Baseball comes down to hitting, pitching and defense.
On Tuesday, the Crusaders did one of those very well. And while one out of three isn't great, it was more than enough as Helias downed the Moberly Spartans 14-4 in five innings at the American Legion Sports Complex.
"You can't complain about 14 runs and 13 hits, that's a pretty good offensive day," Helias coach Chris Wyrick said.
The scoring output was a team effort. Eight different Crusaders scored in the game, while five Helias batters had at least three hits and four drove in at least two runs.
"We were pretty good up and down the order," Wyrick said.
But then there's the matter of pitching. The Crusaders struggled through the first two innings before Trevor Schnieders came on in relief to shut down the Spartans in the final three frames.
"We gave them 10 extra baserunners by walks, hit batters and an error, and we can't do that," Wyrick said. "If they get hit after hit after hit, that's one thing, it's a different problem than not throwing strikes."
The Spartans scored two runs in the first and two more in the second. It could have been worse for Helias as Moberly left the bases loaded in both innings.
The second inning was particularly perplexing. Gregg Bain, Moberly's leadoff batter, was hit by a pitch, then moved to third on a double by Tanner Wetrich. Unfortunately for the Spartans, Wetrich thought he had a triple and had to slam on the brakes midway between second and third. He slipped and was tagged out trying to get back to second.
The next three Spartan batters were hit by pitches to force in a run. Helias got out of it with a minimum of damage as only one other runner scored in the inning.
"We've got to have more than two or three guys be able to pitch, we're going to need five or six," Wyrick said. "We're going to need some guys to figure some things out and we're going to work with them to see if we can get that done."
Helias scored six times on four hits in the bottom of the first, with Jordan Backes getting a two-run triple to key the inning.
The Crusaders added two runs in the second before blowing the game open with five runs in the third to make it 13-4. Schnieders and Joe Reinkemeyer had triples in the third as Helias finished with four extra-base hits in the game
"The ball was really carrying," Wyrick said.
Helias scored a run in the fifth when Schnieders and Alex Barton led off with singles and moved up a base on a passed ball. One out later, Hayden Lee singled to plate Schnieders.
Schnieders reached base on all four of his plate appearances, adding two walks to his two hits, He also had two RBI.
Alex Barton and Lee led Helias with three hits each. Barton also had three RBI. Caleb Allen scored three times.
It was the eighth straight win for Helias (8-2), which will host Lee's Summit and Lee's Summit North in a doubleheader Saturday at the American Legion Sports Complex. The games are tentatively scheduled for 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.