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Great Bend Chiefs lose opening ballgames


Great Bend Chiefs coach Travis Kurth knew his Legion baseball team would have to perform at a high level to compete against top-caliber all-star teams at the Barton Community College Tournament.

That reality hit hard as Manhattan’s Barn overpowered the Chiefs 8-0 in Friday’s opener at Lawson-Biggs Field. The Chiefs (8-2) hit the ball better, but lost 6-4 in a hard-fought second game against Wichita’s 316 Elite No. 2 team.

MANHATTAN BARN 8, CHIEFS 0 (G1) — Barton Community College recruits Payton Smith, Wade Reynolds, Hayden Bontrager and Austin Gerety played for the Manhattan-based team that features players from Washburn Rural, Topeka Seaman, Manhattan, Maize South, Nemaha Central, Goddard Eisenhower and St. Marys.

Washburn Rural’s Payton Smith delivered a pair of RBI singles, including the game-ending hit that scored Reynolds that finished the game on the eight-run rule.

Chiefs’ pitcher Colin Hall should’ve worked two scoreless innings, but a two-out error scored Gerety and Carl Aikman for a 2-0 lead. Reynolds, Smith, Gerety, Bontrager and Jaydyn Henderson delivered solid RBI singles in a five-run third inning. Smith’s game-ending single came off reliever Joey Soupiset.

Townshend Kurth ripped a third-inning double for the Chiefs’ lone base hit. Kurth, Christian Zahnter and Jayce Kohls drew walks and Layton Holden was hit by a pitch. 

WICHITA 316 ELITE NO. (2) 6, CHIEFS 4 (G2) — Five errors and four baserunners on walks and a hit batter were too much to overcome for the Chiefs. The first run scored on an error and two runners scored after reaching base without a hit.

Great Bend’s Kurth delivered two singles and Carson Smith, Colin Hall and Joey Soupiset added singles.

Wichita’s Elite team features high-caliber players from Wichita Carroll, Derby, Maize South, Arkansas City, Andover, Goddard Eisenhower, Wichita Kapaun-Mt. Carmel, Wichita Trinity, Winfield and Minneapolis. 

Wichita’s Preston Drake tripled and scored on a first-inning error. Eric Reeder scored on a sacrifice fly. Cooper Thompson walked and scored on a second-inning wild pitch. Corbin Tandy rtripled home Michael Phillips for a 4-0 lead.

Carson Smith followed Townshend Kurth’s single with a perfect hit-and-run in the fourth inning. Kurth scored on Hall’s pop fly single. Christian Carson Smith and Zahnter scored on errors. Joey Soupiset scored on Jayce Kohls’ groundout for a 4-4 tie.

Wichita’s Preston Drake tripled home Riley Reyes after moved into scoring position on back-to-back sixth-inning errors for a 5-4 lead. Ethan Stucky singled home Hunter Xanders for a valuable insurance run. 

Great Bend Chiefs 000 00 — 0 1 1

Manhattan Barn 025 01 — 8 6 0

Hall, Soupiset (5) and Riley Smith. Jackson, Jones (5) and Smith. L—Hall. 2B—GB—Kurth.

316 Elite No. 2 025 01 — 6 8 3

Great Bend Chiefs 000 400 0 — 4 5 5

Tandy and Phillips. Kurth, Soupiset (7) and Hall. W—Tandy. L—Kurth. 3B—E—Drake 2, Tandy.