By JIM MISUNAS
COLBY — Doniphan County’s Nathan Gaarder pitched to contact and let his defense do the work to shut out Larned’s baseball team 6-0 Wednesday in the Class AA American Legion State Tournament.
Larned had seven runners reach base, but three runners were thrown out on the bases.
Doniphan County catcher Reid Greaser shut down Larned’s running game by gunning down Schartz in the first inning and Brayden Smith in the third inning with no out. The third-inning out proved critical when Gage Skelton singled and Schartz walked after Smith was thrown out. Gaarder retired Landon Erway on a forceout to end the inning.
“Their catcher had a good arm,” said Larned coach Chad Erway. “Schartz and Smith are good baserunners. He made two perfect throws. That’s a huge play in the third inning. You try and play aggressive.”
Gaarder struck out five batters. Larned’s hitters swung aggressively with several one-pitch outs.
“We hit three or four balls on the line that were caught,” Erway said. “Their pitcher was hitting the strike zone and had a nice breaking pitch. We tried to be aggressive at the plate. It wasn’t our day.”
Gage Skelton had two base hits. Johnathon Herter doubled and reached base three times. Mason Schartz singled and reached base twice.
Larned (16-12) drops into the consolation bracket against Marysville (21-10) at 10 a.m. Thursday. The game will be aired on Internet radio at kndyradio.com/xtra/ Larned’s Trey Krasinger threw solidly, but four errors and a wild pitch led to three unearned runs.
Larned must win six consecutive games to win the Class AA state championship. Larned captured the 1990 and 2000 state titles.
Doniphan County delivered three consecutive base hits for a 2-0 lead in the second inning. After Jeffrey Watts singled and Alex Scmille doubled, Caleb Winkel doubled both runners home off Larned pitcher Trey Kraisinger.
Doniphan County benefited from an error and wild pitch for a 4-0 lead in the fifth inning. Chris Winkel singled home Cooper Leach, who moved to second base on an error. Winkel scored on a wild pitch.
Larned collapsed defensively as two errors and a missed pickoff led to two unearned runs in the sixth inning. Jeffrey Watts reached on an error and moved to second base when he escaped a pickoff attempt. Watts scored on a throwing error. Chris Winkel singled home Scmille for a 6-0 lead.
Larned’s Herter doubled in the fourth inning, but was picked off second base by pitcher Gaarder.
• HAYS MONARCHS 6, MARYSVILLE 1 — The Hays Monarchs scored six runs in the first inning to overwhelm Marysville. Jordan Gottschalk and Ricky Hockett drilled two-run singles. Hockett had two hits Jared Vitztum doubled twice. Pitcher Kameron Schmidt allowed one run with three strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings. The Hays Monarchs (24-7) play Doniphan County (29-3)at 3 p.m. Thursday. Colby (22-5) meets Beloit (22-3) at 5:30 p.m.
CLASS AA LEGION STATE
Hays Monarchs 6, Marysville 1
Doniphan County 6, Larned 0
Beloit 12, Wellington 1
Colby 1, Iola 0
10 a.m.—Larned 16-12 vs. Marysville 21-10
12:30 p.m.—Iola 26-6 vs. Wellington 12-10
3 p.m.—Hays Monarchs 24-7 vs. Doniphan County 29-3
5:30 p.m.—Beloit 22-3 vs. Colby 22-5
DONIPHAN CO. 6, LARNED 0
Larned 000 000 0 — 0 4 4
Doniphan 020 022 x — 6 9 0
Kraisinger and Stelter. Gaarder and Greaser. W—Gaarder. L—Kraisinger. 2B—Larned, Herter; DC, Scmille, Caleb Winkel.