BY JIM MISUNAS
TOPEKA — The Larned Indians parlayed 11 walks and seven hit batters into an easy 14-3 victory over Newton in Wednesday's Class A American Legion state baseball tournament.
LARNED 14, NEWTON 3 —Gunnar Cline had both of Larned's two hits. Cline singled home a run and Carlos Ibarra sacrificed Dillan Smith home for Larned's best runs batted in. The Indians scored 11 runs in the fourth inning.
Cline and Jack Stelter each scored three runs. Mello Bryant and Dillan Smith each drove home two runs.
Starter Aidan Smyth worked three innings and Christian Murray threw one inning,
SALINA HAWKS 12, GREAT BEND BRAVES 2 — The first two Great Bend Braves baserunners were thrown out on the bases. It was that type of tough day for the Braves, who lost 12-2 to the Salina Hawks.
Salina catcher Ethan Bolen threw out Jade Poe and leftfielder Nathan Farmer threw out Brad Beck on back-to-back first-inning plays. The Braves (14-16) never recovered as the Hawks took advantage as the bounces and breaks swung their way. The Braves' fourth-inning rally ended when Stefan Spray's line shot deflected to shortstop Jayton Mathis who turned a double play.
Evan Vaughnhit an RBI first-inning single. The Hawks bunched together six hits and two errors in an eight-run third inning that broke the game open. Jayton Mathis and Jarrett Pittenger delivered two-run singles as the Hawks blooped in several hits in the inning for a 9-0 lead against pitcher Stefan Spray (3-5).
"Stefan made good pitches, but they hit it out of the infield — four bloops in that inning," said Great Bend coach Randy Beck. We were on the unfortunate end. Everything worked out for them."
The Braves had five baserunners reach base in the fourth inning. Brad Beck and Paco Hernandez singled and Chayse Gruber walked to load the bases. Joe Moeder was ht by a pitch and Gavin Haberman walked to force home two runs. Spray drilled a hard-hitball off reliever Pavey that turned into a double play.
Pittenger, Zach Davidson and Mathis added RBIs in a three-run seventh inning for a 12-2 victory.
Brad Beck delivered three singles. Paco Hernandez and Haberman each singled and walked. The Braves play Iola at 12:15 p.m. Thursday.
Larned 021 (11) — 14 2 2
Newton 003 0 — 3 1 4
Smyth, Murray (4) and Stelter. Considine, Livesay (4), Lies (4) and Hirsh. W—Smyth, 5-2. L—Considine. 2B—L—Cline.
Salina Hawks 108 000 3 — 12 12 0
GB Braves 000 200 0 — 2 5 2
Vaughn, Pittenger (3), Pavey (4) and Bolen. Spray, Haberman (6) and Beck. W—Vaughn. L—Spray, 3-5. 2B—S—Bell, Bolen, 3B—S—Mathis.
CLASS A STATE TOPEKA
POOL A—Larned 1-0, Topeka Washburn 1-0, Topeka West 0-1, Newton 0-1
POOL B—Salina Hawks 1-0, Iola 1-0, Marysville 0-1, Great Bend 0-1
7-24—Salina Hawks 12, GB Braves 2; Larned 14, Newton 3; Iola 5, Marysville 0; Topeka Washburn 20, Topeka West 9
7-25—Larned vs. Topeka Washburn, 10 a.m.; Great Bend vs. Iola, 12:15 p.m.; Newton vs. Topeka West; Salina vs. Marysville
7-26—Salina vs. Iola; Newton vs. Topeka Washburn; Great Bend vs. Marysville, 6 p.m.; Larned vs. Topeka West, 8:15