SALINA — In their Fourth of July opener at the Kansas Grand Slam Wood Bat Tournament, the Great Bend Chiefs outhit and outpitched the Wichita Aces.
But the Aces, leading 3-2, scored two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning and registered a 5-2 win on Thursday afternoon at James Matson Field
“I thought we played pretty well, especially when you get a good pitching performance like that,” Chiefs head coach Michael Stettinger said of his team out-hitting the Aces, 5-4. “Tristan Hall really gave us a chance to be in it the whole time and he dominated them for most of the game.”
The Chiefs led 1-0 in the top of the first. Logan Zecha led off the game by reaching on an error on Aces third basemen T.J. Sparr. Bryce Beck followed with a single before Johnny Allende grounded out. Dillon Reiser followed with an RBI grounder, scoring Zecha.
In a shaky bottom half of the first, where Tristan Hall walked a batter and also hit another, an error by third baseman Braden Jones also helped the Aces to grab a 2-1 lead despite managing only one hit.
“They had a few hits here and there,” Stettinger said, “and we had one error that hurt us. Our kids played well throughout the game. We outhit them and outpitched them, but we didn’t come out on top because of a few breaks.
“We hit a few guys (three), but overall, when it was said and done, I felt like Tristan got outs when he needed to get outs and he got himself out of a few spots.”
After Wichita scored a single run in the third to make it 3-1, the Chiefs had runners at the corners after Shade Wondra and Tristan Hall hit back-to-back base hits with one out. But Anson Hall and Jaxx Hillman were retired in succession to end the inning.
In the fifth, Great Bend closed the gap after the first two outs were recorded. Allende was hit by a pitch before Reiser walked. Jones then followed with the only extra-base hit of the game, a run-scoring double, closing the gap to 3-2.
Tristan Hall was solid in the fourth and fifth innings before the Aces scored their pair of runs in the sixth, including a Garrette Gates RBI single and the other run crossing the plate on a wild pitch.
Braeden Crockett captured the win for the Aces. He retired the final seven batters he faced.
“We had really good approaches at the plate,” Stettinger said. “When we’ve got guys on and once we get on, we’ve got to find a way to move our guys into scoring position and once we get there, we’ve just got to bear down and do whatever it takes to get them in.”
Other Grand Slam scores can be viewed at: http://kgs.presentyourbest.com
23RD ANNUAL KANSAS GRAND SLAM
WOOD BAT TOURNAMENT
James Matson Field
Wichita Aces 5, Great Bend Chiefs 2
123 456 7 R H E
Chiefs 100 010 0 — 2 5 2
Aces 201 002 x — 5 4 1
Tristan Hall & Anson Hall; Braeden Crockett & Carlos Aldaz. W — Crockett. L — T. Hall. 2B — Great Bend (Braden Jones).