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Perez pitches Larned into Legion finals
Beloit wins losers bracket final
larned Legion team


LARNED — Larned’s American Legion baseball team erased some bad memories against the Concordia Blues in the Class AA Zone 5-6 Tournament.
Larned shut out Concordia 8-0 Tuesday after losing to Concordia in the 2015 Class 4A-Division 2 high school state semifinals and 2014 Class AA State Legion Tournament.
Larned (13-11) plays rival Russell at 5 p.m. Wednesday at Moffet Stadium, one victory away from a third consecutive Class AA state trip. Two teams qualify from the Zone Tournament for the state tournament at Fort Scott. The radio broadcast game will be aired online Wednesday afternoon (
“We would’ve been in the state championship game except for Concordia,” Perez said. “We wanted to beat them.”
Ace pitcher Isiah Perez struck out eight batters in four innings. Tyler Stelter delivered a three-run double and Larned took advantage of 11 baserunners on walks and hit batters at Moffet Stadium.
Perez spotted an effective slider to get the batters off balance and mixed in a fastball and cutter. He threw 50 pitches after a relief inning Monday.
“My slider was really moving and my fastball was tailing to the right-handed batters,” Perez said. “The cutter was going away from them. I was mixing them up. When I’m on, I can be pretty good.”
Third baseman Gage Skelton preserved Perez’s shutout with a nifty play on a hard-hit second-inning groundball by Tyler Stupka after Garrett Lawrence doubled and Brent Beaumont reached on a topped grounder. Only Lawrence and Stupka hit the baseball hard off Perez.
“We’re somewhat relaxed when Isiah is doing his thing,” said Larned coach Chad Erway. “Concordia wanted to swing aggressive in the count. But Isiah worked them backwards and led them with tight sliders. It breaks late. They were looking for fastballs and it was difficult to handle.”
Larned adhered to a scouting report that led to six walks off Blues starter Billy Bechard. Jon Herter, Stelter and Alex Barger forced home first-inning runs on bases-loaded walks for a 3-0 lead.
“Bechard has some talent, but was inconsistent with his accuracy,” said Chad Erway. “He’s a rhythm pitcher and likes to work fast. We got him out of his rhythm.”
Evan Skelton and Landon Erway singled and Perez walked to load the bases for Stelter, who ripped a three-run double to right field for a 6-0 lead. Gage Skelton singled home Mason Schartz and Herter ended the five-inning game with an RBI single to right field that scored Gage Skelton for a run-rule victory.
Evan Skelton 2 2 2 0
Gage Skelton 4 1 1 1
Landon Erway 1 3 1 0
Isiah Perez 1 2 1 0
Jon Herter 3 0 2 2
Tyler Stelter 2 0 1 4
Shevin Martin 0 0 0 0
Alex Barger 1 0 1 1
Carson Smith 3 0 0 0
Mason Schartz 3 1 1 0
TOTALS 20 8 10 8
Concordia 000 00 — 0 2 0
Larned 330 02 — 8 10 0
2B—Stelter, Gage Shelton, Lawrence. SB—Evan Skelton 2, Barger, Beaumont. CS—Stupka. PB—Payeur. HP—Erway, Evan Skelton. LOB—Larned 5, Concordia 2. DP—Concordia 1.
Concordia IP H R ER BB SO
BBechard 1.2 4 6 6 6 4
Beaumont 2.0 3 0 0 2 2
Thompson 0.1 3 2 2 1 0
Larned IP H R ER BB SO
Perez 4 2 0 0 1 8
Erway 1 0 0 0 0 1

(Moffet Stadium)
Larned 8, Beloit 1
Russell 16, Sylvan Grove 6
Ellis 19, WaKeeney 0
Sylvan Grove 19, WaKeeney 6

Larned 8, Concordia 0
Russell 5, Ellis 3
Concordia 8, Sylvan Grove 0
Beloit 3, Ellis 2, 9 innings

Beloit 11, Concordia 3
Larned 11, Russell (Zone 5 champion)
Game 11—Beloit vs. Russell 13-8 (Zone 6 champion)