By DUSTIN ARMBRUSTER
Hays High Indian senior Layne Downing signed with Dodge City Community College to continue his baseball career. Downing has played second, third and shortstop in his time at Hays High, but has excelled the most at pitching.
At the plate, Downing is a career .347 hitter with 10 extra base hits, three of which were home runs, all in his senior year.
As a pitcher, Downing went 2-1 last season in six appearances, scattering just seven hits over 19.2 innings. Layne’s best performance came against Liberal when he pitched a complete game no hitter allowing just two walks and striking out nine.
Downing also played a key role in helping the Hays Eagles win the American Legion AAA state championship the past two summers. In 2012, Layne pitched the sixth, seventh, and eighth innings in the championship game helping the Eagles hold their lead and win the title. This past summer, Downing was one of the workhorses on the pitching staff, helping the Eagle make the regional tournament in Arkansas.
Downing said the coaches at Dodge City have talked about playing him at pitcher, third and possibly first base.