After two straight weekends of Class A American Legion tournaments as the Great Bend Braves, the Chiefs are getting the band back together.
The Chiefs have played four games together in two weeks, including 11-0 and 6-1 losses to Hays at the Great Bend Sports Complex on Tuesday night, with the younger group playing in tournaments at Pratt and McPherson, claiming a 5-4 record.
Great Bend’s Class AAA American Legion squad, which is 6-14 this season, travels to Salina today for the Grand Slam Tournament, which runs through Sunday.
“Going into it, we’re looking for a rebound, looking for the guys to come back and come back to our approach at the plate,” Chiefs head coach Michael Stettinger said. “Continue to pitch well and play good defense behind our pitchers.”
The Chiefs have four pool-play games. They start today at 11:15 a.m. against the Wichita Aces, and take on the Columbus (Neb.) Cornerstone at 3:45 p.m. at James Matson Field.
Great Bend plays at Dean Evans Stadium at 9 a.m. on Saturday, challenging the Lawrence Raiders before heading back to James Matson Field to take on the Topeka Golden Giants at 1:30 p.m.
Semifinals and the championship game will be held on Sunday.
“We have to finish in the top 2 in our pool to go on to Sunday, to bracket play,” Stettinger said.
Stettinger said he is glad to have the full team back, due to having so many games in such short amount of time.
“It’s going to be one of those tournaments,” Stettinger said. “We’re going to need everyone. It’s another one of those weeks where you have six games in four days.
“It is nice. With the kids we’ve had this year, everybody has kind of stepped up and filled these roles, so you don’t notice it as much. It’s definitely nice to bring everybody out.”
This is the last tournament on Great Bend’s plate until the Class AAA American Legion Zone Tournament, which runs from July 22-26.
The Chiefs have six doubleheaders — two at home and four on the road — before getting to the zone tournament.
“It’s tough,” Stettinger said. “It’s a grind. Everything is a grind. We’re getting to the part of the season where it’s a grind here on out until zone.”