PARK HILLS — The Ste. Genevieve Dragons made their bid for a minor upset on Tuesday. Pulling to within one run and two runners in scoring position, the Dragons saw their chances disappear as relief pitcher Garrett Manion struck out the next batter and got a ground ball to third for the final out, and the Central Rebels will be the team to advance to the MAAA Conference semi-finals with a 6-5 win.
Starting pitcher Jacob Rhodes held the Dragons in check for most of the games. Rhodes struck out two batters in each of his six-plus innings on the mound with twice striking out the side for total of 14 K’s. Rhodes left after one batter in the seventh with 120 pitches thrown.
The Dragons managed six hits off of Rhodes and three more off of Manion. Broc Kreitler finished 3-4 at the plate to lead the Dragons offensively.
Rhodes had a little control problem to start the game, walking two, and Kreitler took advantage with a single for the RBI.
Reid Lucas eased Rhodes’ job a bit as he drafted a pitch off of Ste. Genevieve starter Dustin Raney over the right field fence with Manion on base at the time.
The Rebels exploded with power on their second turn at the plate. Riley Calvird unleashed a a double off the leftfield fence, and Collin Manion followed with a liner down the left field line that evaded a diving Nick Vaeth. The ball rolled all the way to the fence, and Manion legged it to third for the triple.
A single by Rhodes drove in Manion, and Andrew Suiter took over pitching duties for the Dragons. The Rebels greeted Suiter with three straight singles plating three more runs for the Rebels in the inning, but Suiter would not allow another run nor a hit by Central over the last four innings of play. The Dragons backed him with a double play to close out the sixth.
The Dragons put two runners on with one out in the fourth inning. An RBI single by Tyler Greminger was overshot by the Rebels outfielder, and instead of a play at the plate, Raney was able to score a second run all the way from first base.
Rhodes struck out the side in the fifth inning, and after a ground ball to first to start the sixth, he struck out two more. Dan Lurk stroked a single to start the seventh, and with Rhodes’ pitch count at 118, the Rebels called on Garrett Manion to make the save.
RBI singles by Greminger and Kreitler made it a one-run game before Manion could close the door.
Ste. Gen 100 200 2 – 5 9 0
Central 240 000 x – 6 8 1
WP- Jacob Rhodes 6i 4r 3er 6h 14k 2bb, SV- Garrett Manion 1i 1r 3h 2k 0bb.
Ste. Gen – Broc Kreitler 3-4, Tyler Greminger 2-4, Dustin Raney 1-2, Andrew Suiter 1-3, Dan Lurk 1-3, Bryn Huck 1-4. 2b- Raney.
Central – Garrett Manion 2-4, Derek Mitchell 1-2, Riley Calvird 1-2, Zach Manford 1-3, Reid Lucas 1-3, Collin Manion 1-3, Jacob Rhodes 1-2. HR- Lucas, 3b- C. Manion, 2b- Calvird.