HOISINGTON – Four hits, too many walks, shoddy defense and erratic pitching.
Larned’s baseball season ended with a shocking 9-0 rain-shortened loss to Russell in Tuesday’s 4A Hoisington baseball regional.
It would’ve been worse, but a two-run homer by Austin Dale and the Broncos’ six extra runs in the seventh inning and two Larned errors were nullified when thunderstorms rolled into Legion Field.
Larned (12-7) was riding a six-game winning streak while Russell had lost five games in a row. Larned reached the state baseball semifinals the past two seasons, only to lose close games to Concordia and Remington.
But like the baseball coach always says, you are only as good as your starting pitcher.
Russell starter Kyle Farmer pitched six effective innings, yielding four hits, but never getting seriously tested. Catcher Cole Schmidtberger nullified Larned’s best running threat by gunning down leadoff speedster Mason Schartz in the first and fifth innings.
Farmer retired Austin Gladow with Alex Barger and Mason Burris on base in the fourth inning, Larned’s only serious threat.
Russell led 2-0 after two innings. Colton Fritschen scored on Austin Dale’s first-inning groundout. Caden Oberle’s RBI single drove home Schmidtberger.
The Broncos scored four runs in the fourth inning and three runs in the sixth inning for a 9-0 lead. Dale and Tanner Rome delivered run-scoring base hits. Larned contributed two errors and too many walks to count.
Even Mother Nature cooperated when heavy rain wiped out Russell’s seventh-inning which kept on going.
Russell (8-10) plays Concordia (13-3) in the championship game. Concordia beat Hoisington-Central Plains 4-2.
BRONCOS 9, INDIANS 0
RHS 110 403 – 9 6 0
LHS 000 000 – 0 4 3
Herter, Barger (4) and Skelton. Farmer and Schmidtberger. W—Farmer 3-3. L—Herter.
CONCORDIA 4, HOISINGTON 2
Hard-luck Hoisington pitcher Collin Schochtermeier was one out away from working a solid six innings in a 2-2 game.
Concordia’s Brent Beaumont made Schlochtermeier pay for a two-out walk to Dyelan Reed with an RBI double. Ian Nordell followed with an RBI single that drove home Beaumont for a 4-2 lead.
Hoisington’s Braxton Donovan and Alex Schremmer singled in the seventh inning, but reliever Cole Larsen struck out Schlochtermeier with the tying runners on base.
The Cardinals tied the game when Hunter Hanzlick stole home when Kyle Lang missed a sixth-inning bunt attempt. Hanzlick’s double drove home Schlochtermeier after a walk by Concordia starter Billy Bechard, who reached 105 pitches in the seventh inning. bechard struck out 10 batters.
The Cardinals missed one other scoring chance when Schlochtermeier reached on an error and Hanzlick singled in the fourth inning. Bechard retired Jeremy Breit, Kyle Lang and Myles Menges to work out of trouble.
Schlochtermeier pitched brilliantly through 52/3 innings, yielding a two-run double by Nordell that scored Reed and Beaumont in the fourth inning. Catcher Jeremy Breit held Concordia in check by throwing out Concordia baserunners twice attempting to steal.
PANTHERS 4, CARDINALS 2
HHS 000 002 0 — 2 5 1
CHS 000 202 x — 4 4 1
Schlochtermeier and Breit. Bechard, Larsen (7) and Nordell. W—Bechard. L—Schlochtermeier, 3-1. 2B—H—Hanzlick; C—Nordell, Beaumont.
4A-DIV. 2 STATE QUALIFIERS
EMPORIA, SODEN’S GROVE
St. George-Rock Creek 19-0
Baxter Springs 16-4
ERIE—Holcomb 15-2 vs. Colby 13-2, Wednesday
HOISINGTON—Concordia 13-3 vs. Russell-Victoria 8-10, Thursday