By Jim Misunas
LARNED — Tyler Stelter drilled a grand slam homer to spark Larned’s Legion baseball to an opening 6-2 baseball victory over rival Thomas More Prep.
But the Indians lost the nightcap 4-1 Wednesday when TMP scored three runs in the eighth inning.
Gage Skelton started a five-run inning off pitcher Ryan Ruder with a third-inning double and scored when Mason Schartz’s groundball was misplayed. Evan Skelton singled and Schartz and Landon Erway reached on back-to-back errors to load the bases. Stelter’s homer to left field at Moffet Stadium made it 5-0.
Landon Erway singled and scored in the fifth inning.
Larned pitcher Landon Erway threw seven solid innings and worked around nine base hits to strand six baserunners, four in scoring position.
TMP’s Braiden Werth doubled home Ryan Shippers in the fourth inning. Jared Rack homered in the fifth inning.
Stelter helped Erway by throwing out Liam Stults in the third inning. Larned right fielder Colton Gladow threw out Jordan Gottschalk in the fourth inning.
TMP 4, LARNED 1 Johnathon Herter drove in Schartz with a sacrifice fly for Larned’s sixth-inning run off Liam Stults for a 1-1 tie.
Larned managed four hits and six walks off Stults and Werth. TMP turned double plays in the second inning and fourth inning. Larned wasted a leadoff double by Bryant and had three baserunners reach base in a scoreless fourth inning.
TMP’s Jordan Gottschalk singled home Ricky Hockett in the fifth inning.
Larned pitcher Isiah Perez worked into the eighth inning with five strikeouts. But Perez ran into trouble when Rack singled and Hockett walked. Camryn Bryant relieved Perez, but walked three consecutive batters — Stults, Jared Vitztum and Shippers to hand TMP three baserunners and two walk-in runs. Gottschalk drove in Stults on a sacrifice fly.
LARNED 6, TMP 2
TMP Legion 000 110 0 — 2 9 3
Larned 005 010 x — 6 6 0
Ruder and Gottschalk. Erway and Stelter. W—Stelter. L—Ruder. 2B—TMP, Gottschalk, Werth 2; L, Gage Skelton. HR—TMP, Rack, L, Stelter.
TMP 4, LARNED 1
TMP Legion 000 010 03 — 4 7 0
Larned 000 001 00 — 1 4 2
Stults, Werth (6) and Gottschalk. Perez, Bryant (8), Smith (8) and Stelter. W—Werth. L—Perez. 2B—L, Bryant. 3B—TMP, Stults.