GREAT BEND, Kan. – Palmer Hutchison hit a sacrifice fly to tie the game in the top of the seventh inning then hit a leadoff home run in the ninth to give the Hays Eagles Senior American Legion the lead as they rally for a 5-4 win over top-seeded McPherson Post 24 in the Class AAA Zone 8 tournament championship game Sunday afternoon at the Great Bend Sports Complex.
Hutchison’s blast over the left field wall on the first pitch capped a five-run rally to earn the Eagles (19-13) a spot in the AAA State Tournament in Ottawa.
Great Bend beat McPherson 9-8 on Saturday to win the Zone 7 title.
Grant Coffman worked around a leadoff walk in the bottom of the ninth to lock down the win. Coffman didn’t allow a hit in 2 1/3 innings in relief of Hutchison who allowed four runs (three earned) on eight hits with six strikeouts and five walks over 6 2/3 innings.
Down 4-0 after three innings, the Eagles scored two in the sixth and two in the seventh to force extra innings. Brett Herrman tripled and Braden Stauth singled to drive in runs in the sixth. After leading off the seventh with a single, Brady Kreutzer scored on a bases loaded balk. Hutchison then drove in Trey Riggs with the tying run on a sacrifice fly.
The Eagles advanced to the title game with a 5-1 win over the Hutchinson Colts earlier in the day, ending a seven-game losing streak. Cole Murphy and Grant Coffman combined on a five-hitter. Murphy allowed the one run on four hits with six strikeouts and three walks for the win.
Trey Riggs homered in the bottom of the third inning to break a 1-1 tie. Palmer Hutchison and Braden Stauth also drove in runs.
The AAA State Tournament is in Ottawa and begins July 26th.