It's inevitable for teams to go through cold streaks throughout seasons in high school sports, and unfortunately for the Marionville Comets, theirs came at the worst possible point in the year.
After cruising through much of the 2019 baseball season, the Comets ended the regular season with a pair of losses to Ash Grove and Crane in which they scored just one run. With the conference championship sewed up, though, Marionville shrugged off the defeats, eyes on the upcoming district tournament, in which they were the number one seed.
But the Comets' cold streak followed them into the playoffs at Clever, where they faced Forsyth in the district semifinals after a first-round bye. The Panthers plated nine runs in the first inning -- five unearned -- to put Marionville in a deep hole to begin the game.
The Comets battled back in the bottom of the second to make it a 9-4 contest, showing patience to draw four walks against the Forsyth starter and benefitting from hits by Emmit Neely and Lake High.
Unfortunately for Marionville fans however, the team would only manage two more hits throughout the game -- not enough to truly contest the Panthers' lead.
Forsyth plated two more runs in the fourth and the sixth, while the Comets could only add one each in the fifth and seventh, resulting in a 13-6 final score and Marionville's elimination.
Neely and High finished with two RBI each, while Jeremy Vickers and James Hammonds recorded a double each for the Comets. Hammonds scored twice, as well.
Wesley Breedlove pitched three and two-thirds innings in relief of Jordan Williams, allowing three earned runs on eight hits and striking out five. Williams took the loss after a rough two-thirds to begin the game.
The Comets finished the season with an overall record of 17-7 and the first Southwest Conference championship.
Eight seniors will move on from the team after graduating last week, including Hammonds, Breedlove, Chris Mayberry, Evan Dotson, Wil Ghan, Earnie Larkin, James Tucker and Matthew Bowling. While many of the starters will need to be replaced next season, Neely, Vickers, Williams and High are expected to return to the lineup to lead the Comets.