo followed with consecutive RBI doubles. Derek Otto added a two-run single and Logan Bax, batting the for second time in the frame, snuck an RBI single through the right side.

“That first inning, they really just sprayed the ball everywhere we weren’t,” Versailles head coach Ryan Richardson said. “We fell behind 7-0 and from there you’re really just playing catchup.”

The seven first-inning runs were more than enough for Blair Oaks hurler Ryan Voss. The senior right-hander picked up the win by tossing four innings of one-hit ball. After allowing a two-out double to Parker Bolton in the first inning, Voss was untouchable. He struck out five.

“Ryan Voss was real good for us on the mound,” Antle said. “I think he made one mistake all day, leaving the changeup up to Bolton. After that, pitching with the lead, you’re a lot more comfortable.”

Logan Gratz struck out the side in a perfect fifth frame.

“That just lengthens our staff and gives us more options out of the bullpen,” Antle said.

While the pitching held Versailles scoreless, the Falcons’ offense just kept piling up runs.

Abbott highlighted a three-run second with an RBI single. The other two runs scored on an error.

Castillo collected a run-scoring groundout in the third before Abbott’s solo shot down the left-field line.

“Conditions were right today, with the sun shining and the wind blowing out like it was,” Antle said. “We figured somebody was going to elevate a ball and hit it out.”

The Falcons capped the scoring with three more runs in the fourth. Collin Luebbering and Haney both had RBI singles in the frame.

Versailles ends its season at 3-15.

“We knew it was going to be a challenge coming in,” Richardson said. “I was happy with the way they fought the whole game.”

Blair Oaks (16-5) will host third-seeded Southern Boone in the district semifinals at 7 p.m. Monday.

“It’s a matter of survive and advance,” Antle said. “So to get it out of the way and be able to move to the next round, it’s a good feeling.”

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