After losing the first game of a doubleheader to Dodge City, the Great Bend Braves, a Class A American Legion baseball team, rallied in the final inning of the second game to take a 7-6 win.
Dillon Reiser won the game with a walk-off single in the bottom of the fifth inning.
The Braves record moves to 20-5 this season after losing the first game, 13-5.
The Braves’ doubleheader with Dodge City on Wednesday has been cancelled. The Braves are at McPherson on Friday.
Great Bend took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning of the first game with an RBI single by Brady Buehler, but the Rangers tied the game in the top of the third.
The Braves struggled against Dodge City pitcher Jordan Doan, who beat Great Bend in pool play at the Braves Baseball Classic.
“Dodge City threw a kid that was throwing pretty hard,” Braves head coach Randy Beck said. “We just couldn’t lay off the high fast ball, and we were swinging at pitches out of the zone and not making good decisions.
“Defensively, we made the routine plays which is kind of been our downfall lately. We made pretty solid defensively. It was our decisions we made on when to throw the ball and where to throw the ball that got us in trouble there.”
Then the flood gates opened in the top of the fourth inning against Braves starter Lance Ward.
“Lance started out fairly well, but they kind of got on him about middle innings,” Randy Beck said. “They started timing him a little better. He didn’t have all three pitches in the zone like he normally does. It wasn’t his typical outing, but he pitched good enough to win in my opinion.”
Bryce Beck was brought in to pitch in the inning, but Dodge City was on a roll and didn’t stop until it scored six runs.
Great Bend closed the gap scoring one run in the bottom of the fourth and two runs in the fifth.
Braden Jones scored in both innings to finish the game 3-for-3 with a double and three runs scored. Jones and Daniel Herrman each drove in a run in the fifth.
However Dodge City scored another six runs in the sixth to put the game away.
“(Dodge City) hit the ball well out there,” Beck said. “When they had runners in scoring position, they were producing, and we weren’t which is kind of out of character for us. We’ve been pretty good at getting hits with runners in scoring position like we did with (the second game).”
Great Bend 7,
Dodge City 6 (5)
Dodge City continued to hit well into the second game, taking an early 5-0 lead after two innings.
Great Bend was able to score one run in the bottom of the second inning when Ward reached base on an error and later scored.
The Braves closed the gap further in the bottom of the third starting with a free pass handed to Dakota Conaway, who was hit by a pitch. Jonathon Allende, who pitched a complete game in five innings for the Braves, drove in Conaway with a single.
“Jonny pitched pretty good,” Beck said. “He got himself into a few jams with some free passes. He clunked a few kids and gave a few kids walks. Matter of fact, I remember checking the scoreboard and looking at my book and out of their first five runs, three of them came off of walks. They were the ones that scored.
“So we’ve got to minimize that. A kid isn’t going to go out there and not walk anybody, but you just can’t string those things together against a good hitting team and Dodge is a good hitting team.”
After Allende stole second, Jones drove him in with a single.
Dodge City pitcher Taylor Murphy was able to get out of the inning with a pair of strikeouts. The Rangers gained a little extra breathing room with a run in the top of the fifth, but Great Bend answered with four runs in the bottom of the fifth.
Daniel Herrman started the inning with a single. He moved to third base when a pick off attempt got past Dodge City’s first baseman and scored when Conaway struck a single.
Allende continued to help his own cause by striking a double off of the wall in left-center field.
Jones grounded out to the shortstop, but scored Conaway from third.
Mitch Johnson drove in Allende with a single. Johnson then stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch.
Ward struck out for the second out and Derek Simmons was hit by a pitch bringing to the plate Reiser.
Reiser struck a ground ball past the third baseman down the line to score Johnson and end the game.
“We stepped up to the plate and started hitting with some confidence,” Beck said. “We were looking for the pitch that we wanted and hitting the ball hard. We hit a few balls hard throughout the day, but in those last few innings we started seeing it real well and getting on it.”
CLASS A AMERICAN LEGION BASEBALL
At Al Burns Memorial Field
Dodge City 13, Great Bend 5 (6)
123 456 R H E
Dodge City 001 606 13 13 1
Great Bend 010 121 5 7 3
Jordan Doan & Kale Riekenberg; Lance Ward & Mitch Johnson. 2B — Dodge City (Ryan Lomas, Taylor Murphy); Great Bend (Braden Jones). 3B — Dodge City (Jordan Doan).
Great Bend 7, Dodge City 6 (5)
123 45 R H E
Dodge City 230 01 6 6 1
Great Bend 012 04 7 7 0
Taylor Murphy & Kale Riekenberg; Jonathon Allende & Bryce Beck. 2B — Dodge City (Josh Austin, Austin Weiser); Great Bend (Jonathon Allende).