The defending state champion Hays Eagles took all the drama out of the night cap last night at the AAA American Legion state tournament, scoring five runs in the first inning and defeating Leavenworth 12-2 in eight innings.
The Eagles added a run in the third, three in the fifth and three more in the eighth to end the game an inning early.
Clayton Basgall, Dan Bittel, and Hayden Hutchison all singled to start the game when the Eagles sent nine to the plate.
Layne Downing (6-2) threw 122 pitches over 7.1 innings to pick up the win, allowing two runs while striking out seven and walking three. Brady Bieker faced the last two batter in the eighth inning. Leavenworth managed just six hits on the night and had just three runners reach third base.
Hays had 13 hits, led by Bittel with three while Hutchison reached in four of his five at bats. Every Eagle but two scored a run and all but one recorded at hit.
Coach Brad Kelly
Day one of the American Legion AAA State Baseball tournament wrapped up close to 11:00pm on Wednesday night, some twelve hours after the first of four games threw their first pitch.
Lightning and a little rain pushed back the start of the first game by about ten minutes between Arkansas City and Newton, but the real show was just about to start on the field. The two teams combined for 28 runs on 33 hits, while the two teams left 20 more base runners stranded. In the end Arkansas City advanced out of the first round with a 15-13 win. The two teams used a total of seven pitchers and Tyler Sutherland for Arkansas City went 6-6 and scored five runs.
Game two featured the lowest scoring battle as Pittsburg beat Salina 6-3. V.J. Pacini pitched a complete game for Pittsburg to pick up the victory. Salina kept the game close despite allowing 17 hits. Salina had nine hits, but left 10 runners on base. Salina had a chance to rally for the win in the bottom of the 9th but came up short.
Garden City allowed just a single run to Emporia in the first round and quickly took care of business with an 11-1, seven inning victory. Garden City scored three in the first, single runs in the second, fifth and seventh innings. The big blow came in the sixth when Emporia gave up five runs. Garden City’s Edgar Montoya went the full seven innings allowing just three hits, striking out six and walking two.