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McPherson ends Chiefs run in State Legion Tournament
spt deh legion bball squeeze play web
Great Bend American Legion Chief shortstop Bryce Lytle runs down a McPherson base runner for a squeeze play out Friday morning at the Great Bend Sports complex. - photo by DALE HOGG Great Bend Tribune

It was just the beginning the Great Bend Chiefs were looking for.
Unfortunately it was not the ending the American Legion team baseball club had hoped for.
Great Bend jumped to an early lead Friday morning at the American Legion AAA State Baseball Tournament but couldn’t hold it. The Chiefs season came to an end with an 11-7 loss to McPherson in loser’s bracket play at the Great Bend Sports Complex.
Great Bend jumped to a 4-0 lead before McPherson could come to bat, held a lead into the fourth inning but in the end the Chiefs season season came to an end with an 11-7 loss.
The loss ended Great Bend’s season and its second straight trip to the state tournament with a 27-17 record.
Great Bend made McPherson pay for a first inning miscue to take control early.
With two on and two out, a McPherson error allowed Great Bend’s Jaxx Hillman to score and kept the inning alive.
Peyton Mauler followed with a double just inside the third base bag to score Jared Maneth and Brayden Smith. Hunter Hanzlick singled in Mauler and the Chiefs led 4-0.
The lead grew to 5-0 in the top of the second when Bryce Lytle tripled with one out and scored on a sacrifice fly by Brady Michel.
McPherson began its comeback in the bottom of the second, with a little help from Great Bend. A pair of errors aided in setting up Michael Saverino’s 2-run single to cut the lead to 5-4.
McPherson made it 5-4 in the third on the strength of doubles from Marcus McDaniel and Cody Starkel.
Great Bend appeared to gain some momentum back in the fourth with back-to-back walks to start the inning that chased McPherson starter Caleb Schmidt. The Chiefs greeted new pitcher Dylan Werries with back-to-back singles.
Brice Kaiser started it with a perfect bunt that got past the pitcher for a base hit and scored Hanzlick from third. Lytle singled up the middle and the Chiefs had the bases loaded and nobody out.
But Great Bend would not get anymore runs out of the inning and McPherson put up four runs in the bottom of the inning to take an 8-6 lead.
The game stayed 8-6 until the top of the sixth when the Chiefs whittled the lead to a single digit. Michel singled in Lytle to cut the margin to 8-7. Great Bend had it chances to tie the game but left two runners on base.
McPherson would again make the Chiefs pay for an error with three more runs in the bottom of the sixth for an 11-7 lead.
That would be how the season ended.
The Chiefs left nine runners on base – eight in the final four innings. Meanwhile McPherson led just three runners on base.
The win kept McPherson alive in the loser’s bracket. The state runner-up improved to 24-6 on the season.

McPherson 11, Great Bend 7
Great Bend 410 101 0 -- 7 8 4
McPherson 022 403 x -- 11 12 1
Lytle, Basye (6) and Maneth; Schmidt, Werries (4) and Starkel. W–Werries. L–Lytle. 2B–Mauler, Great Bend; McDaniel, Hoover, McPherson. 3B–Lytle, Great Bend; K. Reed, McPherson.

Chanute secures spot in title game; Mac beats Salina on walkoff

When the brackets were released for the American Legion AAA State Baseball Tournament, most observers felt there was a good chance the title game would come down a rematch.
A rematch between the defending state champion Ottawa and runner-up McPherson. But somebody forgot to tell that to Chanute.
Chanute sent McPherson into the loser’s bracket in the second round then did likewise to Ottawa in the winner’s bracket final.
Chanute defeated Ottawa 9-3 Friday night at the Great Bend Sports Complex to advance to the championship game.
Hunter Friederich hit a grand slam home run in the eighth inning to key a 6-run extra inning and give Chanute the win.
Chanute took an early lead in the contest with single runs in the top of the second and third. Kyler Manbeck hit a sacrifice fly to right to score Friederich in the second and Rhett Smith doubled in Kenton Richards in the third.
The Arrows finally broke through in the bottom fifth, taking a 3-2 lead. Jared Parenti single and scored on a Trenton Ferguson doubled. Ferguson came in to score on an infield single by Tate Jung to tie the game at 2-all.
Clayton Evans added a single over short to score Owen Lamar and give Ottawa its first lead of the game.
Just two outs from defeat, Jakos Fiscus drew a bases-loaded walk to tie the game for Chanute in the top of the seventh and send the game to extra innings.
But in extra innings Ottawa had trouble finding the plate. A single and a pair of walks – one intentional – helped load the bases when Josh Miller drew the third walk of the inning to score Corey Whitcomb and give Chanute a 4-3 lead.
That is when Friederich put the game away with his grand slam home run and an 8-3 lead. Chanute added another run to take a 9-3 lead into the bottom of the inning.
Miller put Ottawa down in order to put Chanute in the title game.

McPherson 5, Salina Falcons 4 -- McPherson moved into the loser’s bracket final against Ottawa with a 5-4 walk-off win over Salina.
McPherson took a 4-2 after a 3-run third inning highlighted by a 2-run single from Caleb Schmidt. Salina evened the game with single runs in the fourth and sixth.
The Falcons tied the game when Mason Lundgren tripled and scored on a Gleason Williams single in the top of the sixth.
McPherson walked off in the bottom of the seventh after loading the bases on three straight singles to start the inning the won a Schmidt sac fly that scored Dylan Werries.

Salina Falcons 15, Newton 2 -- Salina rolled by Newton in an elimination game Friday, wrapping things up in four innings with a 15-2 win.
Gleason Williams had a big game, going 2-for-4 with a home run and four RBI. Bryce Banks was 3-for-4 with a 3 runs scored and Mason Lundgren went 2-for-3 with three runs and two RBI for the Falcons.

AAA State Legion Tournament
Great Bend Sports Complex
Wednesday’s Games
G1—McPherson 11, Oskaloosa 3
G2—Chanute 6, Newton 3
G3—Salina Falcons 4, Emporia 2
G4——Ottawa 9, Great Bend 0

Thursday’s Games
G5—Newton 3, Oskaloosa 1 (Oskalooa eliminated)
G6—Great Bend Chiefs 13, Emporia 4 (Emporia eliminated)
G7—Chanute 6, McPherson 3
G8——Ottawa 10, Salina Falcons 0

Friday’s Games
G9—McPherson 11, Great Bend Chiefs 7 (Chiefs eliminated)
G10——Salina Falcons 15, Newton 2 (Newton eliminated)
G11—Chanute 9, Ottawa 3, 8 innings
G12—McPherson 5, Salina Fakcons 4 (Salina eliminated)

Saturday’s Games
G13—Ottawa 3, McPherson 0 (McPherson eliminated)
G14—Ottawa 19, Chanute 7

Sunday’s Games
G15—Ottawa 8, Chanute 2 (Ottawa qualifies for Midwest Regional, Conway, Ark.)