Great Bend’s baseball team was poised to rally for a sweep against Hays-Thomas More Prep with their best hitters up with the game on the line.
But junk-ball pitcher Brady Kreutzer retired the Panthers’ super-hero Bryce Lytle and No. 3 hitter Payton Mauler on a miraculous diving catch by first baseman Connor Staab for 4-3 second-game victory. Great Bend won the opener 8-0.
The Panthers (3-1, 2-0 WAC) will resume a doubleheader at Goddard at 4 p.m. Wednesday. The Lions lead the suspended first game game 3-0.
“We played well enough to win two, but we didn’t play up to our potential,” said Great Bend coach Randy Beck. “We’ve got to bounce back quick tomorrow. I’m glad we got to play baseball today.”
GREAT BEND 8, TMP 0 — Lytle wore his Superman shirt with an 80-pitch pitching gem while drilling a pair of doubles for five RBIs. Lytle (2-0) has yielded one earned run in 14 innings to lower his ERA to 0.50.
“Lytle pretty much shut them down,” Beck said. “Bryce got a couple big hits that opened up the game.”
Brice Kaiser’s RBI single scored Brayden Smith in the second inning after a walk and an error. Lytle reached on an error and scored on a third-inning wild pitch.
Kaiser’s sacrifice fly scored pinch runner Chance Perry after Koy Brack walked to spark a three-run fourth inning. Lytle’s two-run double scored Cory Burnham and Konner Ireland after an error and a single.
Lytle capped his special night with a bases-loaded double that scored Kaiser, Burnham and Ireland after a single, hit batter and single.
The Panthers’ catcher Koy Brack was spectacular again with two runners thrown out.
TMP 4, GREAT BEND 3 — Gavin Schumacher delivered a two-run seventh-inning homer against reliever Logan Perry on a 3-1 count over the left-field wall.
Kaiser doubled and Chance Perry reached on an error to give the Panthers an opportunity by reaching base in the seventh inning, Ireland’s squeeze bunt scored Kaiser and that gave Lytle and Mauler the opportunity for a game-tying base hit.
“We came back after a big bomb,” Beck said. “We had opportunities in the heart of our lineup and didn’t come up with the hit we needed to extend it.”
The Monarchs scored twice on passed balls in the first inning when Tate Garcia and Shumacher scored. Lytle scored on Brayden Smith's first-inning groundout. Smith doubled and scored on a wild pitch for a 2-2 tie after four innings.
“We got ourselves out of quite a few jams in the second game,” Beck said. “We didn’t compete quite as well in game two at the plate.”
Mauler was solid in relief, working out a two-on, no-out situation. Mauler handled a bunt perfectly for a forceout and the Panthers turned a nifty double play when a relay throw from right fielder Brayden Smith was flipped from shortstop Lytle to first baseman Logan Perry to tag out a TMP baserunner.
PANTHERS 8, TMP 0
TMP 000 000 0 — 0 4 3
Great Bend 000 000 x — 8 10 0
Werth, Meis (6) and Renz. Lytle and Brack. W—Lytle, 2-0. L—Schumacher. 2B—GB—Lytle, 2; Smith.
TMP 4, PANTHERS 3
TMP 200 000 2 — 4 4 1
Great Bend 100 100 1 — 3 4 1
Zimmerman, Kreutzer (7) and Renz. Brice Kaiser, Mauler (5), L. Perry (7) and Brack. W—Zimmerman. L—Mauler. 2B—GB—Smith, Lytle, Kaiser. HR—T, Shumacher.
5A REGIONAL RECORDS
Wichita Carroll 10-1
Maize High 9-1
Great Bend 5-1
Arkansas City 5-3
Goddard Eisenhower 3-5
Goddard High 2-7
Wichita Kapaun-Mt. Carmel 1-7
WESTERN ATHLETIC BASEBALL
Great Bend 2-0 5-1
Garden City 2-2 5-5
Liberal 0-0 8-0
Dodge City 0-0 6-2
Hays High 0-2 2-4
Great Bend 8-3, Hays-TMP 0-4
Garden City 9-6, Hays High 8-5
Great Bend 8-9, Goddard 4-1
Colby at Liberal
Garden City at Dodge City
GREAT BEND (2-0, 5-1)—WW *Garden City 3-1, 4-3; WL Hays-TMP 8-0, 3-4: WW Goddard 8-4, 9-1; 4-25—*Hays High; 4-28—at Nickerson; 5-2—*Dodge City; 5-4 to 5-6—at Hays Diamond Classic; 5-9—at Liberal; 5-11—Larned
GARDEN CITY (2-2, 5-5)—WL Junction City 6-3, 0-3; LL Wichita Heights 4-6, 5-7; WW Wichita North 11-2, 9-2; LL *Great Bend 1-3, 3-4; WW *Hays High 9-8, 6-5; 4-21—at *Dodge City; 4-28—Hays-TMP; 5-2—at *Liberal; 5-5 to 5-6—at Emporia; 5-11—at Wichita West
LIBERAL (8-0)—WW Hugoton 15-0; 14-0; W Pratt 10-5; W Kingman 16-6; WW Guymon, Okla. 12-2, 18-3; 4-13—at Hays High, ppd.; W Blackwell, Okla. 11-6; W Alva, Okla. 2-1; 4-21—Colby; 4-25—at Dodge City 1; 4-28—at Ulysses; 5-2—Garden City; 5-5—Dodge City 1; 5-9—Great Bend
DODGE CITY (6-2)—WL Wichita East 5-1, 10-15; WW Wichita South 10-0 5-2; WW Hays-TMP 3-1, 6-3; L Hutchinson 2-5; W Wichita SE 16-7; 4-21—*Garden City; 4-25—*Liberal 1; 4-28—at *Hays High; 5-2—at *Great Bend; 5-5—at *Liberal 1; 5-9—at Wichita Heights, Newton; 5-12—Derby, Wichita SE
HAYS HIGH (0-2, 2-4)—WW Russell 6-0, 10-0; LL Kapaun-Mt. Carmel 2-5, 4-7; 4-13—*Liberal, ppd.; LL *Garden City 8-9, 5-6; 4-25—*at Great Bend; 4-28—*Dodge City; 5-4 to 5-6—Hays Diamond Classic; 5-9—at Andover Central; 5-12—Valley Center