HAYS — Bryan Brungardt’s triple into the alley in right-center field scored Nick Hammeke in the sixth inning, giving the Hays Monarchs an insurance run in a 5-4 win over the Great Bend Chiefs in the second game of a baseball doubleheader Wednesday night.
Great Bend (4-4), which won the first game 10-5, closed within 5-4 in the top of the seventh on Mitch Kottas’ RBI single, but he was left stranded on third as the Monarchs salvaged a split.
The Chiefs’ Bryce Beck was the losing pitcher, although he allowed only five hits. Shane Zimmmerman was the winning pitching, going six innings for Hays before Travis Wasinger got the save in working the seventh.
Hays chipped away with one run in the first, two in the second, one in the fifth and one in the sixth.
Great Bend 10, Hays 5
Buoyed by strong pitching by Nick Ney and three big innings at-bat, the Chiefs toppled the Monarchs 10-5 in the first game.
Jace Bowman tripled in the first run, and Kottas and Ney added RBI singles to stake the Chiefs a 3-0 lead.
After the Monarchs tied the game at 3 with a single run in the first inning and two runs in the second, Great Bend took back the momentum, scored four runs in the sixth and won going away.
After striking out Brungardt with the bases loaded to end the second, Ney proceeded to retire nine of the next 10 batters he faced — from the third until one out in the sixth.
“I felt like I threw pretty well,” Ney said. “My teammates have my back every time.
“That is key. You’ve got to be able to trust your teammates.”
The Chiefs also had some quality plays in the field to negate Hays innings, highlighted by a pair in the third.
Ney knocked down a comebacker by Colby Schippers and threw him out at first for the first out, and third baseman Dakota Conaway made a backhand stab at the bag and threw out Jacob Fouts at first on a close play for the third out.
Great Bend chased Monarchs right-hander Hammeke in its four-run sixth. Kottas led off with a single and Conaway reached on an error, one of five Hays committed in the opener, with Kottas scoring. After Ney and Bryce Hofmeister hit back-to-back infield singles, Danny Herrman and Beck hit back-to-back sacrifice flies to help the Chiefs build a 7-3 lead.
Great Bend also scored three insurance runs in the seventh.
CLASS AAA AMERICAN LEGION
Thomas More Prep-Marian
Great Bend Chiefs 10,
Hays Monarchs 5
123 456 7 R H E
GB 300 004 3 — 10 7 2
Hays 120 001 1 — 5 5 5
Nick Ney & Mitch Kottas; Nick Hammeke, Travis Wasinger (5) & Taylor Pfeifer. W — Ney. L — Hammeke. 3B — Great Bend: Bowman.
Hays 5, Great Bend 4
123 456 7 R H E
GB 100 200 1 — 4 5 1
Hays 120 011 x — 5 5 3
Bryce Beck & Mitch Kottas; Shane Zimmerman, Travis Wasinger (7) & Tyler Pfeifer. W — Zimmerman. L — Beck. 3B — Bryan Brungardt.