HAYS — Big innings sometimes translate into victories.
At least that was the case for the Great Bend Chiefs on Saturday afternoon during the Wild West Fest wood bat tournament at Larks Park.
The Chiefs scored five runs in the bottom of the second, including four before an out was even recorded, and pulled away for an 11-1 victory over Fort Morgan, Colo. The run-rule went into effect in the fourth, capped by Bryce Hofmeister’s two-run triple.
Right-hander Bryce Beck threw a two-hitter, allowing only a David Mendez single in the first inning and James Martens’ RBI double in the fourth, which broke up his shutout.
Mendez, the scheduled starting pitcher for Fort Morgan, suffered an apparent hip flexor injury after singling to lead off the game and didn’t return to action. From there, Beck allowed only the aforementioned double.
“I thought I pitched pretty well,” Beck said. “I had a lot of good defensive plays behind me and they got a lot of ground balls and we made the routine plays.
“I just had to keep the ball in the zone.”
Great Bend improved to 9-10 with the win.
“This sets us up for the rest of the tournament pitching-wise,” Great Bend head coach Michael Stettinger said. “Bryce only had to pitch four innings, so we can bring him back and pitch again (today), if we need him.”
Great Bend batted through its lineup in the second, sending 10 batters to the plate in scoring five runs for a 5-0 lead it built on.
Mitch Kottas reached on an error to start the surge, followed by Daniel Herrman executing a bunt single down the third-base line to put runners on first and second. Beck then reached on an error, with Kottas scoring.
Hofmeister followed by punching a two-run single to left, and Brady Buehler swatted an RBI single for a 4-0 lead. Buehler scored the fifth run as Dakota Conaway hit into a 6-4-3 double play.
Herrman, who finished 2-for-2 with a walk and three runs scored, doubled to lead off the third and later scored on Trent Schremmer’s base hit.
The Chiefs capped their scoring in the fourth. Beck singled sharply to right to drive in a run and Hofmeister, who finished with four runs batted in, then came through with his triple.
AMERICAN LEGION BASEBALL
Wild West Fest
Wood Bat Tournament
Great Bend 11,
Fort Morgan, Colo. 1 (4)
123 4 R H E
Fort Morgan 000 1 — 1 2 2
Great Bend 052 4 — 11 9 1
Justin Pflug & James Martens; Bryce Beck & Mitch Kottas. W — Beck. L — Pflug. 2B — Great Bend: Daniel Herrman. Fort Morgan: Martens; 3B — Great Bend: Hofmeister.