With Scott City High School’s Drew Kite and Great Bend’s Bryce Beck wedged in a pitcher’s duel, runs came at a premium on a brisk, cold Tuesday afternoon at the Great Bend Sports Complex.
Both right-handers had no-hitters going through three complete innings before Scott City broke up Beck’s no-hit bid, getting a Brett O’Neil single to lead off the fourth. O’Neill later scored on Kite’s sacrifice fly to make it 1-0 Beavers.
Scott City made it to 2-0 in the top of the fifth after Sloan Baker, who drew a one-out walk, scored on Collin Ratzlaff’s bloop single to left-center field.
But the Panthers stood the course and broke up Kite’s no-hit bid in the fifth inning, where they came up with three runs to rally for a 3-2 victory and improve to 5-0 on the season.
“I think, coming in at 4-0, I think it gave us the confidence to finish the game on the right foot there,” Great Bend head Randy Beck said. “(Kite) had us off-balance early in the game with his curveball and we hung in there and didn’t get rattled.
“We felt confident that we could get this thing done and we did what it took to pull it off.”
Eric Ruiz led off the Panthers’ decisive fifth by reaching on an error. After an out was recorded, Bryce Hofmeister drew a walk before Braden Jones’ suicide squeeze drove in Johnson, running for Ruiz, with the first run, with Hofmeister advancing to second. Left-handed-hitting Shade Wondra followed with an RBI single, scoring Hofmeister and knotting the score at 2.
Danny Herrman then followed with an RBI single to score Wondra for a 3-2 lead, the eventual winning run.
“We got about one good inning in where we scored three runs and that’s all we needed,” Bryce Beck said. “I had good defense behind me the whole game and it helped out a lot.”
Armed with a one-run lead, Beck proceeded to retire the final six batters he faced, getting a pair of strikeouts in the seventh and improving to 3-0 on the young season.
Beck, a junior, struck out a season-most seven batters in all.
“Bryce worked ahead in the count most of the day. He did a good job of keeping the ball down in the zone and getting us some routine ground balls,” Randy Beck said. “He really had some key strikeouts late in the game that really helped himself out and helped the team out.”
Panthers 7, TMP Marian 0
GBHS righthander Tristan Hall also improved to 3-0 on the season, spinning a two-hit shutout during a 7-0 win over Thomas More Prep Marian.
“We hit the ball well, considering the conditions,” Randy Beck said. “It was our bunting and situational hitting that got the job done.”
Eric Ruiz went 3-for-4 at the plate to lead the Panthers (6-0), who totaled 12 hits. Ruiz had a pair of doubles and one run batted in.
Bryce Beck was 2-for-4 with an RBI, and Brady Buehler was also 2 for 4. Dakota Conaway, Chad Touslee, Johnny Allende, Johnson and Jones also had singles.
Jones also added as pair of sacrifices, bringing his total to three for the two games. Conaway had a sacrifice fly.
— Mack McClure
HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL
At Great Bend
Great Bend Sports Complex
Great Bend 3, Scott City 2
123 456 7 R H E
Scott City 000 110 0 — 2 3 3
Great Bend 000 030 x — 3 2 1
Drew Kite & Keigun Wells; Bryce Beck & Eric Ruiz. W — Beck (3-0). L — Kite.
Great Bend 7,
Thomas More Prep Marian 0
123 456 7 R H E
TMP Marian 000 000 0 — 0 2 2
Great Bend 121 003 x — 7 12 1
Shane Zimmerman & Jordan Gottschalk; Tristan Hall & Eric Ruiz. W — Hall (3-0). L — Zimmerman. 2B — Great Bend 2 (Ruiz 2).