Wildcats top Warriors to keep braggin’ rights


CROSS-COUNTY BATTLE — Warrenton’s Hunter Sherman slides safely into second base while second baseman Logan McCartney fields a throw. Lyle Whitworth photos.
By: 
Scott Butler
Correspondent

Wright City coach Ryan Raterman knows all about the cross-county rivalry with Warrenton as the schools are separated by a five-minute drive down Interstate 70. 

As a Warrenton graduate, he never wanted to lose to Wright City in anything he played. 

“The Warren County rivalry was always a big deal in high school, it was always a game that was circled on the schedule because we did not like Wright City,” Raterman said. “Whether you had a great team that year or a down year, it was one that was a must win.” 

Now, as the head coach of the Wildcats, he moves to 2-0 against his alma mater after their 8-6 win Saturday. 

“As a coach, nothing has changed for me, except now I bleed blue and gold,” Raterman said. “My alma mater is the Warrenton Warriors, but I am a Wildcat and have been since 2009.”

The Wildcats trailed 6-3 in the middle portion of the ball game but rallied to score five unanswered. 

“Our boys know we are never out of a fight, and we didn't want to lose to Warrenton,” Raterman said. “So we chipped away at the buffalo and did what had to be done to manufacture runs to take the lead.”

Wright City brought out the small ball tactic to capture the win. The Wildcat offense didn’t hit well, but did manage to score eight runs on six walks and three hits. The Wildcats also stole nine bases and scored on multiple passed balls. 

“I know this is going to sound like a cliché coach's answer, but it was a team effort,” Raterman said. “With timely hitting and great defense, it was Wright City baseball played to its finest.”

Junior pitcher Logan Kellner got the start on the bump and battled through four innings of work. He did pick up the win as he surrendered six walks, two earned runs, and two hits. He struck out five. 

Sophomore Chris Russell came on in relief for two innings. He struck out three batters while walking two and giving up only one hit. Senior Sam Unterreiner collected the save in his one inning of work. He allowed one run. 

“Kellner, Russell, and Unterreiner collectively threw well for the ‘W,’ ” Raterman said. “This was a big win for us. We lost the night before in a nail-biter to South Callaway and we knew we had to bounce back and play two good teams on the day.”

Offensively, Wright City had only three hits in the win, of which two were doubles from Hayden Kendall and Logan McCartney. Evan Gambill had the squad’s other hit. Ian Wolff and Bryce Williams both had RBIs.

For Warrenton, Kannon Hibbs, Bailey Meyer, Will Nordstrom, Tyler Oliver and Hunter Sherman each had hits. Meyer had two RBIs, while Hibbs and Sherman each scored twice.

On the mound, Meyer gave up six earned runs in four innings in the loss. He struck out four and walked four. Hibbs and Sherman each pitched an inning in relief.

Saturday’s game was played at Fort Zumwalt East as part of a three-team round-robin doubleheader. Both teams lost to the Lions.

Wright City (7-5-2) stepped back into conference play and routed Van Far 16-0 on Monday. Warrenton (4-8) was scheduled to play Tuesday but the game was canceled due to inclement weather.

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