Five Mexico baseball players star in Florida tourney

Five Mexico baseball players star in Florida tourney
Andrew Runge, Josh Forbis, Daeye Miller, Tyler Thoenen and Brock Smythe from Mexico High School put their baseball skills to the test against the sport's best at a Florida tournament. [Submitted photo]
Dave Faries

Five Mexico High School baseball players are spending time in Florida, but not for vacation. While it is likely they will find some time by the surf, they are taking part in the grueling Palm Beach Classic -- a 100-team tournament using wooden bats.

Daeye Miller, Andrew Runge, Josh Forbis, Tyler Thoenen and Brock Smythe play for the Jefferson City-based Central Missouri Phenom Black, a summer traveling squad.

On Thursday morning the Phenom rallied from a 2-0 deficit to beat CBU Academy American 3-2 behind the hitting of Runge and two innings of stellar relief work by Forbis. Theonen scored the game winner.

Runge, who started on the hill and threw three innings, went two for three and drove in a run. Theonen had a hit and made it count. Forbis entered the game in the sixth with the score knotted at 2-2. He held CBU hitless and claimed the win, the Phenom’s first of the tournament.

Forbis opened the tourney on the mound for the Phenom and put in a solid five inning stint, striking out five and giving up a single unearned run. But Columbus 18U jumped on his reliever and the Phenom fell 8-0.

Runge, playing centerfield, went one for three. Forbis and Theonen started for the Phenom, as well.

In game two against the Palm Beach Select, Runge again had a hit in three at bats, while Miller was one for two and scored a run. But it was not enough, as Palm Beach edged out a 3-2 win. Forbis and Theonen were also in the starting lineup.

The third game looked promising, but O.R. Baseball Puerto Rico Red broke up a tie with a walk off base hit to take it 3-2.

Thoenen pitched a third of an inning, a break for his usual duties on the corners. Miller, who plays both middle infield positions, had a hit, stole a base and scored a run. Forbis plays first when not on the mound. Runge’s duties include pitcher and centerfield.

The Palm Beach Classic attracts a total of some 200 teams in different age brackets. It started June 8 and runs through Sunday, with each team guaranteed four games.


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