Neosho Wildcats baseball team powers past Bulldogs

Apr. 16—NEOSHO, Mo. — The wind was blowing out to left field all through Tuesday's game at Roy B. Shaver Field in Neosho.

The Wildcats jumped out to a 3-0 lead, and that would be enough as Quenton Hughes held the Carl Junction offense at bay all evening on the way to a 10-2 win.

The Wildcats (8-10) got a complete game from Hughes as he only surrendered two runs on two solo home runs by Brody Pant late in the game. Everything else stayed in the field, and Hughes stranded base runners.

"We told the kids, 'Don't try to do too much. The wind's blowing. If you make solid contact, it will carry,'" Neosho head coach Bo Helsel said. "Not one at-bat did I see anyone do too much."

That led to Neosho spraying the ball across the field for three home runs, 12 total hits to all parts of the field and even a double down the right field line that Brodie Arthur slapped to the opposite side.

"We manufactured a few runs in there of those 10, and that's a good feeling as a coach to be able to do that," Helsel said.

Carl Junction's offense was limited to the two long balls from Pant that were both well beyond the fence in left field. Pant took Hughes deep in the sixth and seventh innings.

Hughes didn't allow much traffic otherwise and he credited his defense for part of that success. He only allowed seven hits while striking out just three batters. So 18 of his outs were recorded in the field of play.

"I always say it's the age-old story, just throw strikes and let the defense play behind you. It's as easy as that," Hughes said.

Neosho has won three straight, and it's done so by holding the opposition to no more than three runs each game.

The Wildcats were led by Noah Lawson's 3-for-4 performance and three RBIs. Arthur's two runs scored led the offense. Lawson, Colton Southern and Kanten Smith each hit a home run.

Southern talked about what he saw in the fourth inning when his two-run shot made it 6-0.

"He threw me a first-pitch fastball, and I knew if he threw me another one, I would sit on it. He threw me another one inside, and I turned on it," Southern said.

The Bulldogs fall to 12-9 with the loss.

Both teams are back in action at 4:30 p.m. Thursday. Carl Junction hosts Branson (13-7) while Neosho hosts Willard. The Tigers (16-3) are ranked first in Class 5 baseball.

"We're rolling. It's a good feeling going into a really good Willard team ranked No. 1 in the state. Scott McGee has those guys moving as he always does," Helsel said.