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Cardinals' baseball eyes 3A state tournament
hhs baseball title
The Hoisington Cardinals qualify for the 3A state baseball tournament. Team members include front row—Marcus Ingram, Lane French, Tony Moore, Gratton Dalton, Carson Mason, Preston Roat, Thomas Higgins; back row—head coach Eric Steiner, coach Alan Penka, coach Tim Schremmer, Ethan Grubb, Brody Corbett, Mason Martin, Tyrus Penka, Aiden Hekele, Brodie Crites, Kolter Hahn, Rhen Galla, Kaidenn Chambers.


HOISINGTON – Returning state experience for Hoisington/Central Plains (15-10) will be matched by Sabetha (19-5) in Thursday’s 3A state tournament at Manhattan. Humboldt downed the Cardinals 4-1 and eventual champion Wichita Collegiate edged Sabetha 3-1 in the 2023 state tournament.

“Qualifying for state is a lifetime memory,” said Cardinal coach Eric Steiner. “Qualifying back-to-back for state is special for these guys. It’s a credit to these guys who have invested the work to be successful. They’ve got confidence. We’re where were supposed to be.”

Steiner said playing on a state-tournament stage is valuable.

“Anytime, you compete in a state tournament, it helps,” Steiner said. “Your goal is to go out and compete and play your game. If we do that, we’ll let the ‘cards’ fell where they may.”

Steiner will pitch Moore (5-1, 1.86 ERA) with Preston Roat (5-1, 1.34 ERA) backing him up. Moore compliments his fastball with a curve, slider and changeup.

“Tony Moore shows good velocity around the strike zone,” Steiner said. “He keeps the batters guessing. His biggest strength is he stays composed no matter what happens. He’s our leader by example. He plays to the best of his ability.”

Top batting averages are Moore (.500); Carson Mason (.400); Lane French (.385), Mason Martin (.316) and Marcus Ingram (.313).

“Tony Moore is a competitor who loves baseball,” Steiner said. “He’s going to battle.”

Roat also challenges the hitters with a confident pitching approach.

“Preston is a bulldog out there who throws strikes,” Steiner said. “He hits his spots and we’ve played strong defense behind him. He changes speeds with all of his pitches. Preston has improved every week.”

A midseason victory over Haven 4-2 started by Roat ignited nine wins in 10 games.

“That win against Haven sparked a win streak and got our ball rolling,” Steiner said. “Playing in a strong Central Kansas league helps. Pratt and Hesston also qualified for state baseball. Playing a strong schedule prepares us for postseason.”

The Cardinals’ offense has been sparked by high-scoring innings.

“Hitting is contagious,’ Steiner said. “Our approach at the plate is good. The guys give us quality at-bats. Scoring runs with two outs is big.”

The Cardinals qualified for state by beating Holcomb 10-4 and Cimarron/Ingalls 13-2 to qualify for the state tournament.

Roat struck out three batters and threw a 3-hitter against Cimarron.

Carson Mason led the offense with three runs batted in. Tony Moore homered and knocked home a pair of runs.

Against Holcomb, Moore (5-1) struck out nine batters and retired the side in order four times.


11 a.m.—Wichita Trinity 20-4 vs. Marysville 9-12

1:15 p.m.—Burlington 19-6; Frontenac 17-8

3:30 p.m.—Hesston 20-4 vs. Topeka Hayden 15-12

5:45 p.m.—Sabetha 19-5 vs Hoisington/Central Plains 15-10 

CARDINAL BATTING—Tony Moore (.500); Carson Mason (.400); Lane French (.385), Mason Martin (.316); Marcus Ingram (.313); Kolter Hahn (.250); Gratton Dalton (.243); Rhen Galla (.241); Aiden Hekele (.241); Preston Roat (.192); Tyrus Penka (.143); Brodie Crites (.136).

CARDINAL PITCHING—Moore 5-1 (1.86 ERA); Roat 5-1 (1.34 ERA); French 2-1 (3.81 ERA); Ingram 1-0 (0.00 ERA); Martin 2-3 (2.03 ERA); Dalton 0-1 (3.09 ERA); Hekele 0-3 (5.63 ERA)