Tigers fall to Branson in final CHS game at the Rock; Lewton family honored with last pitch ceremony

CHS baseball seniors Colson Brust (left) and Ty Perry (right) escort Lois Lewton, the wife of the late Carl Lewton, to the mound to commemorate the last pitch of the Carthage High School baseball program at Carl Lewton Stadium. The Tigers will play in a new facility for the 2025 season. David Hoover / CNO

CARTHAGE, Mo. — The Carthage Tiger baseball team lost to Branson 4-0 Saturday in the final regular season game of 2024. It was also the final Carthage High School baseball game to be held at Carl Lewton Stadium, historically known as Rock Stadium.

In 2025, The Tigers will play at a brand new facility currently being built at the Carthage High School complex on south River Street.

After Saturday’s game, the family of the late Coach Carl Lewton was honored with a last pitch ceremony. Lewton’s wife, Lois, threw the final pitch from the middle of the diamond. Roger Kirby, a long-time friend of Carl, received the pitch from Lois as the announcer called out “strike three!”

Lois Lewton, surrounded by her family, throws the last pitch to Roger Kirby at Carl Lewton stadium commemorating the final game of the Carthage High School baseball team at the stadium. The Tigers will play the 2025 baseball season and beyond at a new facility at the Carthage High School complex on south River. David Hoover / CNO
Carl Lewton was a coach, educator and umpire. The historic Rock Stadium was renamed Carl Lewton Stadium in honor of Lewton. Photo courtesy Hall of Carthage Heroes

Lewton was inducted into the Carthage Hall of Heroes in 2015.

From the Carthage Hall of Heroes website: “Carl played a major role in the restoration of the old Rock Stadium at Municipal Park, where future All-Star players Mickey Mantle and Stan Musial played in their youth, spending countless hours in groundskeeping and other tasks. In recognition of his service, the stadium was renamed Carl Lewton Stadium several years ago.”

Carthage, 0 vs. Branson, 4

For the final game at Carl Lewton, Carthage Head Coach Kevin Burgi turned to the team ERA leader Landon Bland (2-2, 1.70 ERA) to start on the mound for Carthage. He threw three innings, giving up two runs on four hits, striking out three and walking two in the loss.

Nolan Brown pitched four innings in relief for the Tigers. He gave up one hit and two runs (one earned) while striking out four and walking two.

On the offensive side, the Tigers could only muster one hit. Shortstop Jordan Brunnert singled in the bottom of the fifth inning.

Carthage finishes the regular season 16-16 under new head coach Burgi, a vast improvement from last years 3-27 season. They are 3-6 in the Central Ozark Conference this year which is another improvement from last year where they finished 0-9.

The Tigers open district play against Nixa Wednesday, May 15 at Kickapoo High School in Springfield. The game is scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m.