BY JIM MISUNAS
HAYS — Hays High pitcher Palmer Hutchison rescued himself with two double plays which doomed the Great Bend Panthers. Hays escaped with a hard-fought 6-3 victory over rival Great Bend in Thursday's Diamond Baseball Classic.
The Panthers had Hutchison on the ropes in the first and fourth innings. Alex Schremmer, Calan Haberman and Koy Brack singled to start the game. Schremmer scored on Eddie Bujanda's sacrifice fly for a 1-0 lead. Hutchison induced Jesus Bujanda into a groundball that he relayed to second baseman Justus Dotts to start an inning-ending double play.
Hutchison ended an identical fourth-inning threat with a 1-2-3 double play to catcher Brock Lummus on Townshend Kurth's groundball to the pitcher. Eddie Bujanda singled home Brack after a double for a 4-2 score. Joey Soupiset and Riley Smith singled to load the bases. But Kurth ended the rally with his double play groundball.
The Panthers handed the Indians four runs with walks and errors. Losing pitcher Kurth (3-1) loaded the bases with three walks and Dom Bainter and Josh Haynes scored on a second-inning throwing error.
Hays High's Lummus tripled home Cody Petersen and Trey Riggs in the third inning. Hays made the Panthers pay for a two-out error when Lummus tripled home Riggs and Dylan Dreiling doubled home Lummus for a 6-2 lead.
Kurth singled home pinch runner Bryce Kaiser after Jesus Bujanda walked and Soupiset singled. Hutchison struck out Chance Perry to strand Soupiset and Kurth.
Great Bend (7-8) handed the Indians a 7-6 loss earlier in the season. Great Bend plays Goddard Eisenhower and Manhattan in Friday's games at Hays. Western Athletic Conference champion Hays High (15-1) shut out Manhattan High 1-0 Thursday.
Great Bend 100 101 0 — 3 10 2
Hays High 022 020 0 — 6 6 0
Kurth, Hall (3) and Jesus Bujanda. Hutchison and Bainter. W—Hutchison. L—Kurth, 3-1. 2B—GB—Brack; 3B—H—Lummus..
HAYS DIAMOND CLASSIC
THURSDAY--Hays High 1, Manhattan 0; Manhattan 5, Salina Central 3; Hays High 6, Hays High 3
FRIDAY—1 p.m.—Great Bend vs. Goddard Eisenhower; 3 p.m.—Salina Central vs. Goddard Eisenhower; 5:15 p.m.—Great Bend vs. Manhattan; 7:30 p.m.—Hays High vs. Salina Central
SATURDAY—10:15 a.m.—Manhattan vs. Goddard Eisenhower; 12:30 p.m.—Great Bend vs. Salina Central; 2:30 p.m.—Hays High vs. Goddard Eisenhower