The Central Rebels had an interesting week of baseball. They were handed their first loss of the season, but also won against two high profile opponents, moving their record to 5-1 on the young season.
The Rebels kicked off the week on Monday with a nail-biting 1-0 victory over the Festus Tigers, but followed that up with their only loss when they fell to the St. Louis Patriots two days later. This talented team knows how to dust themselves off though, and they proved that against a loaded Valle Catholic squad with a 9-3 victory on Thursday.
The game against Festus was an absolute pitcher’s duel, but the Rebels got the big hit when they needed it. The game was scoreless until the 4th inning when Jaxon Jones and Sammy Callaway both doubled to score the game’s only run.
This one was about the hurlers though. Lucas Whitehead got the start and spun 4.1 near perfect innings, allowing just one hit and zero walks while striking out four. He gave way to flamethrower Casen Murphy, who could not be touched, and whiffed four Tigers over his 2.1 perfect innings to earn the save.
The Rebels outhit the Tigers 5-1 and Jones and Callaway were responsible for four of those five hits. Murphy had the other, as he singled and walked in his three plate appearances.
That made the Rebels 4-0 on the season, but they would run into a roadblock in their next contest. The surprisingly potent St. Louis Patriots hosted Central on Wednesday and gave them more than they could handle.
They went up 2-0 after the first and seemed to be in control. However, the Rebels got a run back in the third and then two more in the top of the fifth to take the lead, but that didn’t last long. The Patriots opened up the game with a four-run surge in the bottom of the inning to take a 6-3 lead. One they would not relinquish.
The offense faded in this one and three errors led to some tough unearned runs that proved critical. This is one that Central would like to have back, but resiliency is a beautiful thing.
The next game against Valle was one for the history books. With the Warriors sitting at a perfect 7-0, and convincing victories in every game, the Rebels were potentially looking down the barrel of back-to-back losses. But they flipped the script, and wasted no time doing so.
After holding Valle scoreless in the first, Central immediately pounced in their half of the inning with five runs. Two singles and a walk loaded the bases for Callaway, who promptly smoked a single to right for a 2-0 lead. Kendall Horton needed just two pitches to add to the lead, as he took an 0-1 offering and stroked a triple to right to clear the bases and give Central a 4-0 advantage. Two batters later Whitehead brought him home on a sac fly and the Rebels had their 5-0 lead.
Valle would respond with three in the next inning to get back in the game, but Central was ready to put out the fire and stomp on the coals of any momentum the Warriors were stoking. The Warriors came back with four more in the fourth, highlighted by a 2-RBI single from Callaway and a run-scoring single from Horton to put this one to bed.
When the scorecards were turned in, Valle had themselves a well deserved 9-3 victory and a 5-1 record to start the season.
Murphy continued his dominance on the mound by missing bats once again with 13 Ks in a complete game effort. He allowed just three runs on two hits and a pair of walks to earn the victory.
Horton and Callaway were the offensive stars with two hits and two runs scored apiece, as Horton drove in three while Callaway plated four. Jones was the hit leader with a 3-for-4 performance and Jobe Bryant was the only other Rebels with multiple hits, going 2-for-3.
The Rebels are currently playing the game to the best of their abilities, and will look to build on the huge win over Valle and create a new win streak against Cape Central on Monday.