Flawed tiebreaker costs Great Bend Braves
BY JIM MISUNAS
TOPEKA — The Great Bend Braves Legion baseball team rolled past Marysville 16-5 Friday, but lost a three-way tiebreaker to advance to the Class A American Legion state baseball semifinals.
A poorly crafted tiebreaker based on least runs permitted cost the Braves, who maintained the best run differential. The Braves (16-16) scored a pool high 30 runs and held a 9-run run advantage. They finished postseason play with a 5-2 record.
"I wish there was another way. I'd rather they use run differential because you've played everybody tough," said Randy Beck, Great Bend Braves coach. "We didn't make bracket play. One (bad) inning in three games took out of the bracket."
The Salina Hawks (2-1, 13 runs yielded) won the tournament tiebreaker over Iola (2-1, 14 runs permitted) in a three-way tie. Great Bend (2-1, 21 runs yielded) beat Marysville 16-5 to force a three-way tie.
Had the tournament used a run differential, the Braves would've qualified. The Braves (30-21) finished plus 9. The Salina Hawks (18-13) finished plus 5; Iola (17-14) ended plus 3.
GREAT BEND BRAVES 16, MARYSVILLE 5 — Brad Beck led a 13-hit attack with a double, triple and two runs batted home. Jade Poe tripled and drove in two runs. Stefan Spray doubled home three runs. Paco Hernandez homered.
The Braves broke a 2-2 tie with a six-run third inning. Great Bend earned a run-rule with a five-run fifth inning. Sage Koelsch worked 31/3 innings to earn the victory.
"We had nothing to play for except pride," Beck said. "I was very happy the way we came out and played. We got after it. I was definitely proud of these kids. I was pleased how we finished the season."
Batting averages for the state tournament are Brad Beck, 6/10; Chayse Gruber, 5/10; Jade Poe, 4/10; Stefan Spray, 4/10; Gavin Haberman, 3/6; Sage Koelsch, 3/12; Paco Hernandez, 2/6; Joseph Moeder, 2/8; and Esten Moore, 2/10.
"We got key hits," coach Beck said. "It was key to get their starter out. They didn't have a whole lot after that."
GB Braves 206 152 — 16 13 3
Marysville 203 000 — 5 4 5
Joseph Moeder, Koelsch (3) and Beck. Brinegar, Marquardt (3), O'Toole (3), Ketter (5), Halbert (6). W—Koelsch, 1-2. L—Brinegar. 2B—GB—Spray, Beck; 3B—GB—Poe, Beck; M—Brinegar, Price. HR—GB—Hernandez.
CLASS A STATE TOPEKA
x-clinched semifinal spot
POOL A—x-Larned 3-0, x-Topeka Washburn 2-1, Newton 1-2, Topeka West 0-3
POOL B—x-Salina Hawks 2-1 (13), x-Iola 2-1 (14), Great Bend 1-1 (21), Marysville 0-3
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 11, Topeka Washburn 1; Great Bend 12, Iola 4; Newton 9, Topeka West 4; Salina 4, Marysville 3
7-26—Iola 8, Salina Hawks 2; Topeka Washburn 11, Newton 1; Great Bend 16, Marysville 5; Larned 14, Topeka West 7
7-27—SEMIFINALS—G13—Larned 4, Iola 2; G14—Salina Hawks vs. Topeka Washburn; CHAMPIONSHIP—Larned vs. Salina Hawks-Topeka Washburn winner