Graham Funderburk delivered a one-out RBI single in the ninth inning Monday afternoon, lifting Branson High School to a 5-4 victory over Neosho.
The Pirates came from behind twice in the game, scoring two second-inning runs after Neosho had taken a 2-0 lead, then adding two more in the sixth to tie the game after Neosho had gone up, 4-2.
The game-winning rally came when Kelly Henson led off the ninth with a walk. Zeb Miller followed with a sacrifice to move Henson to second base, and Funderburk sent a sharp single to right fielder to end the game.
Branson’s second-inning runs came when Carter Jenkins reached on an error, scoring Chance Mobley. Mobley later scored on a passed ball.
In the sixth, Jenkins delivered an RBI single to score Sam Lemley, who singled to lead off the inning.
Later in the frame, Jackson Miller had a two-out single to drive in Reece Chiasson, who reached on a single.
Brady Brashers (6 innings, 7 hits, 2 earned runs) and Braden Pannell (3 innings, 1 hit) combined to limit Neosho’s offense.
The Pirates (6-16) were scheduled to play at Carl Junction on Thursday and host Carthage on Friday before playing Monett at home on Tuesday in the regular-season finale.
BRANSON BOYS’ GOLF
Drew Garrison and Nathan Woodmansee each advanced to the sectional round as individuals at the Class 4 District 5 Tournament on Monday at Meadow Lake Acres Golf Course in Jefferson City.
Garrison carded an 18-over-par score of 90 to tie for 17th place, with Woodmansee shooting a 93 and finishing 20th, to lead Branson to a fifth-place team finish.
Both individuals will represent the Pirates at Monday’s sectional meet at Schifferdecker Golf Course in Joplin. Qualifiers from the sectional round advance to the state meet at Silo Ridge Golf Course in Bolivar on May 12-13.
BRANSON BOYS’ TENNIS
Trey Carlin rallied from a 7-4 deficit, then survived nine match points to win the Flight 2 singles title in a tiebreaker at the Central Ozark Conference Tournament on Wednesday at Cooper Tennis Complex in Springfield.
Joe Jafari added a second-place finish in Flight 1 singles, leading Branson to a second-place finish as a team, behind Joplin.
The Eagles won titles at No. 1 singles, No. 1 doubles and No. 2 doubles.
Carlin’s day included an 8-4 victory over Trent Smith of Carl Junction and an 8-5 win over Republic’s Jared Zane. In the dramatic finals, Carlin rallied for a 9-8 (5) victory over Ozark’s Gavin Reese.
In Flight 1 of singles, Jafari defeated Andrew McMillan of Republic, 8-1, then topped Ozark’s Jacob Dralle, 8-3, before falling to Joplin’s Garrett Lewis in the finals.
The Pirates closed out the dual-meet portion of the season with a pair of easy victories – 6-0 over Willard and 5-0 over Neosho. Branson finished 10-2 for the dual season, good for second-best in the COC.
The Lady Pirates fell to 6-12-1 overall with a 5-1 loss at Carthage on Wednesday night.
Branson was scheduled to host Carl Junction on Thursday before visiting Bolivar on Friday.
Branson will play Willard at home on Tuesday in the final regular-season game.
The Panthers dropped a 7-1 decision to visiting Ava on Monday, falling to 5-12 overall.
After hosting the Forsyth Tournament, the Panthers will open district play against Sarcoxie on Friday in Clever.