Belt

SOS Junior shortstop Grady Belt (8) drifts back into short centerfield to make the catch on a high pop-up in the top of the fourth inning. Belt drove in three runs, including the game winner on a hit by pitch to help the SOS Rebels open the year with a 9-8 win. Centerfielder Colin Wingard (3) avoids the collision on the play.

SHELBY – Not even Mother Nature could put a damper on the start of the 2020 Legion Baseball season Thursday night, -- but she tried.

After waiting nearly a month to open the season, because of COVID-19, the Shelby-Osceola-Stromsburg Juniors hosted Central City/Fullerton and the game was not decided until the last pitch was thrown.

The CC/Fullerton Juniors made things interesting as they wiped out an 8-3 SOS lead with a run in the fourth and four more in the top of the fifth to tie the game at 8-8, but Grady Belt was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the bottom of the frame with one out to give the Rebels the 9-8 win.

Central City/Fullerton touched up SOS starter Pierce Branting for three runs in the top of the first, but Branting’s teammates got two of those three back in the bottom of the first.

In the second, Branting helped his own cause as he ripped a two-run double to right centerfield to score Colton Kirby who reached on an error and Ceagen Watts who had walked to give the hosts a 4-3 lead.

The margin grew to 5-3 when Belt, who was 2-3 and drove in three runs, singled to score Branting to make it 5-3.

Branting settled down as he worked a scoreless second, third and fourth frames and in the meantime the Rebels added to their lead with three more runs in the third.

In the bottom of the third Colin Wingard, Kirby and Konner Batenhorst all singled to drive the lead to 8-3.

CC/Fullerton got a run in the fourth to make it 8-4, then used some pitching woes by the Rebels and scored four runs on two hits and five walks.

With a steady rain falling in the bottom of the fifth, SOS used a walk and a sacrifice bunt by Batenhorst to set the table.

After two more walks loaded the base Belt was hit on the sleeve on an inside pitch to score the winning run.

SOS (1-0) will be back in action today as they take on Twin River in Silver Creek at 5 p.m. with the SOS Seniors to follow at 7:30 p.m.

Central City/Fullerton

300 14- 8

SOS Juniors 233 01-9

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