LARNED — Larned High School’s baseball team (14-4) swept Nickerson Tuesday 10-3 and 5-3 to secure the No. 1 seed for Monday’s Larned regional.
Top-seeded Larned will play Pratt (10-8) at 4 p.m. Monday in a Class 4A Division-II baseball regional. Hoisington-Central Plains (11-7) will play Russell (12-8) at 2 p.m. Monday at Moffett Stadium. The championship game is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday.
Larned scored five runs in the sixth inning of the opener for a 10-3 lead. Reliever Brayden Smith worked the final four innings to earn the victory.
Isiah Perez led the offense with four hits and three runs scored. Tyler Stelter delivered a two-run single in the sixth. Efron Vega hit a sacrifice fly and bunted home pinch runner Gage Stude. Camryn Bryant and Smith also drove in runs.
Perez scored Larned’s first run on an error. Bryant’s double drove home Perez in a four-run third inning.
Two runs scored on Nickerson errors for a 5-1 lead.
Chase Timmons scored Nickerson’s first run on a passed ball. Sam Berridge and Austin Engelland drove in Nickerson runs in the fourth to slice the lead to 5-3.
But Larned’s Landon Erway, Perez, Stelter, Smith and Palmer delivered sixth-inning hits.
Stelter’s two-run single made it 7-3 and Bryant scored on a passed ball, making it 8-3. Smith’s single made it 9-3 and Vega’s bunt brought home Smith.
In the second game, Perez’s triple brought home Erway in the first inning and Skelton’s RBI single made it 2-0.
Nickerson’s Austin Engelland scored on Jacob Mader’s double and Casey Goble scored on Chance Jordan’s third-inning single for a 2-2 tie. Engelland and Goble reached base on hit by pitches.
Smith’s RBI third-inning triple brought home Stelter for a 3-2 lead. Perez’s single brought home Palmer and Mason Schartz after back-to-back fourth-inning singles for a 5-2 lead. Braden Stewart’s sacrifice fly brought home Justin Engelland in the seventh inning.
Bryant worked five innings and Evan Skelton pitched the final two innings. Larned outfielder Skelton threw Casey Goble out at home and Mader was picked off at third base with the bases loaded and one out.
Larned plays Great Bend at home Thursday.