No question, the Great Bend Chiefs Class AAA American Legion baseball team enjoy the home confines of Al Burns Memorial Field.
Entering tonight’s doubleheader at home against McPherson at 6 and 8, the Chiefs (10-8) have won three straight home doubleheaders in the previous week, in the midst of winning six of their last eight games —most recently a 7-6, 10-5 sweep of Newton on Sunday evening.
The Chiefs Jeff Pike circled the bases on two Newton errors to tie Sunday’s opener, and Logan Buehler scored the eventual winning run on a balk — all of this coming in a five-run fifth to put Great Bend over the top in a 7-6 win.
Mitch Kottas was the winning pitcher for the Chiefs in the first game, and Cole Smith had their lone extra-base hit with a triple.
In the nightcap, Great Bend scored eight runs in the fourth inning to pull away for the 10-5 win. Jace Bowman and catcher Darien Blackwill, batting in the No. 5 and No. 6 spots, hit back-to-back RBI doubles in the fourth.
Chiefs head coach Michael Stettinger juggled his batting order during game two while resting Kottas and catcher Landon Leuenberger.
Logan Buehler, moved to the lead-off spot from the No. 2 slot and finished 3-for-4 at the plate. Sam Hafner, elevated to the No. 2 spot, was 1-for-4. Nick Ney, inserted into the No. 7 spot and playing left field, was 2-for-3.
CLASS AAA AMERICAN LEGION
At Great Bend
Al Burns Memorial Field
Great Bend Chiefs 7, Newton Knights 6
123 456 7 R H E
Newton 310 002 0 — 6 12 2
Great Bend 110 050 x — 7 5 2
Jacob Bartel & Dylan Palmer; Mitch Kottas & Landon Leuenberger. W — Kottas. L — Bartel. 2B — Newton (Derrick Garnica). 3B — Newton (Ben Koerner); Great Bend (Cole Smith).
Great Bend Chiefs 10, Newton Knights 5
123 456 7 R H E
Newton 200 021 0 — 5 5 2
Great Bend 000 820 x — 10 8 2
Ben Wright, Ben Koerner, (4) & Cody Opland; Connor Sell & Darien Blackwill. W — Sell. L — Koerner. 2B — Great Bend (Jace Bowman, Sell, Blackwill).