Hays entered the post season as the #2 seed for the west half of 5A at 19-1. The record and seeding allowed for the Indians to host a regional tournament at Hays High School. The only loss for Hays on the season came against Great Bend. Unfortunately the second loss of the season to Great Bend will also keep Hays out of the 5A state tournament.
A bases loaded home run by freshman Dylan Dreiling lifted the tension of a first inning deficit for Hays High on their way to a regional tournament semi-final win. Newton plated three in the top half of the first inning on a hit batter, two singles and an Indian error. Willie Sennett was hit in the head by a pitch, Palmer Hutchison was plunked and Trey Riggs singled to load the bases with one out. Dreiling saw just one pitch with two outs in the inning. He deposited that pitch over the right center fence for his fourth home run of the season.
The lead allowed starting pitcher, Hutchison, to settle in. He and the defense allowed just two more Newton base runners the remainder of the game.
Dominic Bainter provided an RBI in the third and fourth inning. Prior to Bainter’s fourth inning hit that scored Dylan Dreiling for the final 9-3 difference, Trey Riggs belted a three run home run for an 8-3 advantage.
Coach Frank Leo
Palmer Hutchison went all seven innings allowing four hits, walking two, hitting a batter and striking out seven. Newton’s Ben Schmidt took the loss as the Railers end the year at 2-19. The victory for Hays High moves the Indians to 20-1.
Wichita Northwest jumped out to a quick 2-0 in the first inning before Great Bend plated four in the second inning and never trailed again. The Panthers pushed their advantage as high as 7-2 after the top of the sixth inning and led 7-3 after six which was the final score. Colin Hall threw just 85 pitches in a complete game victory for Great Bend.
Great Bend scored a pair of runs in the top of the first on a two run double and held that lead through three innings against Hays in the Regional Championship Game. Hays was quiet offensively through the first three innings. Cody Petersen got to second base on a two base error, Palmer Hutchison was hit by a pitch, then both advanced on a wild pitch. Two pitches later Trey Riggs scorched a single up the left field line to tie the game at two.
Hays threatened to score in the fifth with two on and one out but was turned away. Great Bend took advantage of an error in the sixth bring around a run for a 3-2 lead. Hays went in order in the sixth and seventh innings around three runs in the top of the seventh for Great Bend. The Panthers advance to the 5A State Tournament with a 6-2 victory and will enter the tournament at 10-10. Hays ends the year 20-2 with both losses to Great Bend.
Coach Frank Leo
Trey Riggs takes the loss six and a third innings. Cody Petersen pitched two thirds of an inning in relief. Townsend Kurth threw just 61 pitches in a seven inning victory. He hit one batter, did not walk any and allowed just three hits while striking out one.
The loss also marks the final game in the 39 years of Frank Leo’s career. He leaves the program after 576 victories.