Apr. 23—WEBB CITY, Mo. — To say that Webb City baseball standout Devrin Weathers is a tough out is probably an understatement.
Take Thursday for example.
Weathers, signed to play football at Kansas State next fall, went a perfect 2 for 2 with three walks, two RBI and three runs scored as the second-ranked Cardinals overwhelmed Branson for an 11-2 victory at Chuck Barnes Field.
In Webb City’s last three games — including a 5-4 setback to top-ranked Willard on Monday and a 21-5 triumph over Ozark on April 15 — Weathers reached safely in 12 consecutive plate appearances. The speedy leadoff hitter went 7 for 7 with five walks, three RBI and eight runs in the span.
“For sure, Devrin is a very hard out right now,” Webb City coach Flave Darnell said. “You can’t say enough about him. He’s playing really well. It’s more than a luxury to have a hitter like him at the top of the order. When he gets on, good things happen.”
It was more than just Weathers who was hot early and often Thursday against the Pirates (4-12) as Webb City (14-3) opened a 7-0 lead through the first three innings.
Weathers led off the bottom of the first with a walk and stole second and third before Treghan Parker drove him in on a grounder to second base for a 1-0 lead. The Cardinals plated another run in the frame when Matt Woodmansee drove a fly ball out to center field that was misplayed, allowing Shane Noel to score from second.
“When we get guys on and picking up runs early, we’re pretty tough to beat,” Darnell said. “Our lineup, top to bottom, we feel good about. and it starts with those guys — Devrin, Treghan, Shane and Woodmansee.”
The top of the order pulled through for the Cardinals again in the second when Woodmansee logged his second RBI with a sacrifice fly that plated Weathers, who singled earlier in the frame.
The Cardinals’ biggest offensive inning was in the third when they plated four runs on two hits and two walks. The frame was highlighted by a bases-clearing triple by Parker as well as an RBI at-bat by Noel.
“We were fortunate enough to pick up some runs early, kind of put a little pressure on them,” Darnell said. “Then we played good defense and pitched it well, too. So usually when that happens, it’s a good outcome.”
Eli Goddard had another productive outing for the Cardinals as he limited Branson to one earned run and two hits in four innings of work. He also struck out three batters.
Cooper Crouch came on in the fifth and went two innings, surrendering one unearned run and one hit while punching out four. Noel tossed the final inning.
Branson’s lone score came in the fourth when Ridge Schroeder took the first pitch he saw and drove a solo home run out to left field.
The Cardinals, however, answered in the bottom half with two more runs on a singe through the right side by Eric Fitch.
“Eric brings it up in the nine hole, and he had that big two-RBI single today,” Darnell said. “So we have guys who can swing it and do good things throughout our order. We’re very happy with the way we hit as a team.”
Weathers capped the scoring with a two-run single to center field in the sixth.
Webb City hits the road this weekend to compete in a pair of games in St. Louis. The Cardinals play Francis Howell at 11 a.m. Saturday and Columbia Rock Bridge at approximately 12:30 p.m.
“We’re leaving a day early so we can go to a (St. Louis) Cardinals game on Friday night,” Darnell said. “So we’re looking forward to that. It should be a fun weekend of baseball.”
Contact Jared Porter on Twitter at @JaredRyanPorter.