The Great Bend Chiefs put an end to a 13-game losing streak by rolling to their first win in July, a 10-3 drumming of the Thomas More Prep Monarchs in five innings to close out the Class AAA American Legion doubleheader on Wednesday night at Larks Park.
Great Bend, which improves to 7-25 on the season in snapping a 13-game losing skid, sent 11 batters to the plate in the top of the first inning, scoring six runs.
Dillon Reiser hit a two-run single and scored when Brett Basye drew a bases-loaded walk. Shade Wondra had an RBI single, and Logan Zecha hit a two-run single in his second time to the plate in the inning.
Johnny Allende scored on an Anson Hall single in the second inning to make it 7-0.
The runs kept coming for Great Bend as Bryce Beck drove in Wondra with a single and scored on an error to make it 9-0 in the top of the third.
Chiefs starting pitcher Allende didn’t allow a run until the bottom of the fourth, where the Monarchs managed a pair of runs.
Allende got one of those runs back, driving in Logan Zecha in the top of the fifth.
TMP got one run in the bottom of the fifth with two out to make it a seven-run game.
TMP 8, Great Bend 7 (12)
Game 1 was a back-and-forth marathon that went into the 12th inning, where the Monarchs finally came out on top.
“Two nights in row we’ve been right there,” Chiefs head coach Michael Stettinger said. “It’s a momentum killer. It’s tough, but we’re in a position right now where we just have to keep playing.”
Great Bend, which lost for the 13th straight time, left 17 runners on base.
“Too many,” Stettinger said. “We had guys in scoring positions a lot of times and just failed to execute. We came out with some big hits, just not when we had kids in scoring position.
“As the game progressed, we weren’t able to string hits together.”
The Chiefs batted through the order in the top of the first inning, leading to a 3-0 advantage. Logan Zecha got things started with a walk. He scored on a Beck triple. Tristan Hall started his 5-for-7 performance at the plate by driving in Beck with a single and scored when Jared Maneth reached on an error.
“Tristan had a gigantic day at the plate,” Stettinger said, “and really, offensively, he carried us at times. Seemed like every time he came up, he had a big hit.
“Trouble was, we couldn’t always get him going around.”
The Monarchs cut into the lead in the bottom of the second with a pair of runs.
TMP then took advantage of a pair of Chiefs errors, scoring another two runs in the third to go ahead 4-3.
Great Bend reclaimed the lead in the fourth with a pair of runs. Wondra reached on an error and scored on a single by Tristan Hall, who crossed the plate on a Jaxx Hillman single.
The scales tipped in TMP’s favor again in the bottom of the fourth as it scored three runs for a 7-5 advantage.
The Chiefs evened things at seven apiece with a pair of runs in the fifth. Matthew Zecha led things off with a single, and Allende, who came in as a pinch runner, scored on an error. Logan Zecha reached base with a single and was driven in by Tristan Hall.
The score remained tied into the 12th inning, when Jordan Gottschalk scored on a Shane Zimmerman single to make it 8-7.
Braden Jones went eight innings on the mound for Great Bend, allowing seven runs on eight hits. He had six strikeouts.
Beck relieved Jones in the ninth, going two innings before Tristan Hall came on to finish out the game, taking the loss.
CLASS AAA AMERICAN LEGION BASEBALL
Thomas More Prep 8, Great Bend 7 (12)
123 456 789 10 11 12 R H E
Chiefs 300 220 000 0 0 0 — 7 16 2
Monarchs 022 300 000 0 0 1 — 8 12 3
Braden Jones, Bryce Beck (9), Tristan Hall (11) & Jared Maneth; Taylor Rome, Cameron Brin (8) & Jordan Gottschalk. W — Brin. L — Hall. 2B — Great Bend (Dillon Reiser, Tristan Hall, Logan Zecha); TMP (Ryan Schippers). 3B — Great Bend (Beck).
Great Bend 10, Thomas More Prep 3 (5)
123 45 R H E
Chiefs 612 01 — 10 9 0
Monarchs 000 21 — 3 4 1
Johny Allende & Anson Hall; Kameron Schmidt, Dick Hockett (4) & Taylor Rome. W — Allende. L — Schmidt.