BY JIM MISUNAS
After Great Bend pitcher Stefan Spray worked out of a bases-loaded no-out situation, he stayed on cruise control. Spray finished off a brilliant outing by striking out the side in the Chiefs' 6-1 baseball victory over the Salina Falcons.
The Falcons (8-8) dropped the Chiefs 7-5 in the nightcap. The Chiefs (14-12) play Dodge City at 10 a.m. Saturday at home.
CHIEFS 6, FALCONS 1 (G1) — Spray worked out of deep first-inning trouble after the first four batters reached base. Jovan Suarez singled, Jayson Duong walked and Loren Vincent was hit by a pitch. Nolan Puckett singled Suarez for a 1-0 lead.
Spray started working an effective curveball to retire Kade Barber on an infield pop fly, Evan Vaughn on a comebacker to the mound and Brennan Pavey on a pop fly to catcher Brad Beck.
"That was a scary first inning. That was big getting out of that inning," Spray said. "I didn't want to give up a big hit and see them score more runs. I worked one pitch at a time."
Spray said he was fortunate he discovered his curveball with the game on the line. He struck out Colton Bell, Jonas Baughman and Jayson Duong to end the game.
"That was my best outing," Spray said. "My curveball was really working today. I wanted to put the game away."
Chief Jade Poe singled home Townshend Kurth after a leadoff first-inning triple. The score stayed tied 1-1 through 41/2 innings. Einar Vargas forced Mathew Moeder home on a bases-loaded walk an Gavin Haberman scored on Layton Holden's fifth-inning sacrifice fly.
Chayse Gruber and Colin Hall raced home on back-to-back wild pitches and Mathew Moeder's squeeze bunt scored Jade Poe with the sixth run in the sixth inning.
FALCONS 7, CHIEFS 5 (G2) — The Chiefs gift wrapped the victory for Salina with five errors and two Falcons scored on wild pitches.
Salina's Loren Vincent and Nathan Farmer scored on a second-inning error. Jason Duong scored on a third-inning wild pitch. Josh Weiser doubled home Farmer and Weiser scored on an error in a three-run fourth inning. Duong's bunt scored Cade Hannert for a 6-0 lead.
The Chiefs rallied within 6-5. Brad Beck singled home Jade Poe to ignite a five-run fourth inning. Gavin Haberman singled home Spray and Mathew Moeder. Beck and Haberman scored on an error for a 6-5 score.
Salina scored a valuable insurance run when Connor Anglin singled home Duong.
CHIEFS 6, FALCONS 1
Falcons 100 000 0 — 1 8 1
Chiefs 100 023 x — 6 4 0
Suarez, Puckett (6), Barber (6) and Baughman. Spray and Beck. L—Suarez. 3B—GB—Kurth.
FALCONS 7, CHIEFS 5
Falcons 021 301 0 — 7 8 3
Chiefs 000 500 0 — 5 10 5
Thompson, Vaughn (5) and Anglin. Poe, Mathew Moeder (4), Haberman (6) and Hall. W—Thompson. 2B—GB—Poe; SF—Anglin, Weiser.