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On brink of elimination, Wondras slam boosts Chiefs past Dodge City
spt kp Allende slides
Johnny Allende of Great Bend slides into home plate against Dodge City on Wednesday evening during a Class AAA American Legion Zone Tournament elimination game at Dodge Citys Demon Field. - photo by Kevin Price Great Bend Tribune

DODGE CITY — With one swing of the bat, the momentum, as well as the outcome of a Class AAA American Legion zone baseball tournament elimination game, was affected drastically.
Shade Wondra hit a two-out grand slam to give the No. 3-seeded Great Bend Chiefs the lead on their way to an 8-4 victory over top-seeded Dodge City at Demon Field on Wednesday evening.
“Honestly, since high school ball, Shade has been a large part of our team,” Chiefs head coach Michael Stettinger said. “He hasn’t started every game, but he’s been a big part. You know he’ll go in every time and give you 110 percent and find a way to get it done.
“It doesn’t always look pretty, but he finds a way to get it done. This summer, he’s become a full-time starter. He’s come up big for us in a few games, and he did it again tonight.”                                                                                                                                                             The Chiefs played Garden City in another elimination game on Wednesday night, needing a win to stay alive and force a second championship-round game.
Things started slow for both Great Bend and Dodge City.
Chiefs starting pitcher Braden Jones allowed a walk in the top of the first, accounting for the only baserunner for either team in the first three innings.
Then Dodge City started to get things going.
Drew Chance hit an RBI single in the top of the fourth, and Gideon Wells knocked in two runs with a single in the fifth to give Dodge a 3-0 advantage.
With two outs in the bottom of the seventh, Great Bend began to find its rhythm.
Matthew Zecha hit a bases-loaded single to drive in Tristan Hall. Anson Hall came on to pinch-hit for Jared Maneth, drawing a bases-loaded walk to close the gap to 3-2.
Then Wondra stepped to the plate. The left-handed batter sent a pitch sailing over the right-field wall to clear the bases and give the Chiefs their first lead of the game, 6-3.
“Our kids obviously got charged up by it,” Stettinger said. “You could just see for Dodge City, it was a backbreaker.
“In that situation, to come up and hit a grand slam like that ... it definitely changed the momentum of the game.”
Tristan Hall came on in relief for Jones, who gave up three runs on five hits in seven innings pitched.
“I think only one of those runs were earned,” Stettinger said. “Like I said all year, Braden is just one of those guys who you just know what you’re going to get when he steps up to the plate.
“He’s going to compete and he’s going to find a way to keep you in a game. That’s exactly what he did tonight. He left our team in a position where we can be in a winning position.”
In the bottom of the eighth, Great Bend added two more runs.
Tristan Hall laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Bryce Beck to third and Johnny Allende to second. Dillon Reiser hit a single to right field, driving in both baserunners for an 8-3 lead.
Tristan Hall got the first two Dodge City batters in the top of the ninth, but struggled to secure the final out.
A single, a hit batter and three walks resulted in one run crossing the plate, bringing up Jordan Doan, who was 2-for-4 with a double and a single.
Doan hit a shot over the left-field wall that sailed foul for strike two. Tristan Hall then dropped a breaking ball in for strike three to end the game.
“Unfortunately, we let it get a little interesting there,” Stettinger said. “Jordan Doan is not the kid you want up there in that situation. He’s a big player and he’ll probably have a great college career. He was not the player we wanted up there representing the tying run.
“Tristan beared down and threw the best breaking ball he’d thrown all night to end the game.”

Zone Tournament


At Dodge City
Demon Field

Elimination game
Great Bend 8, Dodge City 4
                      123   456   789        R    H    E
Dodge City    000   012   001  —    4    7    0
Great Bend    000   000   62x  —    8    8    1
    Collin Gifford, Grant Meininger (7) & Gideon Wells; Braden Jones, Tristan Hall (8) & Jared Maneth. W — Jones. L — Gifford. 2B — Dodge City (Jordan Doan). HR — Bend (Shade Wondra).