UPDATED - Gville Bears Win [OFC Title On The Line As Neelyville Plays Greenville]
UPDATE: The state-ranked Bears move to 15-0 after a 7-4 win over Neelyville Tigers and secure the OFC Title unless a make-up game is scheduled with East Carter. It was not hard to notice a man with a blue VC baseball cap holding a radar gun at the games. The Greenville pitchers and team was being scouted during the game by Valle Catholic. Trey McDaniel pitched 6 innings, striking out 10 batters, 6 hits and 4 walks on 3 earned runs. Blakeney Kearbey (who had pitched 7 innings in Monday’s game versus Clearwater) came in as the closer in the last inning facing only 3 batters with a strikeout and two ground outs. According to the radar gun, Kearbey’s fastball was clocked at 89 MPH.
The Ozark Foothills Conference (OFC) Title Championship appears to come down to the outcome of today’s game. Currently, the Greenville Bears (state-ranked at #2 in Class 2) sit atop the OFC race with a record 6-1 (the record is of all fall and spring conference games that are not part of a tournament) while East Carter Redbirds (state-ranked #4) hold second place at 8-2 after their recent loss to Neelyville.
In today’s game, Neelyville gets a chance to play spoiler for the second time in two weeks in their game against the Greenville Bears. The game is slated for 4pm on Tuesday (Apr 28) in Greenville. One would expect the match-up to pit two strong pitchers in Neelyville’s senior, Cody Birdsong, and Greenville’s sophomore, Trey McDaniel. Both of these pitchers were featured in “The OFC Boys of Summer” article last fall along with East Carter’s Hurler Trevor Lewis.
Should the Bears prevail they will be the OFC Title Champions; but a loss to Neelyville will hand the Title to East Carter (with a tie conference record of 2 losses, the East Carter team would take the title because they have more wins and Greenville’s one loss was to East Carter last fall).
With the rainy spring, the East Carter vs Greenville match-up scheduled back on April 9th. That game was canceled because of a serious weather report a few hours before the game. Superintendent of Greenville Schools, Todd Porter, canceled all sports (3 different games) that day and an evening middle school musical because the weatherman’s predictions were harrowing…although the predictions proved to be inaccurate and all games could have been played.
Many would like to see an East Carter vs Greenville showdown, but with district play to start in just over 2 weeks it appears unlikely. But, a match-up could still take place if both teams go far enough into the state tournament.
Here’s the scenario that would have to play out for these two teams to meet in the quarter-finals.
East Carter would have to win it’s own district which includes Neelyville but revenge is sweet. After winning districts, they would face the winner of District 1 which includes state ranked 6 and 7 teams Cooter and Bernie.Success in that game would bring them to the quarter-finals.
Greenville on the other hand has a much hard road to hold (or row to hoe if you prefer). Within their own district as both Chaffe and St Vincent, out of Perryville, are not state-ranked but did receive a number of votes to make it into the honorable mention category. And should the Bears prevail in their own district, they will probably have to face last year’s state champions and currently ranked #1 in Class 2, Valle Catholic from near Ste Genevieve.
One thing is for sure, quality baseball programs abound in Southeast Missouri, especially in Class 2. There are sixteen class 2 districts with 103 teams across the state of Missouri, yet five of the top 8 state-ranked teams are from Southeast Missouri’s four districts (districts 1 – 4):
1. Valle Catholic
4. East Carter
9. Scotland County
The Neelyville vs Greenville game is to be held at Greenville at 4pm on Tuesday, April 28.