BY JIM MISUNAS
HAYS — Great Bend’s baseball team was three outs away from a monumental Western Athletic Conference sweep over rival Hays High. The Indians scored four seventh-inning runs to steal the second game 5-4.
Great Bend shut out the Indians 2-0 in Monday’s opener. The Panthers (6-8, 2-4 WAC) were three outs away from keeping their mathematical WAC title hopes alive. But Hays (8-4, 6-2 WAC) spoiled that idea.
GREAT BEND 2, HAYS 0 (G1) — Great Bend shortstop Alex Schremmer saved a shutout and the ballgame with a highlight-reel double play.
The Panthers led 2-0 in the sixth inning, but Hays loaded the bases with one out off pitcher Colin Hall. Trey Riggs singled, Cole Murphy walked and Cody Petersen reached on an error to load the bases. Schremmer dived for Trey Van Pelt’s hard-hit grounder and flipped to second baseman Riley Smith, who completed the double play.
Panther reliever Alex Schremmer worked a 1-2-3 bottom of the seventh inning to earn a save.
Hall and hard-luck losing pitcher Riggs were locked in a scoreless duel for 41/2 innings featuring solid pitching and defense. Hitting conditions favored the pitcher with a 35 mph south wind blowing in from right field.
The Panthers scored two fifth-inning unearned runs off three hits and two Indian errors. Townshend Kurth doubled and scored when third baseman Palmer Hutchinson committed a throwing error on Smith’s groundball. Calan Haberman singled and Hutchinson threw out Smith at home for two out. But leadoff hitter Chance Perry delivered a clutch RBI double to score Haberman for a crucial insurance run.
The Panthers recorded another key out on the bases when runner Cody Petersen was thrown out at third base to end the second inning.
The Panthers were retired in order five times against Riggs, who threw 87 pitches with six strikeouts.
HAYS 5, GREAT BEND 4 (G2) — Schremmer was good for one miraculous finish as the Indians tagged him for four seventh-inning runs. Schremmer fought his control as he contributed two walks and a hit batter.
Trey Van Pelt extracted revenge for a first-game double play with a two-run single that scored Riggs and Cole Murphy. Dom Bainter’s single scored Petersen for a 4-4 tie. Hunter Brown’s RBI single scored pinch-runner Mason Prescott with the game-winning run — triggering a wild Indian celebration.
Panther pitchers Dalton Bieker and Joey Souipset crafted six near-perfect innings for a 4-1 lead.
The Panthers led 4-0. Koy Brack’s single scored Chance Perry. Soupiset singled home Eddie Bujanda. Soupiset scored on Kurth’s double. Haberman’s single scored Kurth for a 4-0 first-inning lead.
Great Bend 000 020 0 — 2 4 1
Hays High 000 000 0 — 0 4 2
Hall, Schremmer (7) and Brack. Riggs and Harmon. W—Hall, 2-0. L—Riggs, 1-2. 2B—GB—Kurth, Perry.
Great Bend 400 000 0 — 4 7 1
Hays High 000 100 4 — 5 8 2
Murphy, Petersen (7) and Harmon. Bieker, Soupiset (4), Schremmer (7) and Brack. W—Petersen. L—Schremmer. 2B—GB_Haberman, Kurth, Schremmer; H—Riggs.