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The Bruins get in a team huddle for their practice on Thursday. Photo by Maribeth Eiken

Baseball advances to Columbia tournament championship game

The Bruins get in a team huddle for their practice on Thursday. Photo by Maribeth Eiken
The Bruins get in a team huddle for their practice on Thursday.
Photo by Mikaela Acton

Behind strong starting pitching from senior Kyle Teeter and junior Adam Lafferty, the Bruin’s baseball team (10-6) was able to take both games of their doubleheader from mid-missouri rivals Southern Boone and Moberly.

Teeter tossed 5 shutout innings in the first tilt against Southern Boone. The senior recorded six strikeouts and allowed only two hits while walking three.

“What was working so well to start was the other team was chasing my pitches,” Teeter said. “They were not exactly where I wanted to throw them, but they chased them, and I trust my defense will do their jobs, which they did. Later on having the fastball curve and changeup all working really helped my cause and helped me stay one step ahead of the hitter. Once all that is working confidence steps in and just takes over, even if you throw slower than the next guy you can be better than him if you have confidence. Confidence is the name of the game.”

Teeter also helped himself out from the plate going 2-3 and singling in Bruins leadoff hitter Connor Brumfield in the bottom of the first. From there RBHS never looked back plating another run in the second, two more in the third, three more in the fifth and a final run in the sixth. The Eagles were only able to muster one run in the top of the seventh and fall by a final score of 9-1.

“We never want to make excuses for ourselves no matter what the situation is,” Towe said. “I like to think that the moment we start making excuses, we only hurt our chances of success moving forward. No matter who the opponent is and no matter the outcome we just have to take it for what it is and move on.”

Lafferty followed up Teeters impressive start in the first game with a gem of his own in the second. The junior allowed only one run on three hits while striking out eight over six innings pitched.

“(Teeter and Lafferty) competed really really well,” Towe said.  “They gave us a chance to get the bats going and when that happens it’s a lot of fun. When they settled down and started relaxing a little bit they started getting their secondary pitches over for strikes. You don’t necessarily have to throw your secondary pitches for strike all the time but they have to be close to the zone so guys will start swinging at them and they were they were using their secondary pitches well. They were attacking the zone well with their fastball and just kind of mixing it up.”

The Bruin Bats came alive again in the nightcap roughing up Moberly starter Jarrett McCartey for nine runs on 16 hits over six innings. Sophomore Avery Jennings and junior Matt Widhalm, who each went 4-4 in the second contest with 2 RBIs apiece, sparked what was again a consistent and balanced Rock Bridge offensive attack.

“We’ve always had a strong hitting lineup and it’s finally showing.” Teeter said. “Tonight was really about following up the guy before him and keeping it going. We fed off each other’s energy and offensive savvy, and confidence was seen in a lot of guys that it hasn’t been seen in in awhile. Tonight was a solid team performance overall.”

The Bruins will be in action again Saturday April 19th in the championship game of the Columbia tournament. Their expected starter is freshman Nick Wohlbold. They will face the winner of Saturday’s noon matchup of Blair Oaks and Hallsville.

“As with any team at this school the ultimate goal at the end of the year is a state title, you know? If the team wanted anything different I wouldn’t be out there as much as I am.” Towe said. “We strive to be the best in everything we do, and though I know we aren’t quite there at the moment, we still want to push ourselves to be there at the end of the season. Anything less than a state championship is a letdown for us and the school.”

By Pen Terry

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