Larned baseball captures CKL title
By JIM MISUNAS
PRATT — The Larned Indians parlayed two big scoring innings for a sweep of Pratt and a Central Kansas League baseball title. Larned won a pair of hard-fought games, 7-5 and 5-3.
“We faced some adversity and played two tough ballgames. They were gratifying and we achieved our first goal by winning the league,” said Larned coach Chad Erway. “We want to define our season by winning championships. Last summer’s schedule has helped these guys improve. We did not hit the ball well at times, but we pieced together some hits for two big innings.”
Larned (15-2) captured the CKL title over Halstead (13-3). Top-seeded Larned plays Hoisington (6-12) in the Class 4A Hoisington baseball regional Tuesday. Thomas More Prep (13-4) and Russell (13-5) meet at 2 p.m. Tuesday.
LARNED 7, PRATT 5 — Tyler Stelter delivered a two-run single off losing pitcher Jacob Kurz to key a six-run fifth inning for a 7-0 lead. Isiah Perez and Trey Kraisinger drove home runs in the inning. Perez tripled and scored on Johnathon Herter’s sacrifice fly for a 1-0 lead.
Pratt’s Brandon Ruckle tripled home two runs in a three-run fifth inning, started by an error and hit batter. Kurz singled home Ruckle to slice the lead to 7-3. Kurz’s two-run single scored Landen Studer and Ruckle in the seventh inning. Perez retired Schrag on a force play to end the game.
“Isiah threw well and pounded the strike zone,” Erway said. “His out pitch is his slider, but he pitched backwards and spotted his change and slider before working his fastball.”
LARNED 5, PRATT 3 — Skyler Hoch’s two-run single finished a four-run third inning for the Indians. Tyler Stelter singled home Evan Skelton and Herter’s single scored Landon Erway for a 2-0 lead. Hoch’s single scored Herter and Kraisinger.
Pratt sliced the lead to 4-3 when Noel doubled home Hayden Schrag and Seth Simmons followed with an RBI single in the fourth inning.
Pratt loaded the bases on two walks and an error. But winning pitcher Kraisinger worked out of trouble by retiring Schrag and Noel to end the ballgame to strand the tying and winning runners. Kraisinger also picked off a Pratt baserunner.
“Trey finished strong and worked an effective curveball,” Erway said. “We showed some growth, which is good this time of year.”
Overnight rain may cancel Thursday’s scheduled twin bill against Great Bend. The Indians may feature some inexperienced arms with regular starter Evan Skelton uncertain after an ankle injury.
LARNED 7, PRATT 5
Larned 010 060 0 — 7 9 2
Pratt 000 030 2 — 5 6 3
Perez and Stelter. Kurz, Simmons (5) and Huslig. W—Perez, 3-1. L—Kurz. 3B—L, Perez; P, Ruckle.
LARNED 5, PRATT 3
Larned 004 001 0 — 5 6 3
Pratt 000 300 0 — 3 5 2
Kraisinger and Stelter. Noel and DeSoto. W—Kraisingr, 3-1. L—DeSoto. 2B—L, Evan Skelton, P; Noel.
Larned 15-2 15-2
Halstead 13-3 14-4
Pratt 11-7 11-9
Lyons 10-7 10-9
Nickerson 10-8 11-9
Kingman 10-8 11-9
Hoisington 6-10 6-12
Haven 5-11 5-13
Smoky Valley 3-13 3-15
Hillsboro 2-16 3-17
Kingman 4-1, Larned 2-11
Lyons 5-5 Nickerson 2-7
Haven 10-8, Smoky Valley 8-0
Russell 28-16, Hoisington 1-1
Halstead 2, Lyons 0
Hillsboro def. Lyons
Halstead 13-11, Hillsboro 9-1
Larned 7-5, Pratt 5-3
Lyons 15-15, Smoky Valley 4-5
Nickerson 14-3, Haven 6-4
4A LARNED—Larned 15-2 vs. Hoisington 6-12, 4 p.m. Tuesday; Hays-Thomas More Prep 13-4 vs. Russell 13-5, 2 p.m. Tuesday.