Great Bend, the defending Western Athletic Conference baseball champions, fell hard to rival Hays High.
The Indians won a tense 2-1 affair in the opener, and rolled to a stunning 13-2 victory in the nightcap at the Great Bend Sports Complex. Hays beat the Panthers’ top two pitchers, Bryce Lytle and Logan Perry in 50-degree temperatures with a 15 mph north wind.
The Panthers were outplayed in every aspect and failed to execute basball’s fundamentals — yielding 15 walks and running into critical outs on the basepaths in the opener.
Great Bend (5-3, 2-2 WAC) trails Liberal (9-0, 1-0) for the WAC lead. Hays (4-4, 2-2) and Garden City (6-6, 3-3 WAC) are tied for second place.
“We’ll go back tomorrow in practice and become a better baseball team,” said Great Bend coach Randy Beck. “We didn’t stick to our game plan at the plate. We didn’t compete at the plate. We didn’t pitch very well at times.”
INDIANS 2, PANTHERS 1 — Great Bend starter Bryce Lytle (2-1) battled his typically pin-point control with four walks and a hit batter, but battled to keep the Panthers within striking distance. Indian Trey Riggs singled home Jace Armstrong in the first inning after being a hit batter and a steal.
Cody Petersen scored the Indians’ fourth-inning run when Lytle’s pickoff attempt trapped Armstrong off first base. The relay throw from second base was too late to catch Petersen at home plate for a 2-0 lead.
Hays starter Trey Riggs (2-0) worked out of trouble on several occasions. Second baseman William Sennett made the game’s best play by turning a line drive by Lytle into a fifth-inning double play.
The Panthers ran themselves out of two scoring opportunities. Cory Burnham reached third base in the second inning, but was thrown out at home on a groundball to third baseman Tyrone Wynn.
Logan Perry reached second base in the fourth inning, but was thrown out at third base by shortstop Petersen on a groundball hit right in front of him.
“We talk about and work on baserunning situations every day in practice,” Beck said. “Riggs threw a good game. We had ourselves in good hitting situations, but we didn’t get it down and hit the baseball.”
Pinch runner Chance Perry scored the Panthers’ seventh inning run on Brice Kaiser’s groundball after Koy Brack doubled.
INDIANS 13, PANTHERS 2 — Reliable Panther starter Logan Perry (2-1) fought control issues with seven walks in two innings. Hays scored 11 runs on three hits in the second and third innings. The Indians drew 10 walks and forced home five runs without a hit.
Tyrone Wynn drove in three runs and Riggs, Cole Murphy and Grant Coffman each drove in two runs.
Jesus Bujanda scored the Panthers’ second-inning run on Chance Perry’s groundball that was misplayed. Koy Brack doubled and Brice Kaiser delivered an RBI on a groundout.
Reliever Payton Mauler threw three shutout innings to extend the game. Shortstop Lytle and second baseman Cory Burnham made solid defensive plays.
HAYS 2, PANTHERS 1
Hays 100 100 0 — 2 6 4
GB 000 000 1 — 1 4 2
Riggs and Harman. Lytle, Eduardo Bujanda (6) and Brack. W—Riggs, 2-0. L—Lytle, 2-1. 2B—GB—Jesus Bujanda; H—Coffman, Murphy.
HAYS 13, PANTHERS 2
Hays 056 000 2 — 13 7 3
GB 010 100 0 — 2 5 2
Murphy, Sennett (7) and Harman. Perry, B. Kaiser (2), Mauler (3) and Brack. W—Riggs, 2-0. L—Lytle, 2-1. 2B—GB—Brack; H—Petersen, Murphy.