By Jim Misunas
SABETHA — Larned laid the groundwork for the 2015 high school baseball season with a 6-2 record in Class AA American Legion post-season play.
Larned (15-16) lost 11-3 to state runner-up Ottawa Friday to finish fourth at Class AA state. Fort Scott won the Class AA State Tournament with a 9-8 victory over Ottawa.
Eight of the nine players who played regularly in post-season return next season for Larned coach Chad Erway.
Against Ottawa, Larned’s first four batters reached base, but Landon Erway and Isiah Perez were thrown out on the bases.
Evan Skelton and Perez walked to start the first inning. Erway singled in Skelton for a 1-0 lead. Erway was thrown attempting to steal second base. Camryn Bryant singled, but Perez was thrown out at home.
Ottawa scored six first-inning runs. Dayne Jung delivered a two-run single and Grayson Plant, Blaine Ray, Alex Shipp and Conner Shipp drove in runs for 6-1 lead.
Gage Skelton singled home Mason Schartz in the second inning. Trey Kraisinger reached on an error and scored on an error in the fourth inning.
• LARNED 2, DONIPHAN COUNTY 1 — Larned beat Doniphan County 2-1 Friday in the Class AA State Tournament.
Larned’s Bryant retired the final three batters in the seventh inning after Alex Schmille walked and Reid Greaser singled to put runners at third and second with no out. Chris Winkel drove home Schmille on a groundout. Caleb Winkel and Phoenix Keller were retired on fly balls on the first pitch. Bryant threw 113 pitches in a tough-minded complete-game effort.
Bryant stranded nine runners and worked out of trouble in three of his final four frames. He left the bases loaded in the sixth inning when he retired Watts on a deep fly ball to centerfield. He struck out Reid Greaser and Caleb Winkel to work out of trouble in the fifth inning.
The Indians loaded the bases and scored two sixth-inning runs on Doniphan County errors with two out. Phoenix Keller was the hard-luck losing pitcher.
Mason Schartz and Trey Kraisinger singled and John Herter walked to load the bases. Herter scored the game-winner on an error by third baseman Nathan Gaarder. Kraisinger scored the second run when second baseman Caleb Winkel committed another error.
Larned left two runners stranded in four innings before scoring. Two runners reached base leading off the fourth and fifth innings, but coach Erway elected to not bunt the runners over.
Doniphan County starter Jeffrey Watts worked out of the fourth inning with a line-drive double play hit by Trey Kraisinger. Reliever Keller retired Isiah Perez, Landon Erway and Bryant in the fifth inning after Gage Skelton and Evan Skelton reached base.
• CONCORDIA 9, LARNED 6 — Concordia beat Larned 9-6 in the Class AA State Tournament late Thursday night.
The Indians pushed across four runs in the fifth inning to slice Concordia’s lead to 8-6. The Blues added a ninth run in the sixth inning.
The Indians rallied with four bases-loaded walks in a four-run fifth inning. Erway, Gage Skelton, Herter and Kraisinger drew bases-loaded walks to force in runs. Larned had eight baserunners reach base, but leadoff batter Evan Skelton was thrown out at home on an attempted steal.
Bryant and Tyler Stelter drew leadoff walks in the seventh inning, but the next three batters were retired.
Larned showed good discipline by drawing 11 walks in the game. But the Indians had two players thrown out on the bases and stranded seven baserunners.
Larned led 2-0 when Stelter’s single drove home Perez and Bryant in the first inning.
But Concordia struck for five earned runs off losing pitcher Krasinger in the second inning. Jayden Payeur delivered a two-run double and Drake Hake, Bowe Behmyer and Jordan Mehl delivered run-scoring singles for a 5-2 lead. Fortunately, Larned threw Behmyer out at the plate.
Behmyer drilled a two-run homer in the fourth inning. Tanner Gilbert doubled and scored on a double. Mehl homered in the sixth inning.
AMERICAN LEGION BASEBALL
Class AA State Tournament
Ottawa 11, Larned 3
Larned 110 10 — 3 6 3
Ottawa 603 2x — 11 11 4
Camryn Bryant & Tyler Stelter. Hayden Yancey, Rich Huddleson & Dayne Jung. W—Yancey. L—Bryant. 2B—O, Jordan Morton.
Larned 2, Doniphan County 1
Doniphan Co. 000 000 1 — 1 4 2
Larned 000 002 x — 2 6 2
Jeffrey Watts, Phoenix Keller (5) and Reid Greaser. Camryn Bryant and Tyler Stelter. W—Bryant. L—Keller.
Concordia 9, Larned 6
Larned 200 040 0 — 6 6 2
Concordia 050 301 x — 9 11 1
Trey Krasinger and Tyler Stelter. Jordan Mehl, Bowe Behmyer (5), Skyler Hittle (7) and Jayden Payeur. W—Mehl. L—Kraisinger. 2B—L, Mason Schartz; C, Jayden Payuer, Tanner Gilbert. HR—C, Behmyer, Mehl.
Class AA State Tournament
Saturday’s games—Ottawa 6, Concordia 1; Championship—Fort Scott 9, Ottawa 8; Fort Scott qualifies for Aug. 7-10 Mid State Regional, Milbank, S.D.
Friday’s games—Larned 2, Doniphan County 1; Ottawa 9, Silver Lake 6; Fort Scott 6, Concordia 2; Ottawa 11, Larned 3
Thursday’s games—Silver Lake 6, Sabetha 4; Doniphan Co. 11, Ellis 2; Concordia 9, Larned 6; Fort Scott 6, Ottawa 4
Wednesday’s games—Concordia 3, Silver Lake 1; Larned 2, Sabetha 1; Ottawa 16, Ellis 0; Fort Scott 7, Doniphan Co. 0