By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Larned captures AA state title
spt cp Larned Legion
Pictured, front row, frome left: Evan Skelton, Landon Erway , Mason Schartz , Gage Skelton, Carson Smith, Andrew Bright and Mason Burris. Back row: Coach Lupe Perez, coach Jon Skelton, Isiah Perez, Tyler Stelter, Johnathon Herter, Alex Barger, Jordan Taylor, Austin Gladow,Mason Perez, coach Chad Erway and coach Clint Barger. - photo by COURTESY PHOTO

FORT SCOTT – There was never any doubt. Evan Skelton started Larned’s Class AA State Baseball Championship with a home run on the game’s second pitch.
Larned featured a 10-run inning and rolled past Russell 14-3 Saturday for the Class AA state championship. Larned’s baseball program has qualified for five state high school and Legion state tournaments the past three years.
Larned (18-11) qualifies for the Class AA Mid-State Regional Aug. 4-7 at Waupun, Wis.
Coach Erway played for the 1990 Larned Class AA state champion. Larned also won Class AA titles in 1990 and 2000.
“It was an unbelievable experience winning state (as a player), but I was 16 years old – I was young and dumb,” Erway said. “I’m proud to being back another state championship. I like it better as a coach. You understand how big it is and the impact on your life.”
Larned’s 10-run second inning featured nine unearned runs, keyed by a trio of Russell errors and four wild pitches by four Russell pitchers.
Alex Barger singled home Jon Herter and Tyler Stelter scored on an error. Mason Schartz’s bunt scored Barger and Carson Smith scored on a wild pitch for a 5-0 lead. Erway’s sacrifice fly scored Schartz. Isiah Perez drilled a two-run homer for a 8-0 lead.
Herter doubled and scored on a wild pitch. Barger’s double scored Stelter for a 10-0 lead. Barger scored on Russell’s third error for an 11-0 lead.
Russell (18-10) won four games in the loser’s bracket to reach the championship game.
“We wanted to be real aggressive at the plate,” Erway said. “We wanted to put the pressure on them. That helped our cause. I had a lot of confidence in them.”
Erway’s groundball scored Evan Skelton in the third inning. Barger and Smith scored when Russell committed three more fourth-inning errors.
Larned’s Gage Skelton started a 5-4-3 double play in the fourth inning. Erway picked off Tanner Rome in the first inning. Evan Skelton tagged Walker Braun in a rundown in the second inning.
Pitcher Landon Erway, Chad’s son, yielded three unearned runs for his second state tournament victory. Chase Prester’s two-run single scored Cole Schmidtberger and Austin Dale. Cooper Pfannenstiel scored Russell’s third run.
“Landon wanted the ball, like just Isiah Perez the day before,” Erway said. “When you leadership like that, it works out.”

RUSSELL 6, DONIPHAN COUNTY 5 -- Russell won the loser’s bracket final. Russell’s Mason Beagley singled home Prester with the eighth-inning game-winner after Doniphan County pitcher Reid Greaser nearly escaped a jam by retiring Logan Braun and Tanner Rome with the bases loaded.
Gaarder’s double scored Tyler Franklin with the tying seventh-inning run.

Evan Skelton 2 3 1 1
Gage Skelton 3 0 0 0
Landon Erway 2 0 1 2
Isiah Perez 2 0 1 2
Jon Herter 3 2 2 0
Tyler Stelter 2 2 0 0
Alex Barger 3 3 2 2
Carson Smith 3 2 0 0
Mason Schartz 3 1 1 1
TOTALS 24 14 9 8

Larned 1(10)1 2 – 14 9 2
Russell 020 1 – 3 6 7
Erway and Stelter. Ridgley, Prester (2), Dale (2), Rome (2) and Schmidtberger, Evans (3). W–Erway. L–Ridgley. 2B–Herter, Barger. HR–Evan Skelton, Perez. E–Ridgley 2, Walker Braun 2, Rome, Dale 2, E. Skelton, Erway. SB–Perez, E. Skelton. CS–Perez, Erway, Rome. DP–Russell 1, Larned 1. WP–Dale 3, Ridgley, Prester, Rome. HP–E. Skelton.

DC 003 001 10 – 5 7 4
Russell 000 230 01 – 6 7 0
Gaarder and Greaser. Rome and Schmidtberger. 2B–DC, Gaarder.

At Fort Scott (Dave Regan Stadium)
Wednesday’s Games
Goodland Outlaws 3, Iola Indians 2
Larned Indians 4, Marysville 3
Troy-Doniphan County 3, Russell 2
Fort Scott Indians 13, Colby Sluggers 5
Thursday’s Games
Marysville 16, Iola Indians 4 (Iola eliminated)
Russell 8, Colby Sluggers 0 (Colby eliminated)
Larned Indians 10, Goodland Outlaws 0
Troy-Doniphan County 5, Fort Scott Indians 3
Friday’s Games
Russell 11, Goodland 7 (Goodland eliminated
Fort Scott 11, Marysville 8 (Marysville eliminated)
Larned 7, Doniphan County 6
Russell 6, Fort Scott 5 (Fort Scott eliminated)
Saturday’s Games
Russell 6, Doniphan County 5 (Doniphan County eliminated)
Larned 14, Russell 3 (Larned (18-11) qualifies for Midwest Regional, Waupun. Wis.)