BY JIM MISUNAS
SALINA – The Great Bend Braves Legion baseball team nearly swept three pool games in Salina's Grand Slam baseball tournament. But two late-game collapses cost the Braves, who lost to Millard (Neb.) North 6-5 and the Salina Hawks 9-8. The Braves rebounded with an 10-2 victory over the Clearwater Outlaws in Friday's Salina Grand Slam baseball tournament.
MILLARD NORTH 6, BRAVES 5 – The Braves led 4-0 when Millard North scored six runs in the final four at-bats. Chayse Gruber singled home Sage Koelsch in the first inning. Koelsch singled home Stefan Spray to ignite a three-run fourth inning. Reliever Logan LaPerriere uncorked wild pitches to score Esten Moore and Brody Feist for a 4-0 lead.
A costly missed third strike cost the Braves three unearned runs when LaPerriere reached base. Dane Garner delivered a two-run single and Garner scored on Sage Koelsch's fourth-inning balk. Logan Anderson's single scored Garner for a 4-4 tie after six innings.
Brad Beck scored a seventh-inning run when a fly ball hit by Paco Hernandez was misplayed for a 5-4 Braves lead.
The Braves missed two playable seventh-inning groundballs and Millard North took advantage. Eric Soppe hit the game-tying single and Josh Foland delivered the game-winning single off hard-luck losing pitcher Gavin Haberman.
BRAVES 10, CLEARWATER 2 – Joseph Moeder drove in three runs and pitched six solid innings to earn the victory. Clearwater committed nine errors.
Joseph Moeder scored the Braves' first run on Paco Hernandez's second-inning bunt. Sage Koelsch scored on a bases-loaded walk to Gavin Haberman for a 2-0 lead.
Brad Beck's two-run double keyed a five-run fourth inning. Joseph Moeder's two-run double scored Chayse Gruber and Beck. Joseph Moeder scored on an error for a 7-2 lead. Gruber, Joseph Moeder and Hernandez had RBIs in a four-run fifth inning.
SALINA HAWKS 9, BRAVES 8 – The Salina Hawks rallied for two runs for an 9-8 victory in eight innings over the Great Bend Braves in Thursday’s Salina Grand Slam baseball tournament.
The Braves led 8-7 when Sage Koelsch singled home Moore in the eighth inning after Moore was placed at second base to start the inning.
Salina’s Jarret Pittenger scored on an error on Ethan Bolen’s bunt and Evan Vaughn followed with a bunt single. Nathan Farmer’s RBI single scored Bolen with the game-winning run off pitcher Zach Poe.
The Braves led 5-0 after 31/2 innings. Stefan Spray singled home pinch runner Mathew Moeder in a four-run second inning. Paco Hernandez doubled home Gavin Haberman. Koelsch singled home Spray and Hernandez. Koelsch doubled home Hernandez in the fourth inning for a 5-0 lead.
Salina’s Farmer doubled home Vaughn to start a three-run fourth inning. Farmer scored on a wild pitch and Zach Redding’s single scored Bryce Cooper. The Braves committed four errors to hand the Hawks four fifth-inning runs. Pittenger, Bolen, Vaughn and Farmer all scored on Braves errors for a 7-5 lead.
The Braves’ Hernandez doubled home Moore in the sixth inning. Joseph Moeder tripled home Brad Beck for a 7-7 tie after seven innings.
GB Braves 100 300 1 – 5 6 3
Millard North 000 301 2 – 6 9 2
Koelsch, Haberman (6) and Poe. Garner, LaPerriere (4) and O'Donnell. W–LaPerriere. 2B–GB–Joseph Moeder.
Clearwater 020 00 – 2 3 9
GB Braves 011 53 – 10 5 1
Joseph Moeder and Beck. W—J. Moeder, 2-0. 2B—GB—J. Moeder, Beck.
GB Braves 040 101 11 – 8 14 7
Salina Hawks 000 340 02 – 9 13 2
Spray, Gruber (5), Poe (7) and Beck. Mathis, Davidson (6) and Vaughn. W—Davidson. L—Poe., 1-2. 2B—GB—Hernandez 2, Koelsch; S—Farmer, Davidson. 3B—GB—Joseph Moeder.
SALINA GRAND SLAM 17 AND UNDER
DEAN EVANS (DE); JAMES MATSON (JM)
POOL A—1—Millard (Neb.) North (2-1); 2—Salina Hawks (2-1); 3—Great Bend Braves (1-2); 4—Clearwater Outlaws (1-2)
POOL B—1—Millard (Neb.) North Juniors (3-0); 2—Junction City Blues (2-1); 3—Topeka Scrappers (1-2); Salina Eagles (0-3)
THURSDAY—Junction City 16, Salina Eagles 6; Millard North 2, Salina Hawks 1; Clearwater 9, Millard North 7; Topeka Scrappers 13, Salina Eagles 2; Salina Hawks 9, Great Bend Braves 8; Millard North Juniors 13, Junction City 5
FRIDAY—Millard North Juniors 26, Salina Eagles 1; Great Bend 11, Clearwater 2; Millard North 6, Great Bend Braves 5; Junction City 10, Topeka 2; Salina Hawks 17, Clearwater 2
SATURDAY—Millard North Juniors 13, Topeka Scrappers 0; 7TH PLACE—Clearwater 9, Salina Eagles 1; Topeka Scrappers 11, Salina Hawks 2; Junction City 11, Great Bend 4
SUNDAY—Semifinal—Millard North vs. Great Bend-Junction City, DE, noon; Millard North Juniors vs. Topeka Scrappers, JM, noon; CHAMPIONSHIP—JM, 4:30