BY JIM MISUNAS
Great Bend pitchers Colin Hall and Chayse Gruber combined to upset the Hays Eagles 5-1 in Wednesday's baseball nightcap.
The talented Eagles (24-3) own bragging rights as the best Kansas high-school age summer baseball team. The Eagles roared to a 16-4 victory in the opener at the Great Bend Sports Complex. The Eagles won four of five games against the Chiefs this summer.
CHIEFS 5, EAGLES 1 (G2) – Hall pitched a near-perfect 82-pitch outing with seven strikeouts and 16 of 21 first-pitch strikes. Hall stranded the bases loaded in the fifth inning by striking out Jack Fields and Keatyn Barnett. Hall's final six outs were strikeouts, four of them called third strikes. Dalton Dale singled home Josh Haynes after a second-inning triple.
"Colin was on top of his game. He threw first-pitch strikes and after that, he kept them guessing," said Great Bend coach Randy Beck. "He really pounded the zone. He threw two pitches in the zone for strikes. When we had Colin on the mound, we knew our chances were good."
Gruber was equally effective against a power-laden Hays team. Catcher Brad Beck threw out Brady Kreutzer to end the sixth inning. Gruber struck out Dalton Dale and retired Garrett Wellbrock on a fly ball to strand the bases loaded in the seventh inning.
Gavin Haberman rocked the game-winning three-run triple in the first inning off Hays pitcher Brady Kreutzer (5-1). Townshend Kurth, Gruber and Stefan Spray loaded the bases with first-inning walks.
"Haberman's triple was huge," Beck said. "That kick started us in game two."
Hays gift wrapped a two-run third inning with walks to Spray and Brad Beck and an error on Haberman's groundball. Joseph Moeder made the Eagles pay with a clutch two-run single for a 5-1 lead.
EAGLES 16, CHIEFS 4 (G1) – Remington Cox led a 14-hit Hays attack with five RBIs keyed by a two-run double and two-run single. The Eagles rocked Chiefs' starter Joseph Moeder for four first-inning runs. The Eagles added seven runs in the second inning.
Brock Lummus drilled an RBI first-inning triple and Carson Jacobs hit an RBI single. Dale and Wellbrock delivered RBI single and Hays scored two runs on bases-loaded walks and once on a groundball for an 11-0 lead. Haynes hit an RBI double and Cox added an RBI groundout for a 13-0 lead.
Stefan Spray's third-inning single scored Hall to break up Wellbrock's shutout. Brad Beck scored on an error and Mathew Moeder scored on Kurth's bases-loaded walk. Mathew Moeder scored on a wild pitch in a three-run fourth inning.
The Chiefs ( 17-13) open play Friday at 8 p.m. at Buhler's Wheatland World Series.
"We want to play our best baseball and stay in the winner's bracket," Beck said.
EAGLES 16, CHIEFS 4
Hays 472 3 – 16 14 1
Chiefs 001 3 – 4 3 0
Wellbrock, Dale (4), Haynes (4) and Kreutzer. Joseph Moeder, Haberman (2) and Hall. W–Wellbrock, 5-0. L–J. Moeder, 2-2. 2B–H–Cox, Haynes, Wellbrock. 3B–H–Lummus..
CHIEFS 5, EAGLES 1
Hays 010 000 0 – 1 9 2
Chiefs 302 000 x – 5 3 2
Kreutzer, Dreiling (3) and Cox. Hall, Gruber (6) and Beck. W–Hall, 4-3. L–Kreutzer, 5-1. SV–Gruber. 2B–H–Dreiling.. 3B–GB–Haberman; H–Haynes.
GREAT BEND CHIEFS (17-13)
WL–Chiefs vs. Larned 11-10 (W Spray), 3-8 (L Zahnter)
LL–Chiefs at Hays 3-8 (L Holden), 0-10 (L Hall)
WW–Chiefs vs. Larned, 8-3 (W Koelsch), 4-2 (W Gruber)
WWLL–Chiefs at McPherson (W Wichita Aeros 7-5 (W Hernandez); W Hutchinson 4-3 (W Hall); L Hays Eagles 3-6 (L Gruber); L KC Aces 1-4 (L Hall)
LW–Chiefs vs. Pratt, 7-10 (L Poe); TMP 10-5 (W Joseph Moeder)
WWLL—Salina Tournament (W Hutchinson Colts 4-3 (W Hall); L Topeka Scrappers 0-17 (L Hernandez); W Wichita Sluggers 4-3 (W Holden); L Topeka Senators 5-10 (L Gruber)
WW–Chiefs at Salina Falcons, 10-3 (Holden), 6-2 (W Joseph Moeder)
WL–Chiefs vs. Dodge City, 3-2 (W Gruber), 4-13 (L Hall)
WWLL–Junction City Tournament (W Hutchinson 12-1 (W Holden); L Junction City 6-7 (L Kurth); W Tri County 9-4 (W Gruber); L Yellow Jackets 2-6 (L Hernandez)
WL–Chiefs vs. Salina Falcons 6-1 (W Spray), 5-7 (L Poe)
WW–Chiefs vs. Dodge City, 6-3 (W Hall), 8-6 (W Joseph Moeder)
WL–Chiefs vs. Hays Eagles, 5-1 (W Hall), 4-16 (L Joseph Moeder)
7-25–Buhler Tournament (Chiefs vs. Newton/Salina Falcons winner, 8)
7-26–Chiefs at Buhler Tournament
BUHLER TOURNAMENT (WRAY FIELD)
FRIDAY– G1–McPherson 8, Ottawa 0; G2–Newton (13-11) vs. Salina Falcons (11-9), 4 p.m.; G3–Buhler Nationals (21-7) vs. McPherson (10-9), 6 p.m.; G4–Great Bend Chiefs (17-13) vs. G2 winner, 8 p.m.
SATURDAY– G5–losers G1, G4, 9 a.m.; G6–losers G2, G3, 11 a.m.; G7–winners G5, G6; G8–winners G2, G3, 3 p.m.
SUNDAY– G9–winner G7 vs. loser G8, 9 a.m.; G10–winners G8, G9, 11 a.m.; G11–if needed