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Chiefs shed 13-game losing streak with win in Hays
Class AAA American Legion
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HAYS — Things could be looking up for the Great Bend Chiefs.
Or at least, they may have turned a corner.
On Wednesday night, the Class AAA American Legion team split a doubleheader with Thomas More Prep Marian at Larks Park.
The Chiefs threw off the shackles of a 13-game losing streak with a 10-3 win in the five-inning second game.
“It’s like I told the other guys, it’s like winning the first game of the year,” Chiefs head coach Michael Stettinger said. “You start with a clean slate after this, and that’s the best part of this.
“It takes the pressure off the boys, the coaching staff, the town, the parents, the entire program. Everyone associated in some way with the American Legion team, it takes the pressure off of everyone.”
Great Bend turned in a nine-hit performance behind the pitching of Johnny Allende to get the team’s first win in July, and not a moment too soon.
The Chiefs have two more regular-season games — today’s doubleheader against Buhler at the Great Bend Sports Complex — before they jump into the postseason.
“Going into the postseason, you always want to be peaking,” Stettinger said. “It seemed like we peaked in the middle of our season, so to get this, just going into it with a positive outlook, a positive attitude can make all the difference in the world on how we perform there.”
The Chiefs (7-25) opened Game 2, which was shortened to five innings due to the first game going 12 innings, by batting through the order, sending 11 batters to the plate.
Eight of the nine batters in the starting lineup crossed the plate at least once.
Logan Zecha went 2-for-4 with a pair of RBI and two runs scored.
Bryce Beck also went 2-for-4. He had one RBI and two runs scored.
“The boys, they did a good job leaving Game 1 in the past and just came out and started with a clean slate,” Stettinger said of his team bouncing back from an 8-7 loss in Game 1. “From the first batter to the final out of the game, they just competed at the plate.
“They got it done when they had guys in scoring position, they made the more of it. They took care of business.”