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Braves' New World
Great Bend Legion Braves, Clay Center battle for top seed
peyden oelger
Great Bend Brave Peyden Oelger (18) scores the game-winning run as Marysville catcher Grant Haefele shows his disappointment from missing a pitch by Brandon Schmelzle. - photo by JIM MISUNAS Great Bend Tribune


Great Bend super-sub Peyden Oelger provided a spark off the bench with two hits, two RBIs and the game-winning run on a wild pitch for a 6-5 victory over Marysville in the American Legion A state baseball tournament.

Great Bend (11-9-1, 2-0 pool) and Clay Center (24-7, 2-0 pool) clinch Saturday's semifinal berths at the Great Bend Sports Complex. Great Bend meets Clay Center in Friday's final pool game. 

BRAVES 6, MARYSVILLE 5 — Oelger picked a perfect time for his career baseball highlight. He delivered big time with a run-scoring single that scored Slade Mohr and a clutch single that scored J.J. Grove.

"I'm mentally prepared to go in at any moment," Oelger said. "I imagine hitting the baseball hard up the middle. I tried to make something happen. It's pretty exciting."

Oelger's hard seventh-inning grounder was stopped by Marysville pitcher Brandon Schmelzle, but he overthrew first base. Schmelzle made a final critical mistake on a pitch that eluded catcher Grant Haefele.

"I was watching the pitcher to see if he overthrew home," said Oelger. 

Braves coach Landon Sciacca played a hunch that Oelger would deliver after missing playing time.

"Peyden has been taking great swings in the batting cage," said Sciacca. "He was ready."

The wild affair featured five lead changes. Lane French scored on Umphres' groundout for a 1-0 lead. Marysville answered on Grant Haefele's RBI and Gavin LeDuc's run on a passed ball. Oelger and Wrikin Scobee drove home runs for a 3-2 lead. Oelger's second RBI made it 4-2.

Marysville responded with a 3-run sixth. Monte Huckett, Haefele and Carter Olson delivered RBIs for a brief 5-4 lead. Great Bend's Trey Milsap alertly raced from first to third on a wild pitch and scored on another wild pitch for a 5-5 tie.  

Umphres made a key play when he picked off Gavin Turk at second base in the seventh inning.

"We stayed in it, came back and accomplished our first goal — qualify for Saturday," said Sciacca. "There were good plays all-around. We used one of our top pitchers in Carson Umphres and got the win. We've got a shot to compete."

BRAVES 11, TOPEKA SENATORS 0 — The Great Bend Braves delivered a perfect opening act at the Class A American Legion State baseball tournament. The Braves shocked the co-favorite Topeka Senators 11-0 Wednesday with a stunning display.

Braves starting pitcher Hunter Herrman threw 32/3 shutout innings and crafty Carson Poe backed him up with 31/2 shutout innings. Herrman retired Austin Cook to leave the bases loaded in the third inning.

The Senators (28-16) were shell shocked from the start.

The Braves' first two batters scored and Great Bend kept adding runs. Umphres was on fire with a single, double and triple and a pair of runs batted home. Smooth-swinging Slade Mohr rapped out two three singles. Carson Poe and Hunter Herrman delivered two hits apiece.

Wrikin Scobee and Owen Kaiser drove home first-inning runs. Mohr drove in a run to spark a 4-run third inning. The Braves took advantage of back-to-back potential inning-ending groundballs to score four unearned runs for a 6-0 lead.

Lane French scored on Umphres' fourth-inning triple. Umphres' double scored French and Umphres scored on a passed ball for a 9-0 lead. Mohr scored when Herrman's pop fly was missed. Carson Poe scored on a balk for an 11-0 final.

CLAY CENTER 12, BRAVES 2 — Clay Center routed Great Bend for the second time. Clay Center took advantage of five walks, three errors and two hit batters to roll to a 10-0 lead.

Five Clay Center baserunners scored after drawing walks, one after a hit batter and two on Braves' errors. Tucker Jackson drilled a 2-run single in a 6-run second inning. Justin Wright and Brody Hayes drove home runs in a 4-run third inning. Justin Wright's 2-run single made it 12-2.

Great Bend 002 00 — 2 4 3

Clay Center 064 2x — 12 8 1

Hammond and Jones. Schartz, Saffa (3), Milsap (4) and Brumfield. W—Hammond. L—Schartz 0-2. 2B—CC—Pladson.

NEWTON 5, OVERBROOK 2 — Newton's Ryan Ruggiero delivered a 2-run single and Blaze Bradshaw hit an RBI single in a 3-run fourth inning,. Newton shortstop Cooper Perkins turned a game-ending double play. 

Newton 011 300 0 — 5 9 3

Overbook 000 110 0 — 2 3 3

Bradshaw and Ruggiero. Strother, Long (7) and Gleason. W—Bradshaw. L—Strother. 2B—O—Strother.

IOLA 13, PITTSBURG 10 — Pittsburg dropped a 13-10 game, but maintained a No. 1 seed by beating Newton head-to-head. Iola's Payton Houk drove in five runs and Brooklyn Ellis drove home three runs.

Iola 322 220 0 — 13 13 2   

Pittsburg 300 412 0 — 10 9 4

Golden, Mathes (4) and Dougherty. Ray, Wiles (3), Holloway (3) and Valenti, Duncan (6). W—Mathes. L—Wiles. 2B—I—Houk.

CLAY CENTER 7, TOPEKA SENATORS 6 — Clay Center's Morgan Brumfield doubled home Colten Tadtman with the game-winning run for a 7-6 victory over the Topeka Senators in Thursday's rainy Class A American Legion State baseball Tournament. Jace Weller scored the tying run on Brett Hoffman's pinch-hit groundout.

Clay Center second baseman Brett Hoffman and shortstop Brody Hayes turned a game-ending double play on a Miguel Hernandez groundball..The teams competed in light rain during the game. Play went along swimmingly except when Brody Hayes lost grip on his bat in the seventh inning.

MARYSVILLE 8, TOPEKA SENATORS 6 — Marysville's Gavin Turk drove home three runs to hand the Senators their third loss. 

PITTSBURG 6, OVERBROOK 4 — Pittsburg's Noah Duncan singled home Kole Wiles and Cooper Vaughn for the go-ahead runs to surprise Overbrook. 

OVERBROOK 6, IOLA 2 — Overbrook pitcher Drake Graham struck out four batters in four innings. Trent Sleichter drove in two runs and Kyle Strother drove home a run. Brelyan Gleason, Bryson Crotinger and Trent Sleichter scored on wild pitches. Iola's Cole Mathes and Logan Page drove home runs. Iola starter Noah Gleue yielded four runs in 22/3 innings.

PITTSBURG 9, NEWTON 6  Newton committed eight errors that led to seven unearned Pittsburg runs. Noah Duncan, Quintin Fears, Nate Mitchell and Cooper Vaughn delivered RBIs. Newton's Cooper Perkins and Cody Jay drove home runs.

CLAY CENTER 13, MARYSVILLE 1 — Clay Center's Weston Hammond and Brody Hayes each drove home four runs in a 12-hit attack. Colten Tadtman, Tucker Jackson, Carter Long, M Hoffman and Grady Pfizenmaier drove home runs. Hayes homered and Clay Center ripped four doubles.



POOL A—Pittsburg 2-1, Newton 2-1, Overbrook 1-2, Iola 1-2

POOL B—Clay Center 3-0, Great Bend 2-1, Marysville 1-2, Topeka Senators 0-3

WEDNESDAY—Pittsburg 9 Newton 6; Overbrook 6, Iola 2; Clay Center 13, Marysville 1; Topeka vs. Great Bend

THURSDAY—Clay Center 7, Topeka 6; Great Bend 6, Marysville 5; Pittsburg 6, Overbrook 4; Marysville 8, Topeka 6; Newton 8, Iola 1 

FRIDAY—Newton 5, Overbrook 2; Iola 13, Pittsburg 10; Clay Center 12, Great Bend 2 

SATURDAY—Pittsburg (15-13) vs. Great Bend (11-10-1), 9 a.m.; Clay Center (25-7) vs. Newton (21-12), 11:30 a.m.; CHAMPIONSHIP—2 p.m.

Iola 322 220 0 — 13 13 2   

Pittsburg 300 412 0 — 10 9 4

Golden, Mathes (4) and Dougherty. Ray, Wiles (3), Holloway (3) and Valenti, Duncan (6). W—Mathes. L—Wiles. 2B—I—Houk.

Marysville 020 003 0 — 5 8 1

GB Braves 100 211 1 — 6 9 2  

Olson, Schmelze (6) and Haefele. Kaiser, Coleman (3), Umphres (7) and Kaiser. W—Umphres. L—Schmelze. 

Clay Center 201 101 2 — 7 8 2

Topeka Senators 010 302 0 — 6 11 0

Craig, Wright (5), Long (6) and Tadtman. Buchman, Bateman (3), Essman (4) and Slusser. W—Long. L—Slusser. 2B—CC—Brumfield, Tadtman; TS—Cook.  

Overbrook 031 000 0 — 4 4 4

Pittsburg 300 003 x — 6 3 4

Strother, Edwards (1), Robert (3), Berkefeldt (6) and Gleason. Fears, Simmons (2), Wilson (6) and Valenti. W—Wilson. L—Robert.

GB Braves 204 102 2 — 11 11 1

Topeka 000 000 0 — 0 2 3

Herrman, Poe (4) and Kaiser. Norwood, Hartley (3), Lee (5) and Essman. W—Herrman. L—Norwood. 2B—GB—Umphres. 3B—GB—Umphres. 

Iola 010 001 0 — 2 6 0

Overbrook 202 101 x — 6 9 2

McGleue, Houk (3), Maier (5) and Johnson. Graham, Robert (5), Berckfeldt (6) and Gleason.  W—Graham. L—McGleue. 2B—O—Sheichter; I—Mathes.

Newton 002 100 3 — 6 9 8

Pittsburg 006 300 x — 9 6 0

Schultz, Mueller (3) and Ruggiero. Duncan, Sparks (5), Holloway (7) and Valenti. L—Schultz. 2B—P—Mitchell; N—Jay.

Marysville 010 00 — 1 3 0 

Clay Center 260 5x — 13 12 0

Olguin, Bogart (4) and Haefele. Pfizenmaier and Tadtman. W—Pfizenmaier. L—Olguin. 2B—CC—Jackson, Hoffman, Brumfield, Hammond. HR—CC—Hayes.

BRAVES (11-9-1)—WL Dodge City 3-2, 2-8; WW Larned 5-0, 6-4; WL Hays 5-4, 2-8; TIE—Dodge City, 5-5; L Dodge City 1-3; WW—Salina Eagles, 11-9, 13-3; LL—Salina Eagles, 5-8, 4-9; W Hays Hammers 2-0; L Hays Hammers 4-8; W Larned, 5-0; L Larned 4-10; A Zone (L Clay Center 2-10; W El Dorado 6-5; L Newton 1-14); A State (W Topeka Senators 11-0)

BRAVES ROSTER—1 Jace Schartz, LF; 2 Peyden Oelger; 3 Collin Saffa, C/LF/RF; 3 Wriken Scobee, 1B; 5 Hunter Herrman, P/SS/3B/LF; 9 Slade Mohr, 1B/2B; 13 Owen Kaiser, C/1B/3B; 16 Trey Milsap, C/2B; 19 Lane French, C/2B/CF; 22 Carson Umphres, CF; 27 J.J. Grove, P/3B/2B/SS; 44 Campbell Coleman, P/C/RF/3B; Carson Poe, P/2B/LF/1B; Eli Soupiset, RF