By JIM MISUNAS
COLBY — Larned’s American Legion baseball team broke out the bats at the Class AA State Tournament. Larned rolled past Marysville 6-2 in Thursday’s losers bracket game.
Larned drilled four doubles, nine starters delivered base hits and six players contributed an RBI in the dominating victory. Larned stranded nine baserunners, including leaving the bases loaded in the first two innings.
“Our approach at the plate was good,” said Larned coach Chad Erway. “We had timely hits, which is what you need. Hitting is infectious. It was good to see us get up early.”
Larned (17-12) will play Colby (22-6) at 12:30 p.m. Friday. If Larned wins that game, it would play again at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Landon Erway singled home Evan Skelton in the first inning after back-to-back walks. Colton Gladow doubled and moved to third base on Gage Skelton’s second-inning bunt. Mason Schartz singled home Gladow for a 2-0 lead. Isiah Perez singled home Erway for a 3-0 lead in the fourth inning.
Larned rallied to put the game away with a three-run fifth inning. Johnathon Herter doubled and Brayden Smith singled. Gladow drove home Herter with a fly ball. Gage Skelton’s double brought home Smith for a 5-2 lead. Evan Skelton’s single drove home Gage Skelton for a 6-2 lead.
Larned pitcher Erway (6-1) struck out six batters in a three-hit complete game. Marysville reached Erway for two runs in the fourth inning. With two out, Adam Linderhorst was hit by a pitch. Hunter Warnick doubled and Micah Kenworthy’s bloop single to right field scored both runners. Erway worked out of trouble by striking out Dayne Brown.
“Landon has pitched consistently since high school,” coach Erway said. “We play well defensively behind him and he hides the baseball really well. Landon induces a lot of fly balls and groundballs.”
Coach Erway is keeping his pitching options open. Isiah Perez is Larned’s best available pitcher, but Evan Skelton, Brayden Smith, Camryn Bryant, Jon Herter and Evan Skelton are available.
“I will do what I can to put us in position to win each game,” Erway said. “I will pitch everyone we can, maybe start a kid and close the game with another pitcher. I’m looking at it that we’ve got five more games we can play.”
• 2000 STATE CHAMPS — In addition to the 1990 Class AA state title, Larned’s Legion team also won the 2000 Class AA state title at Hiawatha. Team members were Mark Damn, Nick Werner, Shane Carr, Tim Walker, Kevin Sloan, Lance Schartz, Jason Brown, Miles Bradley, Ryan Grossman, Barret Werner, Jacob Shaver, Josh Sanderson, Luke Snyder.
Larned finished runner-up at Class AA state in 2001.
HAYS MONARCHS 3, DONIPHAN COUNTY 2 — A passed ball on a strikeout and an error paved the way for a game-winning two-run rally for the Hays Monarchs in a 3-2 winner’s bracket victory over Doniphan County.
Chase Romme reached on a dropped strike three and Kameron Schmidt reached an error in the fourth inning. Ricky Hockett delivered a two-run double for a 3-2 lead.
Hays (24-7) plays Beloit (23-3) in Friday’s 5 p.m. winner’s bracket final. .
Hays’ Justin Pfeifer’s single drove home Jordan Gottschalk in the second inning for a 1-0 lead. Doniphan County’s Nathan Gaarder and Nathan Morris hit RBI singles for a 2-1 lead in the third inning. Monarchs starter Ryan Ruder worked out of a bases-loaded situation with no out in the fourth inning.
In other games, Iola beat Wellington 11-3 and Beloit beat Colby 11-3.
CLASS AA LEGION STATE
Hays Monarchs 6, Marysville 1; Doniphan County 6, Larned 0; Beloit 12, Wellington 1; Colby 1, Iola 0
Larned 6, Marysville 2; Iola 11, Wellington 5; Hays Monarchs 3, Doniphan County 2; Beloit 11, Colby 3
Game 9—Iola 9, Doniphan County 1
Game 10—1 p.m.—Larned 17-12 vs. Colby 22-6
Game 11—5 p.m.—Hays Monarchs 25-7 vs. Beloit 23-3
Game 12—7:30 p.m.—Iola 28-6 vs. Game 10 winner
LARNED 6, MARYSVILLE 2
Marysville 000 200 0 — 2 3 0
Larned 110 130 x — 6 9 1
Lohse, Stryker (5) and Lindhorst. Erway and Stelter. W—Erway, 6-1. L—Lohse, 6-2. 2B—Larned, Erway, Gladow, Gage Skelton, Herter; M, Warnick.