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Panthers' baseball shocks the world
Great Bend plays Wichita Carroll at 5A state baseball
gb regional1


WICHITA – Great Bend's Carson Umphres rescued the Panthers' baseball season with a home run and game-tying single against Andover High. The momentum shifted when Umphres launched a sixth-inning homer.

The Panthers outlasted Andover 4-3 for a 5A state baseball berth when J.J. Grove scored the game-winning run as Andover committed an error on a perfect sacrifice bunt by Edwin Chavez in the eighth inning. Grove and Trenton Kern singled to start the eighth inning. But Andover pitcher Peyton White threw the baseball away, igniting a wild celebration.

"Anything can happen on a bunt. That was a great hard bunt by Chavez," said Great Bend coach Randy Beck. "The bunting game worked out well. We work hard on our bunting game. We like to move runners up on the bases." 

With one out left, Andover made the mistake of pitching to Umphres, who tied the game 3-3 with an RBI single that scored Tyler Stuhlsatz. 

"That was huge. Carson is the guy we want up in a key situation," Beck said. "I give all the credit to the players."

The Panthers (13-9) qualify for the 5A state tournament for the first time since 2019.

Umphres hit a sixth-inning home run to slice the lead to 3-2. Kern singled and Chavez walked to set up Ian Premer's potential tying single. But Kern was called out on a close play at home on a Joaquin Banuelos' throw.

"We kept our composure after getting a tough call at home," Beck said. "We came back and battled. That's great for a young team."

Andover's Jake Farris doubled home Brooks Allen, Kale Brodhagen and Hunter Miller in the first inning off Hunter Herrman. Centerfielder Umphres completed a fourth-inning double play when Brodhagen was called out for leaving third base on a defensive appeal.

"That was a big defensive play," Beck said. "The score stayed 3-1. That was a definite momentum-builder for us."

Great Bend pitchers Herman and Stuhlsatz threw seven shutout innings after the first inning.

"Hunter coasted after that rocky first inning," Beck said. "Tyler Stuhlsatz threw well too for 22/3 innings. It worked great for us."

Herrman scored a third-inning run on Koehn Ribordy's groundball. Herrman singled,  moved to second on a Bradley Hopkins bunt and Stuhlsatz's single moved him to third base.

PANTHERS 3, HAYS HIGH 1 – In Great Bend, the only thing greater than beating Hays, is beating them to end their sports season. 

The Panthers earned payback with a 3-1 regional baseball victory after the Indians ended Great Bend’s basketball season. The Panthers also upset the No. 1 ranked Indians 6-2 when Hays High finished with a 20-2 record in 2019.

Great Bend pitcher Carson Umphres (5-3) struck out three batters in a masterful 94-pitch outing.

Great Bend’s steady Edwin Chavez delivered the game’s biggest hits with a pair of run-scoring singles.

Great Bend had three runs score after drawing a walk against Hays pitcher Greg Hughes (3-3).

Owen Kaiser and Ian Premer walked in the second inning. Pinch runner Hunter Herrman and Premer moved into scoring position on a wild pitch. Herrman scored on a Trenton Kern groundout. Premer scored on a Chavez single for a 2-0 lead.

Carter Graham singled home Hughes in the fourth inning. Umphres preserved a 2-1 lead by picking off Graham at first base.

Coach Randy Beck’s “small ball,” baseball paid dividends when Trenton Kern scored on a Chavez fourth-inning single. Kern moved into scoring position on a J.J. Grove sacrifice bunt.

Panther shortstop J.J. Grove made the game’s key defensive play by turning a Cooper Sanders pop fly into a fifth-inning double play on Derrik Riggs.

Umphres retired eight of the final nine Hays batters. Umphres struck out Toby May to end the ballgame.

Hays High 000 100 0 – 1 3 0

Great Bend 020 100 x – 3 3 3

Hughes and Riggs. Umphres and Kaiser. W—Umphres, 5-3. L—Hughes, 3-3. 2B—H—Hughes, Bradyn Dreher.

Andover High 300 000 00 – 3 8 2

Great Bend 001 001 11 – 4 9 1

Banuelos, White (6) and Jones. Herrman, Stuhlsatz (6) and Kaiser. W–Stuhlsatz, 3-2. L–White. 2B–GB–Umphres; A–Farris, Brodhagen. HR–GB–Umphres.


Wichita Carroll 21-1 vs. Great Bend 13-9

Topeka Seaman 18-3 vs. Goddard Eisenhower 17-4

St. Thomas Aquinas 19-3/DeSoto 19-3 vs. Spring Hill 13-5

St. Thomas Aquinas 19-3/DeSoto 19-3 vs.  Goddard 16-6


OVERLAND PARK—CHAMPIONSHIP—St. Thomas Aquinas 5, Basehor 2; St. Thomas Aquinas 15, Highland Park 0; Basehor 7, KC Sumner 0

PITTSBURG—CHAMPIONSHIP—Spring Hill 7, Pittsburg 1; Pittsburg 12, KC Piper 9; Spring Hill 7, Bonner Springs 0

TOPEKA—CHAMPIONSHIP—Topeka Seaman 4, Lansing 2; Topeka Seaman 12, KC Washington 0; Lansing 2, Lenexa St. James 2

WICHITA—CHAMPIONSHIP—Great Bend 4, Andover 3, 8 innings; Great Bend 3, Hays High 1; Andover 4, Wichita Kapaun-Mt. Carmel 3

DESOTO—CHAMPIONSHIP—DeSoto 3, Blue Valley SW 2; Desoto 5, Leavenworth 4, 9 innings; Blue Valley SW 6, Shawnee Heights 4

WICHITA—CHAMPIONSHIP—Wichita Carroll 3, Newton 2; Newton 9, Arkansas City 3; Wichita Carroll 5, Hutchinson High 2

GODDARD—CHAMPIONSHIP—Goddard Eisenhower 8, Maize High 4; Maize 7, Salina South 6, 10 innings; Goddard Eisenhower 8, Valley Center 1

GODDARD—CHAMPIONSHIP—Goddard 2, Andover Central 1; Goddard 12, Salina Central 4; Andover Central 3, Maize South 0