The home team got solid starting pitching for the second day in a row, and Carthage defeated visiting Webb City 4-2 Thursday at Carl Lewton Stadium.
Junior Cade Harris got the win for the Tigers on Wednesday, throwing all seven innings in a 5-3 win against McDonald County. On Thursday it was Jordan Musser going the distance, as the junior allowed seven hits and just one walk while striking out two in seven innings.
“Two excellent starts,” Carthage head coach Mike Godfrey said. “Keeping the ball where they want it, down in the zone, and throwing offspeed stuff in the zone. Real good tempo. Man, it’s fun when we can pitch like that.”
Two runs in the first inning gave Carthage an early advantage. Senior Sam Carlton led off with a double, then junior Seth Beckner drove in a run with a two-out double. Beckner scored on a single by junior Dalton Stafford, and the Tigers led 2-0.
The lead grew to four runs in the bottom of the third.
Junior Drew Bridges reached on an error with one out, bringing Beckner to the plate. He hit a foul ball to the wall in the left field corner of the stadium, then turned on the next pitch and cleared the left-field wall in fair territory.
“That was huge,” Godfrey said. “To see him be able to come back after a couple of tough outings, as far as swinging the bat, he just came back and just kept playing. He didn’t let it get in his head. He got a couple pitches to hit and did a great job.”
The two-run home run made it 4-0, but the Cardinals threatened in the top of the fourth.
A single past short stop and a single to right field put two runners on with nobody out. Musser got the first out on a fly ball to center, but a passed ball to the next hitter allowed both runners to move into scoring position. He battled back with a strikeout and a groundout to second to get out of the inning.
Senior Taylor Bogle walked and stole second with two outs in the bottom of the fourth, but the Tigers couldn’t score. Webb City, meanwhile, finally got on the scoreboard in the fifth.
A leadoff double to the right field wall put a runner in scoring position, and the following batter was safe at first on an error, but Bogle threw home from second base and catcher Miles Goade, a junior, put the tag on to keep the Cardinals from scoring.
A two-out single put runners at the corners, and a run scored on another infield error by the Tigers. Musser got out of the inning with another groundout.
Page 2 of 2 - Bridges singled to right in the bottom of the fifth, and Stafford hit a liner to center, but Webb City senior Breckin Williams slid for the ball and the umpire ruled it a clean catch for the out.
Musser retired the side in order in the sixth, but Webb City scored again in the seventh. With two outs, Williams hit a deep ball to center field and turned it into an inside-the-park home run. Musser got the final out on a fly ball to left, though, and the Tigers improved to 10-7 overall.
“They’re very athletic,” Godfrey said of the Cardinals. “Their team speed is very good. We were fortunate to get the leadoff hitter most of the innings and shut down the running game a little bit. Their nine-hole hitter took some great swings today.”
Beckner led the Carthage offensive attack with a double, home run, two runs scored and three RBI’s. Bridges singled twice and scored a run; Carlton doubled and scored; Stafford had a single; Goade drew a pair of walks and Bogle singled, walked and stole a base.
Carthage finished the game with seven hits.
“We probably hit that many balls right at them, too,” Godfrey said. “I felt like our approach at the plate was good and we took some really good swings. We did have some timely hits. Stafford gets things going early, then Beckner with the big hit for us to keep expanding the lead. We kept the pressure on them. I don’t think their pitcher had any easy innings.”
The Tigers committed two errors in the game, but also made some good plays on hard-hit balls.
“We’ve continued to gain confidence defensively,” Godfrey said. “I feel like we’ve made routine plays for the most part and we just did a good job backing up our pitcher again today.”
Carthage will host Joplin at 11 a.m. Saturday in another makeup game. The game was originally scheduled for April 13, but rescheduled due to rain. Carthage plays at McDonald County at 4:30 p.m. Monday.