Ozark, Mo. — The Show Me Collegiate League entered its fifth season of play on Monday.
But with more teams, more players and more eyes on it this summer, they are expecting it to be the biggest one yet.
The Sounds of baseball, it has definitely been missed during the pandemic.
But Monday the cage was removed, and US Ballpark was ready once more for baseball.
It’s something only a few in the country can say as we enter the month of June.
“Just a few days ago I got word that we are the only collegiate baseball to be playing in America right now, which is a really cool thing to check off the list,” SMCL commissioner Aaron Meyer said. “We absolutely had a lot of help with that.”
The first matchup of 2020 featured the Ozark Wild and the Springfield Cobras. Both teams knocking off some rust early, probably expected after three months off.
Cobras struck first in the third, Missouri State commit Landen Wood hit a triple to right-center. Beau Stuckey scored from first and the Cobras had the 1-0 lead.
“Yea, I was pretty tired,” Wood said about the triple. “I’ve done a lot of lifting, but I haven’t ran a whole lot like I should, so I was kind of gassed.”
Two batters later, Wood scored off a sacrifice fly to make it a 2-0 game.
Wild entered the fifth trailing 3-1, Drury’s own Riley Herron drops it past the second baseman and into the outfield, Michael Edgar scored easily to tie the game up at three.
In the sixth the Wild try to pick off the runner stealing third, but the ball gets away. Stuckey scores what would be the game winning run.
Because in the bottom of the seventh, the Cobras got the game-ending strikeout and beat the Wild in the opener 4-3.
“We haven’t been able to do much, just hit off tees and such,” Wood said. “Being able to play in a live game and to be in one of the only leagues to play this summer, at least in June, it’s really a good feeling.”
Monday was just the start of the summer for those within the SMCL.
They will have doubleheaders and tripleheaders throughout the week, except for Saturdays, until July 21, where they will wrap up play with a championship.