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Tigers manage just one extra-base hit among their 10 hits while doubled up by Glendale


Even on a day in which Ozark totaled 10 hits against one of the better pitchers in SWMO, the timing of the Tigers’ hits had plenty to do with their 6-3 loss to Glendale on Wednesday.

Ozark couldn’t get much started to lead off an inning, as their first seven hits were all two-out singles.

Most telling, the Tigers didn’t deliver often enough in the clutch, twice leaving the bases loaded.

“It was about how many hits we got with runners in scoring position,” Ozark coach Justin Sundlie said. “We struck out four times and I think all four of them came with runners in scoring position. That's not being aggressive when we need to be aggressive.”

Conversely, Glendale took advantage of its scoring opportunities. The Falcons led the entire way, plating two runs in the first inning, one in the third, two more in the fourth and one in the sixth.

“Give credit to Glendale, they got the timely hits with runners in scoring position,” Ozark DH Truman Griessel said. “That’s the thing they did better than us. It's something we've got to keep working toward and it will come. But today that was the biggest difference-maker.”

“Glendale got the hits when they had runners in scoring position and we got stuck when we had runners in scoring position,” Tigers center fielder Peyton Bullinger added.

The bottom half of Ozark’s lineup enjoyed success against Glendale left-handed pitcher Drew Wedgeworth. Bullinger and right-fielder Rylan Sutton both had a pair of hits, with Sutton contributing an RBI single in the second inning and Bullinger producing an RBI single in the third.

Sutton ripped a double in the fourth to account for the Tigers’ lone extra-base hit.

Wedgeworth did his best pitching while working from the stretch with runners on base and against Ozark’s Nos. 1-4 hitters, who combined for just two hits.

Wedgeworth, a grandson of former Missouri State AD Bill Rowe, is one of the best Class of 2024 pitchers to remain uncommitted. The lefty went the distance while walking just one.

“He can locate all four of his pitches. He has good slow changeup and his fastball has some life to it when he wants it to,” Ozark’s Hudson Roberts said of his counterpart. “When he got his changeup down, it was a tough pitch to hit.”

“You've got to compete against him, that's for sure,” Sundlie said of Wedgworth. “He’s going to fill it up and throw different pitches on different counts.”

Roberts pitched into the sixth. Just as Wedgeworth kept the top of the Tigers’ lineup in check, Roberts did his best pitching against the top of Glendale’s lineup. Roberts held Falcons left-fielder Sebastin Norman, an Oklahoma State commit, to one hit and struck him out in the third inning.

“You can't give him a good pitch to hit,” Roberts said. “If I made a mistake, he was going to hit it. My game plan was to try to hit my spots and make him chase something.”

Of the three batters Roberts walked, two came around to score.

“I'd lose (control) sometimes and they had a couple good hits,” Roberts said. “If I lower (my walks), I give my team a better chance to win. Got to be better next time.”

“I was proud of Hudson,” Sundlie said “Our goal was to make them earn everything. Hudson was attacking a good-hitting team.”

Ozark pinch-hitter Joratio Soto, a sophomore, had a single in the seventh.

"That was pretty exciting for a young kid," Sundlie said. "He's been having great ABs on the jayvee. You know he's going to swing the bat and he does a good job staying in the middle of the field."

Ozark (10-11) has lost three of four matchups against Class 6 District 6 opponents, with remaining games against Joplin, Carthage and Republic.

Ozark has lost six of its last eight games going into today's road trip to Joplin (6-13). The Tigers are at Springfield Catholic on Friday and host Eureka on Saturday.

Glendale (13-4) has likely alrady locked up the District's No. 1 seed. The Falcons have also beaten Nixa, Republic and Kickapoo.