PRATT — The Great Bend Braves Class A American Legion baseball team claimed its second championship this summer on Sunday at the Pratt tournament.
The Braves evoked the run rule against Ness City in the championship game, winning 15-4 in four innings.
The Braves, who are 17-4 this season, will be hosting a doubleheader against Pratt today with the first game slated to start at 6 p.m.
Great Bend jumped on Ness City’s pitching staff early in the game, scoring six runs in the first inning while batting through the entire order.
Mitch Johnson started the first off with a walk followed by a single by Bryce Beck, who worked the mound for the Braves and recorded the win.
Jonathon Allende, who had two RBIs in the game, reached on an error committed by Ness City’s short stop. Johnson and Beck scored on the play.
Dakota Conaway got hit by a pitch and Lance Ward, who finished the game with three RBIs, drove in Conaway and Allende with a hit into right field.
Braden Jones reached on an error and two batters later, Dillon Reiser recorded two RBIs with a single.
“They weren’t very good defensively,” Braves head coach Randy Beck said. “We were able to play small ball and use good base running to put us in a good position to score.”
Bryce Beck pitched a shortened complete game while giving up one run, three hits and three walks. He had five strikeouts.
Great Bend 16, Minneola 8
Minneola went up early, but Great Bend scored eight runs in the final inning to secure the win in the first game of pool play on Friday.
Reiser, who started on the mound giving up five earned runs on seven hits and one walk while striking out three, was the leader for the Braves at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a double. He finished the game with three RBIs.
Conaway got the win coming in for 3 2/3 innings of relief. He gave up one hit and one walk while striking out eight.
“Our pitching staff did a great job in this tournament,” Randy Beck said. “They kept throwing strikes and making our defense work behind them.”
Great Bend 9, Sedgwick 6
Great Bend trailed after the first inning, but turned the game around with two runs in the second inning and three in the third against Sedgwick in pool play.
Ward started for the Braves, going four innings, giving up four runs, three hits and one walk. He also recorded three strikeouts while recording the win in pool play on Saturday.
“Again, our pitchers were throwing well,” Randy Beck said. “They didn’t give up too many free passes. Lance only had the one walk in his outing.
“Hopefully, the team has become aware of how important strong pitching is.”
Mark Lang pitched one inning and Allende closed the game.
Conaway went 2-for-4 with three RBIs and two runs scored. Bryce Beck was 2-for-4 with a double and Johnson was 2-for-3 with an RBI.
Great Bend 6, Sedgwick 4
The Braves were in the driver’s seat in Sunday’s elimination game, leading the whole game.
Johnson nearly completed the game on the mound, pitching 6 1/3 innings for the Braves. He gave up two earned runs on three hits with one walk and six strikeouts.
Allende closed the game.
The Braves only recorded three hits in the game, but still managed to get runners across the plate.
“We managed to work with the pitcher that game,” Randy Beck said. “Mitch pitched a great game for us. We got nine walks while only walking one of theirs. That’s the difference in the game right there.
“Mitch was throwing good all game. He was in the zone the whole game.”
— Kevin Price