Make that back-to-back title for the Ottawa Arrows.
It seemed only right it came down to a winner-take-all battle between Ottawa and Chanute for the American Legion AAA State Baseball Tournament.
Not only had the two teams split six games this year including two at the state tournament, each had scored 38 runs in those six contest.
In the end it was Ottawa that was crowned state champions for the second straight season. The Arrows finished off the event at the Great Bend Sports Complex with an 8-2 win over Chanute.
The title was a similar path as last season for Ottawa, losing in the winner’s bracket final then needing to win three straight contest to capture the title.
Conner Stepp started the game in grand style with a triple to right field. He was the first of four straight Arrows to reach base – three of which scored. Stepp score on a wild pitch while Jared Parenti and Trenton Ferguson both scored on sacrifice flies.
The Arrow added a run in the second when Merrick Brown walked, moved to second on a sac bunt, to third on a ground out and scored on a Jared Parenti infield single.
With two out in the third, Ottawa strung together four straight hits to score four more runs and put Chanute in a huge hole.
Merrick Brown drove in Dayne Jung on a single then Alex Stepp hit a ground rule double to score Clayton Evans. Conner Stepp followed with a single to score Brown and his brother Alex Stepp to give the Arrows an 8-0 lead.
Chanute finally broke on the scoreboard in the fifth when Rhett Smith belted a 2-run homer to left.
Chanute put two more runners on base with just one out but there would be no big rally as Tate Jung snagged a Jakos Fiscus hot grounder up the middle and turned a double play from his second base position.
Those would be the only two runs starter Keegan Finch would allow in his five innings of work on the way to picking up the win.
Ferguson, who threw a no-hitter Saturday to advance the Arrows to face Chanute, came in to pitch the sixth and worked himself in to and out of a 1-out bases-loaded jam.
Ottawa will now head to Conway, Ark for the AAA Regional starting Wednesday.
Ottawa 8, Chanute 2
Ottawa 3 1 4 0 0 0 0 8 11 1
Chanute 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 2 11 1
Finch, Ferguson (6) and Brown; Eitel, Miller (4) and Friederich. W - Finch. L - Eitel. 2B – A Stepp, Ottawa; Smith, Chanute. 3B – C Stepp, Ottawa. HR – Smith, Chanute.