Today's Edition About us Local Opinion Obits Sports Things to do Classifieds Newsletters Podcasts Contact us

South Callaway baseball edges Elsberry to advance to Final Four

by News Tribune | May 26, 2023 at 12:08 a.m.
South Callaway center fielder Dane Daugherty lines up to catch a line drive during Tuesday night's Class 3 sectional game against Dixon at South Callaway High School in Mokane. (Kyle McAreavy/News Tribune)

ELSBERRY -- The Elsberry Indians had the big blasts, but the South Callaway Bulldogs had the big inning.

South Callaway scored five runs in the bottom of the second inning and never trailed Thursday night, defeating Elsberry 6-5 in the Class 3 quarterfinal round.

South Callaway (23-7), ranked No. 5 in Class 3 by the Missouri High School Baseball Coaches Association, advances to its first Final Four since 2017. South Callaway will play the top-ranked Portageville Bulldogs in the state semifinals at 10 a.m. Wednesday at Sky Bacon Stadium in Ozark.

Portageville (34-2), last year's state runner-up in Class 2, defeated seventh-ranked West County 8-4 in Thursday's quarterfinal round.

All five South Callaway runs in the second inning were unearned and came with two outs.

With the bases loaded, Dane Daugherty reached on an error, scoring Ethan Edwards for the Bulldogs' first run. The next batter, Jacob Martin, hit a bases-clearing double, then he scored on an RBI single from Ryan Lepper to put South Callaway in front 5-0.

Elsberry scored its first runs in the top of the fifth, when Gavin Reller hit a leadoff single and Gavin Marshall followed with a two-run home run.

South Callaway tacked on a much-needed insurance run in the sixth. Tucker Jones hit a leadoff single, moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt, advanced to third on a groundout and scored on a double by JT Thomas.

The Indians closed the gap to one run in the seventh on a three-run home run by leadoff batter Kaden Kinsler. However, Martin got the next Elsberry batter to fly out to center field to end the game.

In seven innings, Martin gave up five runs on nine hits with one walk and one strikeout for the complete-game victory.

Gavin Woodson also pitched a complete game for Elsberry. In six innings, he allowed six runs on seven hits with one walk and nine strikeouts.

Lepper and Jones each went 2-for-3 with two singles to lead the South Callaway offense.

Marshall and Reller each had two hits for Elsberry, which ends its season with an 18-11 record.

This will be South Callaway's fourth Final Four appearance in program history. The Bulldogs won the Class 2 state title in 2012, then took fourth in 2016 and won another state title in 2017, both at the Class 3 level.

Wednesday's second Class 3 state semifinal game will match up eighth-ranked Licking (25-6) and Barstow (23-6), which is receiving votes in the state rankings. Licking defeated fourth-ranked Stockton 11-1 and Barstow blanked Lathrop 4-0 in the other quarterfinal contests.


Sponsor Content