The last two springs, Hays High School has held baseball supremacy in the Western Athletic Conference.
It hasn’t always been this way.
During a 10-year stretch, from 2000 to 2009, Great Bend won at least a share of the conference championship nine times.
It’s safe to say if a team wants to win the WAC crown these days, it must go through Hays — just like the scenario with Great Bend in the not-too-distant past.
“In the WAC, with Hays, it’s always a tough task because they’re a very good team,” said Great Bend head coach Randy Beck, whose Panthers travel to Hays today for their WAC opener, with the first game of a doubleheader starting at 4. “If you’re going to win the WAC title, then you have to get Hays in two games and that’s definitely a goal of ours. It goes through Hays.
“We’ve got two beat two really good pitchers, Austin Unrein and Hayden Hutchison.”
Hays is currently 5-1 on the season while Great Bend is off to a 4-0 start.
The Panthers swept Scott City in their most recent games last Friday night in their official home opener at the new City of Great Bend Sports Complex, 14-4 in six innings, and 4-3 in the nightcap
Mitch Kottas, who robbed Scott City’s Devyn Eggelston of a two-run home run in left field during the one-run win with a leaping catch at the fence, figures to be the starting pitcher in today’s opener.
Kottas (1-0) pitched two strong innings in relief in game two against Scott City, getting the save for winning pitcher Braden Jones (1-0).
Bryce Beck (2-0) went the distance for the Panthers in the run-rule victory over Scott City.