HAYS — The Great Bend Braves began their trek through the postseason with a loss against Hays at the Class A American Legion Zone Tournament at Larks Park on Wednesday night.
Hays, the only team to sweep Great Bend during the regular season, was able to edge the top-seeded Braves 6-5. The Braves, who fell to 23-9, entered the tournament with the best winning percentage (.742), earning them the top seed with a 23-8 mark.
Hays beat Ness City to advance to the game against Great Bend.
“We jumped out to a 2-0 lead early in the game,” Braves head coach Randy Beck said. “They scored here and there. They never really had a big inning. We struggled late in the game. We went three up, three down in a couple innings.
“But we were one base hit away from winning it at the end.”
With two outs, the bases loaded and down 6-5, Dakota Conaway was unable to get the tying or go-ahead runs home.
Lance Ward went 6 1/3 innings for the Braves and finished the game with five walks, four strikeouts and six runs allowed (five earned).
Jonathon Allende went 3 for 4 from the plate with a run batted in to lead the Braves.
The Braves will be back in action today at 3 against the winner of the Dodge City-Ness City game. If the Braves win, they will play the loser of the Larned-Hays game at 7 p.m.
— Kevin Price