BY JIM MISUNAS
SALINA – The Great Bend Chiefs survived pool play with a 1-2 record at the Salina Grand Slam baseball tournament. The Chiefs downed the Topeka Senators 10-4 and lost to McPherson 10-9 and Millard (Neb.) North 15-0.
MCPHERSON 10, CHIEFS 9 (G1) – The Chiefs gambled and ended the game on a controversial ruling that cost Great Bend the game-tying run. Townshend Kurth slid safely into home plate on an attempted steal for the tying run for an apparent 10-10 tie. But the home plate umpire ruled that batter Riley Smith interfered with McPherson catcher Jared McCartney and ended the game on a game-ending out. Chiefs coach Travis Kurth was ejected following the game and had to sit out the second tournament game.
Collin Pearson scored on Ty Miller's seventh-inning infield single with two out and Aiden Hoover scored on a bases-loaded walk. Tucker Pelnar scored on Jared McCartney's single for a 10-7 lead.
Four consecutive Chiefs reached base in the seventh inning. Townshend Kurth singled home Jayce Kohls and Calan Haberman scored on a passed ball for a 10-9 score. Carson Smith walked before Colin Hall and Joey Soupiset were retired by pitcher Hunter Alvord.
McPherson's Aiden Hoover scored on unearned run on Brandon Malm's first-inning single. Hoover singled home Bruster Bengston after a second-inning hit batter for a 2-0 lead.
Soupiset doubled home Hall and Nahum Olivas singled home Soupiset for a 2-2 tie. McPherson prevented a big inning when Riley Smith was thrown out at home.
Brandon Malm's sacrifice fly scored Hunter Alvord in the third inning. Townshend Kurth scored on Hall's third-inning sacrifice fly. Soupiset singled home Carson Smith, who reached base on an error for a 4-3 lead. Kurth singled home Calan Haberman, who tripled in the fourth inning. Kurth raced home for the Chiefs' sixth run.
Chiefs reliever Layton Holden threw 21/3 shutout innings. McPherson scored four unearned runs for a 7-6 lead when the Chiefs committed an error and relievers Carson Smith and Christian Zahnter combined to walk three batters. Carson Smith singled home Haberman for a 7-7 tie.
CHIEFS 10, TOPEKA SENATORS 4 (G2) – Townshend Kurth (4-3) threw a solid game to boost the Chiefs into the quarterfinals. Jayce Kohls delivered a two-run single and Riley Smith scored three runs with three hits.
Kurth and Colin Hall scored on first-inning wild pitches and Soupiset stole home. Soupiset scored on a third-inning error and Riley Smith stole home for a 5-1 lead. Kohls singled home Soupiset and Riley Smith for a 7-4 lead after five innings.
Haberman scored on a sixth-inning error. Riley Smith and Nahum Olivas scored seventh-inning runs for a 10-4 victory.
MILLARD (NEB.) NORTH 15, CHIEFS 0 (G3) – Millard North (23-7) finished off pool play by outscoring three teams 53-1. Pitcher Owen Machal threw a one-hit shutout. Zach Johnson and Nathan Vermaas each drove in three runs. Owen Sutherland, Ben Weber and Mark Geiger each drove in two runs.
Nahum Olivas singled for the Chiefs' base hit.
McPherson 111 004 03 – 10 8 3
GB Chiefs 022 201 02 – 9 11 2
Gumm, Trayton Pelnar (5), Alvord (8) and Bengston. Hall, Soupiset (2), Holden (3), Carson Smith (6), Zahnter (6), Riley Smith (7) and C. Smith, Hall (6). W–Trayton Pelnar, 1-0. L–R. Smith, 0-2. 2B–GB–Soupiset; M–Tucker Pelnar. 3B–GB–Haberman.
GB Chiefs 302 021 2 – 10 8 0
Topeka Senators 103 000 0 – 4 6 5
Kurth and Hall. Bowers, Knapp (3), Becker (7) and Scott. W–Kurth, 4-3. L–Bowers. 2B–GB–T–Bowers.
Great Bend Chiefs 000 – 0 1 4
Millard North 2(10)3 – 15 15 3
Olivas, Zahnter (2) and Riley Smith. Machal and Johnson. W–Machal. L–Olivas, 0-1. 2B–M–Weber, Geiger, Slaughter.
SALINA GRAND SLAM 19 AND UNDER
POOL A—1—Capital Mudcats (2-1); 2—Salina Falcons (2-1); 3—Topeka Scrappers (1-2); 4—Columbus Blues (1-2)
POOL B—1—Millard (Neb.) North (3-0); 2—McPherson (2-1); 3—Great Bend Chiefs (1-2); 4—Topeka Senators (0-3)
THURSDAY—Capital 8, Topeka Scrappers 2; McPherson 13, Topeka Senators 11; Salina Falcons 1, Columbus 0; Millard North 15, Topeka Senators 0
FRIDAY—McPherson 10, Great Bend Chiefs 9; Topeka Scrappers 5, Columbus 4; Capital Mudcats 8, Salina Falcons 6; Salina Falcons 5, Topeka Scrappers 3; Millard North 23, McPherson 1
SATURDAY—Great Bend Chiefs 10, Topeka Senators 4; Columbus 13, Capital Mudcats 7; Millard North 15, Great Bend Chiefs 0; 7TH PLACE—Columbus Blues vs. Topeka Senators; Salina Falcons vs. Great Bend Chiefs; McPherson vs. Topeka Scrappers
SUNDAY—Capital Mudcats vs. Salina Falcons/Great Bend Chiefs winner, DE, 2:15; Millard North vs. McPherson/Topeka Scrappers winner, JM, 2:15; CHAMPIONSHIP—DE, 5 p.m.