By Steve Joos
The Mount Vernon American Legion baseball team had its hitting shoes on last week, but they were a little late getting them on one night and couldn’t pull off a comeback.
Drake McNamara paced a 15-hit attack with three blows, including a double and a home run, while Trevor Veeck pitched five strong innings of relief, but it wasn’t enough, as Rockport scored eight runs in the first two innings and went from there to post a 10-7 win over the visitors from Owen Dunn Post Five Wednesday night, one night after Mount Vernon pummeled visiting Boonville in eight innings under the 10-run rule 15-5 at home.
“We had a second inning play with a ground ball back to the pitcher where we didn’t get anybody out,” Coach Dan McNamara said. “I don’t think anybody scored on that, but instead of having two outs, we had hits boom, boom, boom eight runs in two innings. That was a deep hole. We didn’t quit, we kept hitting the ball, Trevor Veeck came in and did a nice job, and we kept scoring and almost had them at the end.”
The misplay came at a time when Rockport led 4-0 and enabled the Spencer County team to plate four more runs and take an 8-0 lead, chasing starting pitcher Drake McNamara from the mound (but not the plate).
McNamara told his hitters to stay aggressive and keep looking for good pitches to drive and that advice finally paid off in the top of the sixth, when Craig Beeson knocked in two runs with one of his pair of two-baggers.
That cut the score to 8-2. In the seventh, Jevin Redman walked to open the inning and stayed there until Drake McNamara parked a pitch over the left field fence, cutting the lead to 8-4.
Rockport finally got to Veeck for two runs in the bottom of the seventh, but Mount Vernon went down swinging in the ninth, as Drake McNamara opened with a double, moved to third on a passed ball and scored on Beeson’s second double of the game, which also brought in Seth Reeves.
“We’re swinging the bats pretty good,” Coach McNamara said. “If we can keep from walking guys and not dig ourselves such a big hole, so we can have a chance in the last three innings, we’d do well.”
In addition to Beeson and Drake McNamara, Redman, Reeves, Bryce Newman and River VanZant each had two hits. Beeson drove in three runs, Drake McNamara two and Newman one, while one of Reeves’ blows was a double.
Owen Dunn stung the ball early and often en route to a 15-5 win over Boonville in a Tuesday game which lasted eight innings under the 10-run rule.
“We came out aggressive, swinging the bats,” Coach McNamara said. “We got some hard-hit balls that got in and we scored a bunch of runs on them early, so it was a good start.”
On Tuesday night, Post Five dug the deep hole and pushed Boonville in, scoring seven runs in the first two innings, including five in the first.
“They were throwing fastballs and we’re a good fastball hitting team,” the coach explained. “We hit it where it was pitched and got a few to drop in and that makes it a little bit easier on your defense and your pitcher to score a bunch of runs early.”
Drake McNamara banged out five of Post Five’s 15 hits, including a double with an RBI.
And then it was wham! Bam! VanZant, as the Mount Vernon infielder had three hits, getting one to go in and two to go out of the park.
VanZant’s first home run was part of that five-run first inning, which erased a 1-0 Boonville lead. The visitors scored in the top of the second, but Owen Dunn answered with two more to open a 7-2 advantage.
Reeves and Redman each had two hits in the game, with Reeves stroking a bases-clearing double in the bottom of the fourth to open a 10-2 Mount Vernon lead.
Boonville scored three in the top of the fifth to make it 10-5, but that was all they would get as Mount Vernon all but salted the contest away in the bottom of the sixth.
Two walks, a pair of stolen bases and a double brought in two runs and then VanZant struck again, clearing the center field fence to make it 14-5 Mount Vernon before Post Five ended the game on an RBI single by Reeves in the bottom of the eighth.
“River got into a couple of them,” Coach McNamara said. “But everybody hit the ball well. Just about everybody hit the ball well. Trevor (Veeck) came in off the bench and got a hit. Everybody hit the ball well.”
Hank Dausmann overcame a balk and a pair of wild pitches to get the win for Mount Vernon, with relief help from J.T. Silvers, while Redman drove in a run.
Mount Vernon took a 9-7 record into Monday’s home make-up game with Funkhouser.