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Braves ousted in double-elimination zone

Class A American Legion Zone Tournament

POSTED July 18, 2012 11:05 p.m.
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HAYS — The Great Bend Braves were held to one run by the Hays Junior Eagles in Game 1 of a Class A American Legion Zone Tournament on Wednesday at Fort Hays State University’s Larks Park.
Hays enacted the run rule in the fifth inning, winning the first-round game 9-1.
“We hit the ball fairly decent,” Braves head coach Jordan Metro said. “We put the ball in play. We had a chance to score a lot of runs, but it just came down to defense.”
Hays scored first, driving in three runs on two hits and one Great Bend error in the bottom of the first.
The Junior Eagles added to the margin in the bottom of the second with four runs. John Griffith led the surge with an RBI double.
Great Bend had three errors in the inning behind starting pitcher Lance Ward, who pitched all five innings.
“When you have four errors in a game and you’re trying to get five outs in an inning basically, it’s hard to win,” Metro said. “It’s hard to beat any team, let alone that team.”
The Braves scored their one run when Logan Zecha drew a walk and advanced to second on a Dillon Reiser groundout. Shade Wondra struck an RBI single to make it 7-1.
In the bottom of the third, a pair of singles and a hit batter loaded the bases with no outs for Hays, but Ward and the Braves defense were able to get out of the inning without giving up any runs.
Ward induced an infield fly ball to shortstop Wondra and a grounder to third baseman Tyler Nuss, who got the force out at third and threw to catcher Jared Maneth for the double play.
“Lance did a good job pitching,” Metro said. “He did what he was supposed to do. He got ground balls. He got fly balls that the outfield should have caught.
“Our defense had moments where they were there and backed him up, but on routine plays, they weren’t there. You got to make those.”

Dodge City Rangers 9,
Great Bend Braves 1
The Braves went ahead 1-0 early, but Dodge City was able to win 9-1 in five innings due to the run rule.
Braves lead-off batter Zecha drew a walk in the top of the first. Wondra later hit a sacrifice fly to drive Zecha in.
In the top of the third, Great Bend had Ward on second and Maneth on first with no out. Zecha laid down a bunt and Ward went to the ground while trying to beat a throw to third.
“With that one run, we got up on them, but what really changed the whole thing was when Lance went down,” Metro said. “You could tell the team attitude just dropped. We had to move some people around in the outfield.
“I’m not saying that’s why we lost. It was just the attitude changed after that.”
Ward has been fighting a pulled muscle in his quadriceps for weeks, and running to third strained the injury. He sat out the rest of the game.
The 1-0 lead stood until the bottom of the third, when Dodge City scored two runs, one on an error and one on a single from Hunter Ontiberos.
The Rangers poured on four more runs in the fourth, led by RBI singles from Andrew Balderez and Nick Nelson.
Dodge City chased Braves starting pitcher Tristan Hall after 3 1/3 innings. He allowed six runs while giving up four walks and striking out five.
Wondra came on in relief, got out of the bottom of the fourth and allowed three runs in the fifth as Hays put the run-rule into effect.
Great Bend finishes the season at 13-17.
“I just told them that I enjoyed working with them,” Metro said. “I told them that almost all season.
“I’ve had opposing coaches come up to me and tell me about how impressed they were with certain kids. I told them I had fun.”

Zone Tournament

At Hays
Larks Park


Hays Junior Eagles 9,
Great Bend Braves 1
                      123  45      R  H  E
Great Bend   001 00  —  1  5  4
Hays              340 2x  —  9  9  0
Kade Parker & Craig Dreiling; Lance Ward & Jared Maneth. W — Parker; L — Ward. 2B — Hays: John Griffith, Ryan Engel; Great Bend: Tyler Nuss.

Zone Tournament

At Hays
Larks Park


Dodge City Rangers 9,
Great Bend Braves 1
          123 45     R H E
GB     100 00 — 1 4 1
DC     002 43 — 9 8 1
Tristan Hall, Shade Wondra (4) & Anson Hall; Jackson Oldham & Gideon Wells. W — Oldham; L — Hall.


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