LATHROP, Mo. — Platte Valley faced adversity before Monday night’s sectional 11-2 loss in Lathrop against Pattonsburg.
Less than two weeks ago, Platte Valley topped the Panthers 7-3, but were without three starters in Monday’s version of the game.
“It was a ‘next man up’ mentality,” Platte Valley coach Zach Dyer said. “We’ve been talking to them all year about that if we need you, you can come in and battle. That is what we expect of them and that is what they did.”
Right fielder Brandon McQueen moved to second base. Freshman Lucas Terry got the start at first base and senior Tayden Staples and junior Keaton Beck got the starts in the corner outfield spots.
“The kids that came off the bench today, they stepped up,” Platte Valley senior Trever McQueen said. “Lucas Terry had some really, really good at bats and some good plays at first base. I thought everyone today stepped up who needed to play.”
The first two innings ended up deciding the game with Pattonsburg scoring seven runs to build a 7-0 lead. Pattonsburg committed four errors in the first matchup, but the tables were turned on Monday with Platte Valley committing four errors with its re-shuffled defense.
“They just came out and hit the ball,” Trever McQueen said. “I missed some spots early and it took me a little bit to settle in, I think. They are a good team, and I hope they go as far as they can."
Platte Valley attempted to mount a rally in the fourth inning with McQueen drawing a lead-off walk and sophomore Memphis Bliley hitting a 2-run homer.
“We derailed a little bit in the first inning, but we kept fighting and kept going the entire game,” McQueen said.
Wyatt Miller followed with a single, and after a strikeout, Lane Acklin hit a single and Staples reached on an error.
The Panthers brought in senior Cameron Jones to pitch. Platte Valley scored two runs against the Pattonsburg ace in one inning in the first game — but in the second matchup, Jones locked it down.
Jones struck out Beck and got Terry to ground out back to the mound.
Pattonsburg put the game away with four runs in the sixth inning and Jones finished off the game.
The game is the final one for Platte Valley seniors Trever McQueen, Seth Stratton and Staples. McQueen has been a starter since he was a freshman and has been one of the area’s best pitchers throughout his career.
“There is a lot of stuff that people don’t see that those seniors (Stratton and Staples) put in,” McQueen said. “They put a lot of work in in practice and in the cage even though they aren’t getting a lot of at bats in the games.”
In a normal Platte Valley starting lineup, every starter other than McQueen was either a freshman or sophomore.
“We had a great season with a young group who we bring eight starters back from,” Dyer said. “We have some young talent that is coming up. These sophomores can learn from this season and want more — not just a district championship, but to go to state.”