The Republic baseball team found a lot of ways to improve this season on its way to a 14-12 record. But it never found an answer to Webb City pitcher Cade Beason.
For the second time this season, Beason didn’t allow a run against Republic. This time, Beason worked six shutout innings in a 4-0 victory to end the Tigers’ season in the district semifinals. Republic loaded the bases with one out in the fourth inning, but Beason worked out of trouble and shut down Republic the rest of the way.
The Tigers had reached the district semifinals with a win Saturday over Neosho, giving them 14 wins and guaranteeing a winning record in coach Curt Plotner’s second season as head coach.
Plotner said his message to his team after the game “isn’t going to erase the feeling that they have right now, but thanks to those seniors for all their hard work and putting in the time and making it a memorable year. I know 14-12 isn’t where we ultimately want to be, but I think we’re a little bit ahead of where we even maybe thought we were going to be coming into the year,” he said. “So we’ve just got to keep building.”
Webb City scored all four of its runs in the fifth inning, stringing together five hits over seven plate appearances. The Cardinals had just six hits all night off of Clayton Crowley, who started for Republic and pitched well. Crowley allowed four runs (three earned) on six hits and three walks over six innings. He struck out one.
Plotner said his team’s ability to win big games, after struggling in those games in previous seasons, may be a sign the program is turning a corner.
“We won some big games this year. You look at us going on the road and beating Ozark in an extra-inning game; and Glendale, who’s a number one seed in (their) district––we run-ruled them last Saturday,” he said. “And we’re just more competitive all around. I think we got beat by six runs twice, and I don’t think we got beat by more than three runs the rest of the year (before tonight). Overall, we’re more competitive and hanging in there.”
The game marked the last in a Tiger uniform for five Republic seniors: Tyler Cavener, Clayton Crowley, Jacob Crosswhite, Jaden Duvall, and Blade McCroskey. At 14-12, Republic finishes with a winning record for the first time since 2015.