Kolten Eilenstein gets to wear the rally hat after sliding into home to score the first run against Neosho in the district semifinal on May 16.

Eric Fitch tags a Neosho runner with backup by Cy Darnell.

Cardinals ready for quarterfinal challenge at Platte County

The Webb City baseball Cardinals have one more game to win to make it to the state final four.

Standing in their way are the Platte County Pirates, who they’ll face at 2 p.m. Saturday at Platte City in the Class 5 quarterfinals.

At 20-2 on the season, the Pirates may seem like a favorite over the 19-15 Cardinals. But the Cardinals have surged in May.

“Eleven of our 15 losses have come from 20-win teams,” points out coach Flave Darnell. “We have played a really tough schedule. Six teams on our schedule are in the quarterfinals in their respective classes.

“I really feel like we are hitting our stride and look forward to the challenge of playing a really good Platte County team.”

Shortstop Cy Darnell leads the team in hitting with a .402 average and 47 hits.

William Hayes is hitting .344 with 28 RBIs.

Eric Fitch is hitting .343 with 26 runs.

And Jeremiah Leaming leads the team with 31 RBIs.

Cooper Crouch is the team’s ace on the mound. He’s 6-2 with a 2.4 ERA and 56 strikeouts in 43 innings.

Track teams advance to state meet

Webb City track teams are headed to Jefferson City Friday and Saturday for the state championships.

The boys team placed third in the Class 4 Section 3 meet Monday at Waynesville as five individuals and two relay teams qualified for state by finishing at least fourth.

Grayson Smith and Justin Allen dominated the pole vault competition, finishing first and second. Smith  cleared the bar at 4.58 meters (15 feet 4 inches) to win first place.

Trey Roets placed second in javelin, and Nathaniel Miller was fourth in discus. Evan Stevens had the fourth-best time in the 3200 run.

The 4×800 relay team placed third, and the 4×200 relay team placed fourth.

The girls team advances five individual events and a relay team after placing fifth in the team standings.

Riley Hawkins led the girls squad by placing first in the 800 (2:23.14) and second in the 1600.

Samantha Mancini, narrowly missing first, placed second in shot put.

Ripley Shanks is going to state to compete in the pole vault after placing fourth at the sectional.

Dawsyn Decker placed fourth in javelin.

And the 4×800 relay team placed fourth.

The Cardinals’ leading hurlers, Gavin Stowell (above) and Cooper Crouch. (LAFONDA CROUCH PHOTOS)

William Hayes’ triple earns praise from Coach Flave Darnell.