HAYS — A weather delay extended the elimination game between the Great Bend Braves and the Dodge City Rangers in the Class A American Legion Zone 7 Tournament on Wednesday.
A tie dragged the game into extra innings.
After 10 innings of play and five hours, 20 minutes, the Braves were able to extend their season another day with a 9-8 win on a walk-off single by Dakota Conaway.
Braves’ pitcher Jonathon Allende looked shaky in his first inning against Dodge City.
He gave up three walks in the opening inning alone, but gave up no hits and was able to induce Dodge City’s Aarin Teiben into popping out to end the inning with the bases loaded.
On the flip side of the inning, the Braves faced Rangers pitcher Jordan Doan, who had not lost to Great Bend this season.
The Braves were able to get two runs in the first inning, with Conaway driving in a run and then scoring on an error.
Great Bend scored four more runs in the fourth inning aided by two more errors from Dodge City.
Allende got an RBI on a groundout and Conaway hit his second RBI single of the game. Lance Ward drove in two runs with a double.
Down 6-0, Dodge City opened the flood gates and poured on six runs in the top of the third, running Allende out of the game.
Allende went 2 2/3 innings with two strikeouts, three walks and three hit batters. He gave up all six runs in the third inning.
Bryce Beck took over the game at the mound and got the Braves out of the inning before a two-hour, 25-minute weather delay.
“During the long rain delay, I let them have a little bit of fun because who knows how long that’s going to be,” Braves head coach Randy Beck said. “You know high school kids, you just can’t tie them down for that amount of time.
“I think it came at an opportune time because they just scored six runs in the top of the third and then we had the rain delay. So I think that took some of the momentum away.”
Bryce Beck returned to pitch for the Braves after the break while Dodge City switched to left-hander Austin Veiser.
“Bryce came in and threw great,” Randy Beck said of his son. “He’d seen them earlier so he kind of knew the hitters. That helps. You know, you play someone seven times in a year, you start to get to know them a little bit.
“The big thing about Bryce was he had three pitches in the zone. Any time you can do that, you can keep the hitters off balance.”
Both pitchers kept the other team off of the scoreboard until the seventh inning.
“Well, we haven’t seen a lot of lefties this year,” Randy Beck said. “So that’s kind of been our downfall a little bit. Not that we haven’t hit them. It just takes us a little time to adjust to them.”
The Rangers scored on an RBI single from Taylor Murphy.
Conaway led off the bottom of the seventh with a single and was moved around the bases by Lance Ward, who laid down a sacrifice bunt. Braden Jones drove Conaway in to tie the game, sending the game into extra innings.
In the 10th inning, the Rangers took another one-point lead after Doan hit an RBI double.
However, the Braves weren’t done.
“We had several opportunities early on in the game to win it and just didn’t,” Randy Beck said. “We stayed in it mentally and a lot of times that can take you out of the game. We had the opportunities but didn’t capitalize on them.
“Then we finally got them in that last inning.”
Derek Simmons led off the bottom of the 10th with a single and Bryce Beck followed him with a bunt single.
Both runners advanced another base on a throwing error, leaving Simmons on third and Beck on second.
A past ball allowed Simmons to cross the plate for the tying run.
Dodge decided to load the bases, intentionally walking both Daniel Herrman and Allende for Conaway.
Conaway, who failed to drive in a run in the last at-bat against Hays on Wednesday, smashed a single just out of the infield to score Beck and finish the game.
“Well, you know, I walked up to him (before his at-bat) and said to him, ‘Let’s just go ahead and win this game right here,’” Randy Beck said. “He said, ‘I’m going to do it, coach,’ and he did. I should have said that a long time ago.
“It was big. He doesn’t have his stroke completely back after that injury and I think that’s going to be a big confidence booster for him.”
The Braves will be playing again today at 3 p.m. against the winner of the Hays-Larned game.
Class A American Legion
Zone 7 Baseball Tournament
At Larks Park in Hays
Great Bend 9, Dodge City 8 (10)
123 456 789 10 R H E
DC 006 000 100 1 — 8 10 4
GB 240 000 100 2 — 9 11 2
Jordan Doan & Kale Riekenberg; Jonathon Allende, Bryce Beck (3) & Beck & Mitch Johnson. 2B — Dodge City (Doan, Vallejo-Doble, Veiser); Great Bend (Lance Ward).