Devon Hughes backhands a ground ball during Republic’s loss to Lee’s Summit North. (Photo by Steve Rackley)

Late-Inning Dramatics Define Republic’s Red & Blue Tourney

Late comebacks were the watchword of the Red and Blue Tournament for Republic Friday and Saturday. The Tigers’ three games over a two-day span were all decided in the late innings. One game broke in Republic’s favor, and two ended in disappointing losses.

Lee’s Summit West 8, Republic 7

The biggest disappointment among the three games was an 8-7 loss to state-ranked Lee’s Summit West. Myles Lozano pitched a gem against the Titans, with a college signee at every position, including three future Division I college players. After giving up single runs in the first and second innings, Lozano settled down, retiring eight batters in a row at one point.

The Tigers scored four runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to take a 5-2 lead. The big blast in the inning was a home run by Brett Hendrickson.

But the Titans took advantage of one of Lozano’s rare mistakes when Austin Marsh clubbed a three-run homer in the top of the sixth to tie the game. Republic answered with two more in the bottom of the inning, regaining the lead 7-5.

In the seventh, Lozano retired the first two batters. Braeden Barbee doubled to keep the game alive, and Lozano had to be lifted because of the state-mandated pitch limit. Reliever Kyler Tate hit a batter, then got a hard ground ball that could have ended the game — but an error by Cooper Pilkinton at third base allowed a run to score. Trace Harrington came in to relieve Tate and gave up a single that scored the tying and go-ahead runs.

Republic put two runners on base in the bottom of the seventh, but failed to score. The Tigers had 10 base hits. Devon Hughes, Jackson Overstreet and Wyatt Woods each collected two hits. Hendrickson and Woods drove in two runs apiece.

Republic 7, Oak Park 6

Republic was on the winning side of a close game in its second game Friday, beating Oak Park 7-6. Republic trailed 4-0 in the first inning but came back to win despite the early deficit.

Oak Park slugged two home runs in the first inning and three homers in the game, but couldn’t hold off the Tigers down the stretch.

Republic trailed 6-3 in the bottom of the sixth inning, but scored four runs after two men were out to take the lead. Jackson Overstreet singled to drive in Garrett Lester, making the score 6-4. Wyatt Woods followed that up with a home run to left field, putting the Tigers on top for the first time. Trace Harrington shut down Oak Park in the seventh inning to close out the game and earn the save.

Ryder Davis earned the win for Republic. He gave up five hits and six runs (five earned) over six innings, striking out three and walking five.

Republic piled up 12 hits in the game. Garrett Lester and Overstreet each collected three hits. Woods led Republic with three runs batted in.

Lee’s Summit North 7, Republic 6

Lee’s Summit North handed Republic a 7-6 loss on Saturday at Kickapoo High School. The Broncos scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning on a bases-loaded double by pinch-hitter Jack Parker to come from behind.

Republic had taken a 2-0 lead in the first inning. The Broncos tied the game with single tallies in the second and third innings, but a four-run fifth put the Tigers back on top 6-2. A two-RBI double by Jackson Overstreet and single RBIs by Devon Hughes and Wyatt Woods highlighted the inning.

Lee’s Summit North closed the gap with one run in the fifth and another in the sixth, making the score 6-4 as the bottom of the seventh inning began, setting up the Broncos’ walk-off win.

Garrett Lester started on the hill for Republic. The lefty surrendered four runs (three earned) on seven hits over 5 2/3 innings. He struck out three and walked three before leaving the game. Kyler Tate took the loss in relief. He went two-thirds of an inning, allowing one hit and three runs while striking out none and walking two.

Overstreet and Woods were a one-two punch in the lineup for Republic. Each drove in two runs as part of a 2-for-3 day at the plate. Hughes collected two hits in four at bats.

Republic (6-6) next plays Ozark on Tuesday.


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