BY JIM MISUNAS
The Great Bend Chiefs turned three doubleplays to spark a 6-4 victory over Pratt Saturday to advance into Sunday’s Chiefs Baseball Classic semifinal. The Chiefs (9-10) play at 2 p.m. in Sunday’s semifinals against the Hutchinson Colts at the Great Bend Sports Complex.
Catcher Jared Maneth ended the game with the tying runners on base by throwing out Justin Lamatsch on a strikeout with first base occupied. Pratt featured Lamatsch at second base and Wyatt Schrag at first base when relief pitcher Brayden Smith struck out Drew Roadhouse. The ball skipped in the dirt and Lamatsch was thrown out on a tag by Payton Mauler.
‘‘Our defense played outstanding,” said Chiefs coach Mike Perry. “We're a good team when we make defensive plays. We felt it was the first game. That was the best baseball game we’ve played, the first time we competed from the first pitch to the end of the game. Both teams played well.”
Emporia State University signee Smith has been medically cleared to pitch after recovering from shoulder issues.
“Brayden threw great and was a good fit for that situation,” Perry said. “Pitching is the key.”
Shortstop Konner Ireland, second baseman Cory Burnham and Perry turned a sixth-inning double play. Right fielder Brayden Smith made another superb defensive play when he threw out Gage Taylor at first base on a potential base hit to right field.
The Chiefs broke on top 2-0 when Brayden Smith doubled home Ireland and scored on Koy Brack’s grounder. Pratt’s Lamatsch hit a sacrifice fly and Kaden Evert scored on an error for a 2-2 tie. Chiefs’ third baseman Mauler, Maneth and first baseman Logan Perry turned a first-inning double play on A.J. Arensdorf to end the threat.
“The key play was Payton Mauler charging a groundball and Jared Maneth completing the double play,” Perry said. “We had some good catches in the outfield by Chance Perry.”
Smith’s triple scored Ireland and Maneth’s infield single scored Smith for a 4-2 lead after two innings. Hunter Huber’s RBI single drove home Travis Theis in the third inning.
Maneth singled and pinch runner Dalton Bieker stole second base and scored on Brack’s fifth-inning groundout. Evert grounded into a 6-4-3 double play in the sixth inning.
Mauler’s bloop single scored Bieker with a valuable seventh-inning insurance run for a 6-3 lead. Theis doubled and scored on an error for a 6-4 score. Smith struck out Huber and Roadhouse to earn the save.
PRATT 10, BRAVES 9 — Pratt’s Drew Roadhouse singled home Grant Bolen to finish a four-run seventh-inning rally off pitcher Colin Hall. Bolen’s two-run triple scored Hunter Huber and Wyatt Schrag for a 9-9 tie. Schrag’s single scored Travis Theis. Pratt’s batters finished 6-of-8 against Hall (111 pitches) in their final at-bat.
“Give Pratt credit. They hit the ball at the end,” said Braves coach Travis Kurth. “He threw strikes and they hit the baseball.”
Jesus Bujanda drove in three runs and Eduardo Bujanda drove in three runs. Townshend Kurth delivered a pinch-hit RBI single to spark a four-run fifth inning.
HUTCHINSON COLTS 14, LARNED 3 – The Hutchinson Colts started with a five-run first inning and finished with a seven-run third inning. Kolby Holmberg and Landon Dimitt doubled home runs and Wyatt Akins, Jordan Denison and Austin Corwin delivered first-inning RBIs.
Akins delivered three hits, three RBIs and scored three runs. DeWitt drove in two runs. Kolby Holmber, DeWitt, Denison and Corwin each had two hits.
Larned’s Carson Smith reached base on a first-inning error and scored on a steal. Alex Barger singled home Jonathan Herter after Herter singled. Mason Perez doubled home Shevin Martin in the second inning.
Larned plays the Great Bend Braves at 9 a.m. Sunday at the Great Bend Sports Complex.
RUSSELL 11, BRAVES 8 (5 innings) — The Braves nearly rallied from a 7-1 deficit by scoring seven runs in their final two at-bats Saturday. Russell (11-6) advances into Sunday’s 11:30 a.m. semifinal game against Pratt.
Calan Haberman scored on Townshend’s Kurth’s first-inning sacrifice fly. Cal Kaiser’s grounder scored a run and Haberman’s two-run single made the score 7-4. But reliever Brady Dinkel retired Jesus Bujanda and Eduardo Bujanda to strand the bases loaded.
In the fifth inning, Kaiser singled home a run and Kurth, Colin Hall and Jesus Bujanda forced home runs on a walk and three hit batters. Russell reliever Kyle Farmer retired Eduardo Bujanda and Joey Soupiset to end the game with the bases-loaded on the two-hour time limit.
Russell’s Dinkel and Tanner Rome each drove in three runs. Russell scored four unearned runs when a two-out error extended a six-run fourth inning.
POOL A—Great Bend Chiefs 2-0, Pratt 1-1, Larned 0-2; POOL B—Russell 2-0, Hutchinson 1-1, Great Bend Braves 0-2
GREAT BEND SPORTS COMPLEX
5th-place—Larned 7, Great Bend Braves 5
Semifinal—Russell 11, Pratt 8
Semifinal—Great Bend Chiefs 6, Hutchinson Colts 4
Championship game–Great Bend Chiefs 6, Russell 3
Great Bend Chiefs 6, Pratt 4
Russell 11, Great Bend Braves 8
Pratt 10, Great Bend Braves 9
Hutchinson 14, Larned 3
Hutchinson Colts 4, Great Bend Braves 0
Pratt11, Larned 2
Russell 6, Hutchinson 4, 9 innings
Great Bend Chiefs 11, Larned 0
CHIEFS 6, PRATT 4
GB Chiefs 220 010 1 — 6 8 1
Pratt 201 000 1 — 4 9 2
Arensdorf, Roadhouse (7) and Lamatsch. Brack, Smith (7) and Maneth. W—Brack. L—Arensdorf. Sv—B. Smith. 2B—GB—B. Smith, Logan Perry; P—Theis. 3B—GB—B. Smith.
RUSSELL 11, BRAVES 8
Russell 001 64 — 11 9 1
GB Braves 100 34 — 8 7 3
Schmidtberger, Dinkel (4), Braun (5), Farmer (5) and Dinkel, Schmidtberger (4). Powell, Hanrahan (4), Soupiset (5) and Eduardo Bujanda. W—Schmidtberger. L—Powell. 2B—R—Rome. 3B—R—Braun.
PRATT 10, BRAVES 9
GB Braves 002 340 0 — 8 9 3
Pratt 060 000 4 — 10 14 3
Hall and Hall. Schrag, Malone (4), Bolen (5) and Lamatsch. W—Bolen. L—Hall. 2B—GB—Hall, Olivas; P—Studer 2, Huber, Lamatsch. 3B—P—Bolen.
COLTS 14, LARNED 3
Larned 210 0 – 3 4 5
Colts 527 x – 14 13 3
Gladow, Pleasant (3) and Burris. DeWitt, Sunner (4) and Dimitt. W—DeWitt. L—Gladow. 2B—L__Perez; HC—Kolby Holmberg, Dimitt.