Connor Sandridge shows the ball after applying a tag on a steal attempt.

Line Drive Strands Tiger Upset Hopes

A few feet to the left or right, and Republic might have pulled off the upset of the season in the COC. Instead, state-ranked Nixa survived a late rally by the Tigers, winning 4-3 when second baseman Rylan Michel snatched a bases-loaded line drive from Devon Hughes, ending the game.

Cole Iles, whose previous most-memorable moment came last year against Nixa when he pitched out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam to help clinch a COC title, almost out-did himself Tuesday night. Iles pitched six innings, allowing just six hits. A four-run fourth inning was the only blemish, but after that, Iles settled down to keep the Tigers in the game.

Republic had taken the lead in the top of the first inning when Garrett Lester singled home Gavyn Beckner. But the Tigers left the bases loaded, and it was a sign of things to come. Republic left the bases loaded three times and left 12 runners on base in total.

In the top of the seventh, Beckner was hit by a pitch leading off, Adam Brown walked, and Ace McWatters flied out to right. After Trace Harrington struck out, Lester drew a walk and pinch hitter Mason Brewer was hit by a pitch to force home a run. Gunner Ellison was hit, too, forcing home another run and making the score 4-3, but Hughes’ line drive was right at Michel to end the game.

Nixa improved to 29-3. Republic falls to 14-13. The Tigers will celebrate Senior Night at home against Marshfield Thursday. The ceremony will take place after the varsity game, which begins at 4:30.

Southern Sun Electric – Call (417) 865-6377 for your electrical needs.
Farr Better Plumbing – For residential, commercial, or emergency service, they’re your plumber in Republic.
Rocco’s Italian Kitchen – Pizza. Pasta. Perfection.
Central Gas Propane – Locally owned, community involved. Call them at 725-3833.
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VisionHealth Eye Center – Outstanding eye care. Exceptional eyewear!
Absolute Roofing – Click for info on Republic’s roofer.
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Heady BBQ Company – Home of the famous Pig Nasty Sandwich!
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Team Wear Solutions – Business apparel. Bleacher apparel. On-field apparel. We’ve got you covered.
Kris Yocum – Republic’s State Farm Insurance Agent
Agent Sarah Rader – Save money by combining your home and auto insurance with State Farm.