Wyatt Woods leans back from a pitch during the early innings of Wednesday’s district quarterfinal. (Photo by Steve Rackley)

Tigers’ District Hopes Dashed in Extra-Inning Defeat to Neosho

Republic’s baseball season came to a heartbreaking end Wednesday night as the Tigers fell to Neosho 2-1 in eight innings at the Class 6 District 6 tournament at Springfield Kickapoo. The loss was a stunning reversal of fortune for the second-seeded Tigers, who had routed seventh-seeded Neosho 14-0 just a week earlier.

Despite a stellar performance from starting pitcher Trace Harrington, who struck out 11 batters and allowed just two earned runs over eight innings, Republic’s bats were silenced by Neosho’s Bostyn Patterson. The Tigers managed only four hits against the Wildcats’ hurler in his seven innings of work.

“He left it all out there,” Republic coach Curt Plotner said of Harrington’s performance. “He was phenomenal, and he gave us everything he had, and it just wasn’t enough today.”

Neosho took the lead on an RBI groundout in the third inning and nearly made it stand up, but Republic fought back to tie the score in the bottom of the seventh. Senior Brett Hendrickson drove in the tying run with a base hit, and when Ryder Davis grounded out for the second out of the inning, Hendrickson represented the winning run on second base. But Patterson struck out Garrett Lester to end the inning and send the game into extra innings.

In the top of the eighth, Neosho’s Jaiden Fisher led off with a single and later scored on a two-out single by Noah Lawson, putting the Wildcats ahead 2-1. Republic threatened in the bottom half of the inning, putting runners on second and third with two outs, but Neosho’s Quenton Hughes struck out Cooper Pilkington to end the game and the Tigers’ season.

Republic finishes with an 18-15 record against one of its toughest schedules in recent years. The loss marks the end of the high school careers for seniors Ethan Anderson, Trace Harrington, Brett Hendrickson, Devon Hughes, Kanon Krol, Garrett Lester, Myles Lozano, Carter Nation, Caide White, and Wyatt Woods.

“I just told them I was proud of them and I love them all,” Plotner said after the game ended. “You know, those 10 seniors have probably, you could argue, been the greatest four-year class to come through this program. And at that point, you just tell them how proud you are of them and that you love them and know that they’ve got bigger, better things ahead of them in life.”

Neosho advances to meet third-seeded Nixa, who edged Carthage 4-2.


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