BY JIM MISUNAS
You can’t win if you don’t score.
Hays Eagle pitcher Cody Petersen shut out the Great Bend Chiefs 4-0 with nine strikeouts in Tuesday’s Class AAA Zone baseball tournament.
The Chiefs (21-12) will get a second chance to qualify for AAA state baseball at 6 p.m. Wednesday against Hays at the Great Bend Sports Complex. The Chiefs finished as AAA state runner-up last year.
HAYS EAGLES 4, CHIEFS 0 — Townshend Kurth and Riley Smith each delivered two hits for the Chiefs, who stranded seven baserunners. Petersen retired two Chiefs in the first inning and two more in the sixth after two baserunners reached base with one out.
Alex Schremmer and Kurth were stranded in the first when Jesus Bujanda and Eduardo Bujanda were retired. Jesus Bujanda and Eduardo Bujanda were left on base when Brice Kaiser and Riley Smith were retired.
“We didn’t take advantage and put the ball in play,” said Travis Kurth, Chiefs coach. “We didn’t capitalize. We had too many Ks and too many pop ups.”
Petersen showed off an effective curveball and earned several strikeouts looking.
“We were sitting fastball, but you’ve got to adjust to the curveball and get a bat on the pitch,” Kurth said. “We’ve got to find a way to hit the baseball.”
Hays strung together 11 singles, several of the soft variety against losing Chiefs pitcher Eduardo Bujanda. William Sennett singled home Brady Kreutzer in the first inning.
It stayed 1-0 until the fifth inning when Trey Riggs’ lofted a soft right-field single that scored score Kreutzer. Back-to-back sixth-inning singles by Jamison Martin and Cole Murphy led to two runs after an error and double steal.
“Eduardo pitched a pretty good game,” Kurth said.
Second baseman Riley Smith started a 4-6-3 double play and Smith and shortstop Alex Schremmer delivered solid defensive plays.
SALINA FALCONS 6, HAYS EAGLES 1 – The Salina Falcons scored four fifth-inning runs for a 6-1 championship victory over the Hays Eagles to earn a berth in the AAA Legion state tournament. The AAA state tournament is scheduled July 25-29 at Emporia.
The Falcons (28-2) trailed 1-0. Hays’ Jamison Martin singled, stole second base and scored on Cole Murphy’s fourth-inning double.
Salina’s Brayden Pavey and Seth Catania singled and Zach Farmer was hit by a fifth-inning pitch. Pavey scored on Layne Haddock’s groundout for a 1-1 tie. Dix doubled to drive in Catania and Farmer scored on an error to make it 4-1.
Salina pitcher Richard Davis threw a complete-game seven-hitter, striking out six without walking a batter.
Salina’s Ethan Kickhaefer doubled home Farmer and Dix in the seventh inning.
Hays (31-5) will play the Great Bend Chiefs (21-12) at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Great Bend Sports Complex for a AAA state berth.
GB Chiefs 000 000 0 — 0 5 1
Hays Eagles 100 012 x — 4 11 0
Edaurdo Bujanda and Hall. Petersen and Harman. W–Petersen. L—E. Bujanda.
GREAT BEND ZONE (2 qualifiers)—TUESDAY—Hays Eagles 4, Great Bend Chiefs 0; FIRST CHAMPIONSHIP—Salina Falcons 6, Hays Eagles 1; WEDNESDAY—SECOND CHAMPIONSHIP—Great Bend Chiefs 21-12 vs. Hays Eagles 30-5, 6 p.m.