BY JIM MISUNAS
OTTAWA — Great Bend Chiefs’ coach Mike Perry went down fighting for his band of brothers. The T-shirt coach Jason Perry wears states — “Band of Brothers.”
Perry was ejected for contesting a missed umpiring call in the Chiefs’ 10-6 loss Sunday to Ottawa, the three-time AAA state American Legion champion.
The Chiefs were in the midst of a four-run fifth-inning rally when the home plate umpire called Konner Ireland out at home after Ireland easily beat a high tag by catcher Trevor Boehm. The missed call cost the Chiefs an extra run and gave them one less out.
Chance Perry scored when Brayden Smith’s bunt was misplayed and Ireland slid safely into home, but was called out. Payton Mauler followed with a two-run single and Logan Perry drove a run with a single for a 10-6 score.
“I wish the correct call was made at home plate. That one call we got robbed on, it’s 10-7, and we’re still swinging the sticks,” said Mike Perry. “Our guys have a ton of heart and never quit. I don’t feel like we lost. We ran out of time. I’m very proud of them.”
Keegan Finch blasted a three-run home run and Trevor Boehm hit a two-run homer off starter Brayden Smith to spark Ottawa to a 10-2 lead before the Chiefs rallied.
The Chiefs nearly surprised an all-star Ottawa team. Ottawa’s top two players, Boehm and Dalton Rankin, played at Paola. Central Heights catcher catcher Merrick Brown plays baseball for Ottawa University.
“Ottawa swung the sticks early. Ottawa thought they had it won,” said Mike Perry. “Brayden Smith got squeezed a ton. He was forced to put it in the middle of the plate. That’s an all-star team we played.”
Smith delivered the game’s best play when he forced a third-inning fielder’s interference call after doubling home Chance Perry and Ireland. But the Chiefs handed Ottawa three unearned runs with a trio of errors for a 10-2 deficit.
The Chiefs had two baserunners on base in the fourth and sixth innings, but Ottawa’s pitchers worked out of trouble.
“It’s hard to end your season with a loss in the state championship,” said Mike Perry. “We had a chance to play in two state championship games. They gave it everything they had every time out.”
Chiefs catcher Jared Maneth was awarded the tournament’s sportsmanship award
“Jared Maneth is the glue that held this team together,” said Mike Perry. “He calms the guys down.”
The Chiefs reeled off five stunning post-season victories. The Chiefs (23-14) were one victory away from capturing their first Legion state baseball title in 35 years.
“We rallied and put pressure on the other team,” said Mike Perry. “They accomplished more than anyone could imagine.”
The Chiefs’ final four post-season wins were sparked by game-winning plays by Payton Mauler and Logan Perry, who nearly rescued an umpire’s life three weeks ago in Hutchinson.
“We played like we had a guardian angel sitting on our shoulder,” said Chiefs coach Jason Perry.
Ottawa (37-9) qualifies for the Mid-South AAA Regional at New Orleans. Ottawa swept six consecutive games against Arkansas City, Nickerson, Chanute, the Hays Eagles and Great Bend.
OTTAWA 9, GREAT BEND 1 — The Chiefs handed Ottawa five walks and three errors that contributed to an easy Ottawa victory. Four runners scored after reaching on walks. Ottawa executed two bunts and the Chiefs’ four errors extended innings.“Ottawa set the tone from the beginning and they were the better team today,” coach Perry said. “We had good effort, but we didn’t create any big innings.”
The Chiefs turned three stunning double plays with shortstop Konner Ireland starting two and centerfielder Payton Mauler gunning down a rnner at first base.
Brayden Smith singled home Brice Kaiser in the third inning. But Ottawa’s Dalton Rankin retured Jared Maneth and Logan Perry to work out of his lone tough inning.
Ottawa’s Rankin drilled a three-run seventh-inning homer after two walks and an error handed Ottawa three baserunners. Two walks, an error and a perfect bunt led to a three-run third inning.
GREAT BEND 10, HAYS EAGLES 7 — One night after rescuing the Great Bend Chiefs with his bat, sparkplug Logan Perry delivered a victory with his left arm. Perry preserved a 10-7 winners bracket victory over the Hays Eagles Friday in the American Legion State Baseball Tournament.
Perry worked the final two innings of the pressure-packed victory. First baseman Brayden Smith turned Cole Murphy’s line drive into a game-ending double play with shortstop Konner Ireland.
“We put pressure on them and that was huge,” coach Perry said. “This is amazing. I could not be prouder of these guys. We’ve worked on bunts and small ball. The guys are focused, but they play loose. We’re playing to win.”
The Chiefs took advantage of seven Hays errors that led to big scoring innings. Three walks and three errors led to an RBI single by Logan Perry and a sacrifice fly by Chance Perry in a four-run third inning. Smith delivered a two-run single for a 6-6 tie after four innings. Mauler delivered a tying double and Cory Burnham’s two-run single gave the Chiefs a 9-7 lead after five innings. Smith scored on Logan Perry’s bunt for a 10-7 lead.
OTTAWA 10, CHIEFS 6
Chiefs 002 040 0 — 6 8 3
Ottawa 712 000 x — 10 10 1
Smith, Logan Perry (5) and Maneth. Huddlestun, Boehm (6) and Boehm, Brown (6). W—Huddlestun. L—Smith. 2B—GB—Smith, Mauler; O—Sutti. HR—O—Boehm, Finch.
CHIEFS 10, HAYS EAGLES 7
Hays 300 310 0 – 7 7 7
Chiefs 004 231 x – 10 9 0
Coffman and Harmon. Brack, Mauler (4), Ireland (5), Logan Perry (6) and Maneth. W—Ireland. L—Coffman. 2B—GB—Mauler; H—Riggs 2, Coffman.
OTTAWA 9, CHIEFS 1
Ottawa 012 100 5 – 9 9 0
Chiefs 001 000 0 – 1 5 4
Rankin and Brown. Kaiser, Burnham (7) and Maneth. W—Rankin. L—Kaiser. 2B—GB—Smith; O—Rankin. HR—O—Rankin.
AMERICAN LEGION AAA STATE
Game 1—Nickerson 14, Leavenworth 6
Game 2—Great Bend 2, Chanute 0
Game 3—Oskaloosa 1, Arkansas City 0
Game 4—Hays Eagles 8, Ottawa 4
Game 5—Chanute 10, Leavenworth 0
Game 6—Ottawa 5, Arkansas City 0
Game 7—Great Bend Chiefs 5, Nickerson 4
Game 8—Hays Eagles 10, Oskaloosa 3
Game 9—Chanute 9, Oskaloosa 1
Game 10—Ottawa 5, Nickerson 2
Game 11—Great Bend Chiefs 10, Hays Eagles 7
Game 12—Ottawa 5, Chanute 2
Game 13—Ottawa 6, Hays Eagles 5
Game 14—Ottawa 9, Great Bend 1
SUNDAY, JULY 30
Game 15—Ottawa 10, Great Bend Chiefs 6; (Ottawa 37-9 qualifies Mid-South Regional, Aug. 3-7 New Orleans, La.)
LL—Russell 1-11, 3-11
LL—Russell 15-16, 4-8
LL—Wichita East 8-9, 3-13
WW—Larned 14-6, 18-3
WW—Dodge City 13-5, 2-0
WW—Hutchinson 10-4, 15-8
LLWL—Dodge City (Beloit 5-9, Dodge City 1-2, Pratt 11-3, Hays-TMP 8-12)
WL—Hutchinson 7-3, 7-8
WWWW—Chiefs Classic (Larned 11-0, Pratt 6-4, Hutchinson 6-4, Russell 6-3)
WW—Dodge City 9-0, 7-3
LWW—Pratt Tournament (Pratt 2-10, Garden City 9-0, 15-4)
WW AAA Zone (W Hays Eagles 3-1; W McPherson 9-8)
WWWLL AAA State (Chanute 2-0; Nickerson 5-4; Hays Eagles 10-7, Ottawa 1-9; Ottawa 6-10)
GREAT BEND CHIEFS ROSTER
6—Max Jerke RP-2B-OF
7—Jared Maneth C-1B-3B-SS
9—Brayden Smith LP-1B-RF
10—Cory Burnham RP-2B-3B-SS
11—Konner Ireland RP-SS-2B
12—Payton Mauler RP-3B-C-OF
13—Logan Perry LP-1B-RF
19—Brice Kaiser RP-1B-OF
21—Chance Perry IF-OF
24—Dalton Bieker RP-2B-SS-OF
27—Koy Brack RP-C-3B-SS-OF
Coaches—Mike Perry, Jason Perry