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Panthers challenge St. Thomas Aquinas baseball
Panthers celebrate

Panthers play baseball Thursday


WICHITA — No. 7 seed Great Bend (10-10) should feel comfortable challenging No. 2 seed St. Thomas Aquinas (19-3) in Thursday’s 11 a.m. 5A state baseball opener at Wichita State’s Cessna Stadium.

The Panthers also kicked off last year’s 5A tournament, losing 10-2 to Topeka Shawnee Heights with a shaky performance. 

“It’s such a nice venue that there was a little awe factor last year,” said Great Bend coach Randy Beck. “You dream of playing state baseball at Wichita State and it’s awesome. This year, we’re familiar with the venue and we need to play more relaxed baseball.” 

For the second straight year at regionals, Great Bend upset a top seed, 6-2 over Western Athletic Conference champion Hays High. The Indians lost two games — both to Great Bend. The Panthers defeated Wichita Northwest 7-3 in a regional opener.

“After beating a good Hays team twice, we’ve proven we can compete with anybody,” Beck said. “It’s postseason play, one game at a time. We’re going to the state tournament on a win streak with confidence. We’re touching up on different 

situations. We feel good about our chances.”  

Great Bend captured state baseball titles in 1955, 1995 and 1998. Aquinas captured the 5A state title in 2007, 2014 and 2016.

Great Bend’s starting pitcher Colin Hall (4-2, 2.71 era) is a crafty rightander who mixes his fastball, curveball and changup to keep batters off balance.  

“Colin brings consistency and throws strikes,” Beck said. “Our goal is no free passes and play solid defense. We don’t want to give them anything. He’s got two quality pitches and a nice changeup.”

Aquinas has developed a quality baseball program the past few years.

“Aquinas has a good reputation for good baseball,” Beck said. “They’ve hit the ball well. They are a good defensive team with solid pitchers who throw mid 80s.”

The Panthers have been forced inside like a lot of baseball teams the past week. Hitting timing is the chief concern.

“We lose live at-bats, but our practices at the end are short and sweet,” Beck said.  


Aquinas pitching—Matt Barr, 4-1, 1.62 era; Gunnar Sehon, 4-1, 3.08 era; Ryan Cox, 3-0, 3.23 era, 34 K-34 IP; Kenny Brown, 3-0, 3.65 era; Preston Cowley, 3-0, 4.11 era

Aquinas batting—Kendall Diggs, .590; 11 2B, 21 BB, 28 R, 37 RBI; J.J. Marl, .460; 29 R; Joe Bryant, .451, 24 RBI; Eli Bergren, .408; Blake Anderson, .397; Nick Goodwin, .388, 26 R, 35 RBI; Hunter Moffett, .388; Alex Henning, .343; Ivan Brethowr, .304

Panther pitching—Townshend Kurth 4-1, 2.82 era; Colin Hall 4-2, 2.71 era; Joey Soupiset 2-2, 3.00 era; Alex Schremmer 0-1; Jesus Bujanda 0-1; Eddie Bujanda 0-1, 5.25 era

Panther batting—Koy Brack, .410; Alex Schremmer, .385, 18 R; Eddie Bujanda, .370; Calan Haberman, .294; Townshend Kurth, .292; Jesus Bujanda, .274; Riley Smith, .268; Joey Soupiset, .235; Chance Perry, .222; Colin Hall, .150 


11 a.m.—St. Thomas Aquinas 19-3 vs. Great Bend 10-10

Pittsburg 17-4 vs. Lenexa St. James 12-9

Wichita Carroll 21-0 vs. Salina South 10-10

Topeka Seaman 17-5 vs. Arkansas City 13-8 


11 a.m.—Fort Scott 21-1 vs. KC Piper 8-12

Buhler 19-3 vs. Chanute 13-7

Wichita Trinity 18-1 vs. Mulvane 9-11

Nickerson 16-2 vs. Tonganoxie 12-9


11 a.m.—St. George Rock Creek 20-3 vs. Burlington 7-12

1:15 p.m.—Cheney 19-4 vs. Wellsville 17-4

3:30 p.m.—Minneapolis 19-3 vs. Hugoton 14-8

5:45 p.m.—Sabetha 18-3 vs. Baxter Springs 17-5


11 a.m.—Elkhart 19-0 vs. Wichita Independent 13-10

Humboldt 20-3 vs. Olathe Heritage 13-6

Marion 18-1 vs. KC Christian 14-8

Sedgwick 15-2 vs. Rossville 12-7


11 a.m.—Campus 20-2 vs. Derby 11-9

Olathe Northwest 17-5 vs. Mill Valley 14-5

Lawrence Free State 19-3 vs. Olathe East 15-7

Washburn Rural 17-5 vs. Blue Valley Northwest 16-6