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Great Bend Chiefs advance to semifinals
Chayse Gruber


MCPHERSON – The Great Bend Chiefs played their best baseball of the summer to sweep two games at Saturday’s McPherson Hooper Baseball Classic.

Chayse Gruber delivered the game-winning single as the Chiefs outlasted the Hutchinson Colts 4-3 in eight innings. The Chiefs downed the Wichita Aeros 7-5 in Saturday’s opener.

The Chiefs (5-3) advance into an four-team winners bracket at 1 p.m. Sunday at Buhler’s Wheatland Park.

CHIEFS 4, HUTCHINSON COLTS 3 (G2) —The Hutchinson Colts forced extra innings when Anthony Blackwell scored on Carter Booe’s seventh-inning sacrifice fly.

Chiefs reliever Colin Hall retired three consecutive batters in the eighth inning after Tyler Radloff was placed at second base on the extra-inning rule.

Townshend Kurth’s clutch sacrifice bunt moved Matt Moeder to third base. Gruber’s single to center field scored Moeder with the game-winning run off pitcher Bennett Turner.

“We did what we had to do to get a win,” said Great Bend Chiefs coach Randy Beck. “We played well enough to get the win.”

Chiefs starter Layton Holden pitched solidly in a 105-pitch outing with five strikeouts. But the scrappy Colts matched the Chiefs through seven innings. The Chiefs stranded five runners in scoring position before a three-run fifth inning.

Hutchinson’s Carter Booe walked and scored a first-inning run on Holden’s throwing error. Tyler Radloff’s single scored Booe for a 2-0 lead after three innings.

The Chiefs made seven outs with runners in scoring position in four scoreless innings. Matt Moeder was unable to score after back-to-back doubles.

But Jade Poe delivered the game’s signature play with a sacrifice bunt that moved Joe Moeder and Colin Hall into scoring position. Stefan Spray’s single scored Moeder. Hall scored on Paco Hernandez’s groundball. Pinch-hitter Kurth delivered a clutch sacrifice fly to score Spray for a 3-2 lead.

“To me, there’s a good time to bunt and Jade Poe and Townshend Kurth got the job done,” Beck said.

Booe’s sacrifice fly sent the game into extra innings.

CHIEFS 7, AEROS 5 (G1) – Reliever Chayse Gruber retired four batters to preserve a hard-fought 7-5 victory over the Wichita Aeros. Starter Paco Hernandez and Gruber combined to walk eight batters and the Chiefs contributed three errors that led to three unearned runs.

The Chiefs got the job done at the plate with seven runs, six hits and a trio of extra-base hits.

Chiefs’ Stefan Spray and Hall delivered RBI doubles and Jade Poe drove home a run with a groundout in a three-run third inning. Hall ignited the game-winning three-run rally with an RBI single and Kurth drilled a two-run triple for a 7-3 lead.

Chiefs 103 03 – 7 6 3

Aeros 102 20 – 5 1 1

Hernandez, Gruber (4) and Hall. Postier, Grillot (4) and Oberlach. W—Hernandez. L—Postier. 2B—GB—Spray, Hall. 3B—GB—Kurth.


Colts 101 000 10 – 3 3 0

Chiefs 000 030 01 – 4 10 2

Smith, Elliott (5), Eckhoff (6), Turner (7) and Goldsmith. Holden, Hall (8) and Poe. W—Hall. L—Turner. 2B—GB—Matt Moeder 2.



POOL A—Hays Eagles 12, Kansas Senators 0; Hays 3, Topeka Scrappers 2; Liberal 7, Kansas Senators 4; Topeka Scrappers 7, Liberal 3

POOL B—Buhler Nationals 4, Emporia 3; Emporia 2, Fort Scott 1; Fort Scott 10, Marion 0; Buhler 8, Marion 5

POOL C—Great Bend Chiefs 7, Wichita Aeros 5; Aeros 16, Kingman 4; Chiefs 4, Hutchinson Colts 3; Hutchinson 9, Kingman 1

POOL D—Newton 3, Pratt 2; KC Aces 9, Pratt 1; KC Aces 9, McPherson Bullpups 5; McPherson 2, Newton 1

WINNERS BRACKET—Hays Eagles 6, Great Bend Chiefs 3; Buhler Nationals 7, KC Aces 6

CHAMPIONSHIP—Buhler National vs. Hays Eagles, ppd.

THIRD PLACE—KC Aces 4, Great Bend Chiefs 1

FIFTH PLACE—Emporia vs. Newton

SEVENTH PLACE—Fort Scott 4, Hutchinson 0

NINTH PLACE—Topeka Scrappers 3, McPherson 2

11TH PLACE—Liberal 7, Wichita Aeros 2 

13TH PLACE—Kansas Senators 8, Kingman 4

15TH PLACE—Marion 7, Pratt 2

CONSOLATION 1—Emporia 10, Fort Scott 5; Newton 9, Hutchinson 3 

CONSOLATION 2—Topeka Scrappers 7, Liberal 1; McPherson 9, Wichita Aeros 7

CONSOLATION 3—Kingman 7, Pratt 6; Kansas Senators 10, Marion 9