The Valle Catholic Warriors excelled in the Lebanon Wood Bat Tournament over the weekend, winning their first three games before falling in the Finals to powerhouse Nixa.
Valle took down Union in their first game 13-7 to earn the chance to face a very dangerous 20-3 Camdenton team. They won that game 8-1 in extra innings and that sent them to the semifinals against Fatima. The Warriors edged them 4-3 to earn a trip to the finals, but they came up just short. The three wins to open the tournament made it nine in a row for Valle and moved them to 20-3 on the season.
Friday’s first game against the Union Wildcats started off with a bang, as Valle put up four runs in the first. They used a pair of walks and then three consecutive singles to do most of the damage, but Union fought back in the second with three runs of their own.
With just a one run lead, the Warriors decided to open things up in the third. They plated seven runs in the frame, highlighted by RBI doubles from Chase Fallert and Jackson Fowler, and went up 11-3. Fallert added to that total in the top of the fifth as he ripped a ball to center that got passed the outfielder and he streaked around the bases for an inside the park home run.
Valle added another run in the top of the seventh and Union responded with three of their own, but the comeback attempt would fall far too short and the Warriors hung on to win 13-7. Fallert and Clayton Drury paced the offense with 3-for-5 performances. Fallert had the homer, a pair of RBI and two runs scored while Drury drove in three and stole five bases. Grant Fallert drove in a run and stole three bases and Rylan Fallert went 2-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored.
G. Fallert got the start and earned the win despite pitching just 2.2 innings and allowing three runs (two earned). He allowed just one hit, but struggled with his command, issuing seven walks.
The next game against a stacked Camdenton team was a wild one. With Drury on the mound it turned out to be a pitcher’s duel early on, as Valle broke a scoreless tie in the fifth with a R. Fallert sac fly to go up 1-0. Sadly, Camdenton managed to tie it in the bottom of the seventh without recording a hit, and they were able to force extra innings.
That didn’t bother the Warriors though. They used the extra frame to put up a seven-spot in the top of the eight and put the game to bed. A C. Fallert RBI single was the only hit in the inning to score a run. The rest of the damage was done via walks, HBPs and fielder’s choices. Valle hung on to win 8-1 just the same.
Drury dazzled on the mound with seven innings of one-run ball to earn the win. He didn’t allow a hit, walked just two and struck out 12. R. Fallert drove in two and C. Fallert, Carson Tucker and Aaron Eftink each plated a run with singles.
That polished off the Friday schedule, but it would be a busy Saturday in the tournament for Valle. Their next opponent was the Fatima Comets, and unfortunately, they struck first with two runs in the second inning. Valle turned the tables on them in their half of the second with three runs of their own.
A bases loaded walk by R. Fallert got the Warriors on the board before C. Fallert smoked a single to center to bring in two more. Then the pitchers both settled in, and no one scored again until the sixth, when both teams generated a run (both came via error).
Valle clung to their one-run lead, but didn’t have to worry because Preston Lurk was on the mound. The talented hurler went the distance in this one, pitching all seven inning and never allowed an earned run. He fanned four, didn’t walk a batter and got the win.
Offensively, the highlight was C. Fallert’s big bases loaded hit. The Warriors collectively worked seven free passes in this one, but amassed just five hits. None for extra bases. They did steal seven bases though.
That 4-3 win set Valle up to play Nixa in the finals, and the Eagles jumped out early in the tournament’s last game. They put up two in the first and then five more in the third before Valle ever cracked the scoreboard.
The Warriors had fight left in them though, adding a pair of runs in the fifth to cut the lead to 7-2 before mounting a comeback in the final inning. C. Fallert drove in both runs in the fifth and worked a bases loaded walk in the seventh to plate another. Alex Viox drove in one with a single and then G. Fallert brought in a third runner with a FC.
All that damage was done with no outs, and it looked like the Warriors may pull off the impossible, but three straight outs to end it foiled the comeback attempt. R. Fallert got the start and allowed all seven runs, but none of them were earned, as defense was costly in this one. He took the loss after going 2.1 IP. Cannon Wolk came on in relief and threw 3.1 scoreless innings.
The three Fallerts did the majority of the offensive damage. Rylan went 3-for-4, Chase drove in three and Grant added an RBI. Viox was the only other player to drive in a run.
It was a wild week for the Warriors, but a highly successful one. They went 6-1 in a seven-day span and have to be ecstatic, and little bit exhausted, after playing that much high-level baseball in a calendar week. They won’t get much of a breather though, as they are slated to host Kingston on Tuesday.