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Larned finishes fourth at Regional
spt ap larned team1
Larned is pictured after winning the Class AA American Legion state title. They are, front row, from 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 Cory Stelter

WAUPUN, Wis. – After getting outplayed in the winners bracket final, Larned’s quest for the Class AA Central Plains National Baseball Regional championship collapsed with a flurry of errors and missed plays Saturday.
Viroqua, Wis. eliminated Larned 8-5, scoring six runs with two RBIs. Viroqua scored six unearned runs, three directly on errors and two on wild pitches. Glenwood-Lowry, Minn. dropped Larned into the losers bracket with a dominating 5-0 victory Saturday. Larned (20-13) had played solid defense through two games.

The Larned baseball program has qualified for six post-season tournaments the past three seasons. The Indians were two-time high school state qualifiers, tying for third in 2015 and 2016. Larned qualified for three consecutive Class AA American Legion state tournaments and captured its first Class AA state title since 1990. Larned qualified for the Class AA Central Plains Regional for the fourth time in program history.    
“We were glad to represent the state of Kansas like we did,” said Larned coach Chad Erway. “They are tremendous young men who enjoyed a tremendous season. These guys did a good job focusing and playing good baseball after a 850-mile trip.”

Larned led 4-3 after five innings, but the Indians’ lack of defense gift wrapped Viroqua’s final five runs. Jacob Huebsch doubled and scored on Isiah Perez’s wild pitch for a 4-4 tie after six innings.
After Zach Drake singled, Larned misplayed back-to-back bunts to load the bases. The Indians missed a groundball and Drake and Dalton Burckhardt scored. Zach Trautsch scored on a wild pitch. Tyler Crandall’s RBI single scored Tommy Crandall for a 8-4 lead.
“We were right there, but we couldn’t make a routine play and faltered,” said Larned coach Chad Erway. “We didn’t make baseball plays and they did.”
Larned also saw two baserunners get thrown out on the bases, none bigger than Gage Skelton’s valiant effort to reach home in the third inning of a 2-2 game. Evan Skelton was gunned down at third base in the seventh inning with Larned down 8-5.
Viroqua led 1-0 in a see-saw affair when Tyler Crandall scored on a second-inning error. Zach Trautsch’s RBI single scored Drake after an error extended the third inning.
Gage Skelton singled home Mason Schartz and Evan Skelton scored when Viroqua relayed to second base. Landon Erway singled, but Gage Skelton was thrown out at home.
Dalton Burckhardt scored when Trautsch’s slide flattened second baseman Evan Skelton for a 3-2 lead.
Landon Erway’s two-run single scored Dalton Bright and Evan Skelton for a 4-3 lead after five innings.

Minnesota pitcher Colin Richards threw a six-hit shutout and worked out of trouble with key strikeouts in the winners bracket final.
Richards struck out three batters to strand the bases loaded after Erway, Perez and Jon Herter reached base in the sixth inning. He struck out back-to-back batters after Jon Herter and Tyler Stelter singled in the second inning.
“Tip your cap to him – it was a really good pitching performance,” coach Erway said. “We hit a few balls right at people. He got ahead of batters and kept the ball low.”
Larned stranded 10 baserunners, but failed to put the ball in play and finished 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position.
“You can’t expect to win games when you leave guys on base,” Erway said. “A couple key hits for them was the difference.”
Matt Gruber’s single scored Justin Amundson in the first inning. Colin Richards’ single scored Riley Thompson in the third inning. Glenwood-Lowry scored two unearned runs when Shawn Stumpf and Amundson scored in the fourth inning. Austin Ver Steeg’s sacrifice fly scored Matt McIver in the sixth inning.

At Waupun, Wis.
Larned 5, Viroqua, Wis. 3
Glenwood-Lowry, Minn. 7, Southern Nevada 1 Menasha, Wis. 3, Minneapolis Giant Valley, Minn. 1

Waupun, Wis. 2, Valley City, N.D. 0 Viroqua, Wis. 7, Giant Valley, Minn. 0 (Giant Valley eliminated) Southern Nevada 6, Valley City, N.D. 1 (Valley City eliminated) Larned 5, Menasha, Wis. 4 Glenwood-Lowry, Minn. 11, Waupun, Wis. 1 Menasha, Wis. 11, Southern Nevada 4 (Nevada eliminated)

Viroqua, Wis. 5, Waupun, Wis. 4 (Waupun eliminated) Glenwood-Lowry 5, Larned 0 Viroqua, Wis. 8, Larned 5 (Larned eliminated) Menasha, Wis. 6, Glenwood-Lowry 5, 10 innings

Losers bracket final––Viroqua. Wis. 4, Menasha, Wis. 2; Championship––Viroqua, Wis. 4, Glenwood-Lowry, Minn 1

Evan Skelton 2 2 1 0
Gage Skelton 4 0 1 1
Landon Erway 4 0 2 2
Isiah Perez 3 0 0 0
Jon Herter 2 0 0 0
Tyler Stelter 2 0 0 0
Carson Smith 2 0 0 0
Dalton Bright 2 1 0 0
Mason Schartz 3 1 2 0
TOTALS 24 5 6 3
Viroqua 011 011 4 – 8 8 2
Larned 002 020 1 – 5 6 5
Tyler Crandall, Tommy Crandall (5), Huebsch (7) and Kleiber; Gage Skelton, Perez (6) and Stelter. W—Tommy Crandall. L—Perez.
2B—Huebsch, Tyler Crandall. E—Herter 2, G. Skelton, Erway, E. Skelton. SB—Erway 2, Schartz, E. Skelton. S—Herter, Trautsch, Burckhardt. HP—E. Skelton, Smith, Bright, Stelter, Kleiber, Burckhardt. DP—Viroqua, Larned. WP—Perez 3, Tommy Crandall, Huebsch. LOB—Larned 5, Viroqua 9.

Evan Skelton 2 0 0 0
Gage Skelton 4 0 0 0
Landon Erway 3 0 1 0
Isiah Perez 3 0 1 0
Jon Herter 2 0 2 0
Tyler Stelter 3 0 2 0
Carson Smith 3 0 0 0
Dalton Bright 2 0 0 0
Mason Burris 1 0 0 0
Mason Schartz 3 0 0 0
TOTALS 26 0 6 0
Larned 000 000 0 – 0 6 2
GL 101 201 x – 5 10 2
E. Skelton and Stelter. Richards and Amundson. W—Richards. L—E. Skelton.
2B—Thompson. S—McIver. SF—Ver Steeg. CS—Perez. Balk—Richards. LOB—Larned 10, GL 9. HP—E. Skelton, Stumpf. SB—Stumpf, Amundson. E—Herter, E. Skelton, Richards, Hendrickson.