Grand Slam at the Wood Bat Tournament


Coach Huff discussing plans with Caleb Sarakas (12) as he catches his breathe at 1st base.

Batting off the 2022 Spring season, the Blackcat Baseball team is back and better than ever. With a current successful season of 6-6, the new team of boys is ready for anything that comes their way, especially their first tournament. The annual Wood Bat Tournament spans over 2 days with this year’s being the weekend of April 1-2. It is a Round-robin style tournament in which each team plays against the other. The 2022 tournament was held at the brand new sports complex, a decision that surprised many of the away teams. This year, the Fredericktown Blackcats were lined up against Arcadia Valley, St Pius, and Jefferson.

The first games of the tournament started after school on Friday, April 1st, and had the away teams pitted against each other. It wasn’t until 7:30 pm that Fredericktown was finally up to the mound against Arcadia Valley. Having rained earlier that day, the air was cold and windy. The diamond was muddy but dried off in time for the Blackcats to play. The first innings were slow with few runs scored from both teams. Fredericktown soon found itself falling behind, but it wasn’t until the 4th inning that things started to speed up. Bases were loaded and run after run was scored by the Blackcats. It was a Grand Slam! Slides, steals, and strikes, the boys were doing it all. The Arcadia Valley v. Fredericktown game ended up with a 15-5 for the Blackcats. The adrenaline-filled game, although late in the night, energized the crowd and left them buzzing for days to come.

Caleb Sarakas (12) seconds away from getting a runner from St. Pius out.

On the next day, the weather wasn’t any better. High-speed bursts of wind chilled the afternoon air and it seemed to be colder than the night before. Another conflict was the April 2nd ACT date. This left the team missing many crucial members for their 11:30 am game against St. Pius. Try as they might but the team could not make up for this loss and ended the game with 1-11 for the Lancers. Undeterred by the loss, the Blackcats banded together to discuss their faults and formulate a strategy for their next game.

Ethan Marler (9) sliding into third base as the baseman attempts to tag him.


Thankfully their next game was at 2:30 pm against Jefferson. The ACT boys came back which quickly boosted the boy’s confidence and morale for their last game of the tournament. Fredericktown started at-bat but found themselves struggling to catch up with Blue Jays. Luckily, as the weather warmed up, the Blackcats started to score some runs during the 3rd inning. After that, the teams traded points and the score in the bottom of the 7th inning was 10-10. With both teams tied, defensive and offensive measures were raised to the roof. Fredericktown was desperate to score while Jefferson was desperate to prevent that from happening. Nearing the end, Fredericktown occupied 1st and 3rd but also had 2 outs against them. They had one more chance to score. Ryan Souden (9) stepped up to the plate, nervously gripping the wood bat. One strike and two balls in, the pressure up at bat was almost suffocating. Thankfully, Ryan pulled through and hit his next ball into the outfield behind 2nd. However, he wouldn’t know this since as soon as he made contact, he threw his bat and sprinted to 1st base. The ball didn’t end up being caught and Jefferson fumbled as they tried to prevent the runner at 3rd from scoring. Unfortunately for Jefferson, their defense fell through but still managed to get the second baseman out, ending the game. The final score against Jefferson was 11-10, a very close call.

The deciding slide of the Jefferson game by Caleb Sarakas (12).

This 2022 Wood Bat Tournament was a successful one. The Blackcats managed to win 2 games despite their exhaustion from the week and playing almost back-to-back games. Having placed second in the tournament behind St. Pius with a tournament record of 2-1, the boy’s morale was boosted for the season. Sadly, the 2022 baseball season is coming to an end and the boys only have 1 more home game. Make sure to catch them against Sikeston on the 27th or districts in the future!