April 14, 2024

Lakin crowned Clanton champs


Garden City, Ks (westernkansasnews)-If you were going to a Vegas sports book before the tournament started, you would have considered Lakin a long shot to win it. The Storm rode those underwhelming odds all the way to a 3-2, extra-inning victory over Grand Junction, Co. in the championship game of the 26th-annual Clanton Classic at Williams Stadium Sunday afternoon. 

“We weren’t expecting this,” Lakin manager Chance Kirby said. “We had our ups and downs, but we stayed the course; today was the apex of all of that.”

In the end, defense was the name of the game. Storm starter Logan Litton was superb, allowing just four hits in a complete-game performance. 

“Logan pitched one of the best games I’ve ever seen,” Kirby said. “Not only did he throw good pitches, but he controlled tempo; he took their hitters off their timing.”

For Litton, it was really about a bounce-back performance. 

“My approach was just to throw strikes,” he said. “The last few outings haven’t been very good. I walked a lot of guys, but today I just worked on throwing strikes and getting a lot of ground balls.”

Litton also got plenty of help from Grand Junction, who as a team committed more errors (5), than they had hits (4). 

Neither team blinked until the third-that’s when the Storm struck first. It started when Jared Sauer drew a leadoff walk. Then Shane Davidson laid down a sacrifice bunt, moving Sauer into scoring position. After Chandon Moreno grounded out to second, Taylor’s starter Kale Smith was called for a balk; allowing Sauer to score from third and giving Lakin a 1-0 lead. 

“We’ve manufactured runs all season,” Kirby said. “We don’t have a power hitter on the team so if we get a lead-off walk, we’re taking advantage of that opportunity.”

Grand Junction would grab the equalizer just an inning later when Owen Taylor reached base after Storm third basemen Ryan Swank’s throw sailed over first baseman Daylin Gilliland’s glove. Then with one out, Cameron Campbell’s RBI ground out knotted the game 1-1. 

It would stay tied until Lakin revealed their small-ball tactics in the 6th. With one out and Bryant Miller at third, pinch-hitter Kaleb Sieger dropped down a perfect squeeze bunt that drew Grand Junction catcher Caden Woods out from behind home plate. By the time Woods gave way to reliever Josh Moore, Miller had scored the go-ahead run to give the Storm a 2-1 lead.

The advantage wouldn’t stick as Taylor’s first basemen Tristan Lafferty led off the 7th with a double to the power alley in right-center field. The next hitter: Cameron Campbell doubled him home to tie the game 2-2. After a sacrifice bunt, the winning run stood just 90 feet away when Litton got Jack Parsons and Easton Woods to fly out. 

In extra innings, Kirby pulled out the small-ball philosophy once more, and for the second time in the game, it worked to perfection. With one out and runners at the corners, Litton pushed a squeeze bunt down the first-base line, scoring Kevin Daisenbrook from third-giving the Storm a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. 

The Taylor’s went in order in the bottom of the 8th.


LAKIN                AB  R  H BI  GRAND JUNCTION       AB  R  H BI
Jared Sauer           2  1  0  0  Caden Woods           4  0  0  0
Shane Davidson        2  0  1  0  Troy Levinson         3  0  1  0
Chandon Moreno        4  0  0  0  Owen Taylor           4  1  0  0
Bryant Miller         3  1  0  0  Zack Cox              3  0  0  0
Kevin Daisenbrook     3  1  1  0  Tristan Lafferty      2  1  2  1
Brandon Miller        1  0  0  0  Cameron Campbell      2  0  1  1
 Kaleb Sieger         2  0  0  0  Zane Abetta           2  0  0  0
Ryan Minten           4  0  0  0  Jack Parsons          3  0  0  0
Logan Litton          2  0  1  1  Easton Woods          1  0  0  0
Daylin Gilliland      4  0  0  0
TOTALS               27  3  3  1  TOTALS               24  2  4  2

LAKIN                         001 001 01 -- 3
GRAND JUNCTION                000 100 10 -- 2  

LOB--LAKIN 9, GRAND JUNCTION 4. ERR--Ryan Minten, Chandon
Moreno, Josh Moore (2), Zane Abetta, Cameron Campbell, Owen
Taylor. 2B--Cameron Campbell, Tristan Lafferty. HBP--Jared
Sauer, Logan Litton. SACF--Tristan Lafferty. SACB--Shane
Davidson (2), Kevin Daisenbrook, Logan Litton, Zane Abetta.
SB--Kevin Daisenbrook, Bryant Miller.

 LAKIN                           IP    H    R   ER   BB   SO   HR
Logan Litton (W)               8.00    4    2    1    4    2    0
Kale Smith                     5.33    2    2    1    3    2    0
Josh Moore (L)                 2.67    1    1    0    0    2    0

PB--Jared Sauer (2). BALK--Kale Smith. SO--Ryan Minten (2),
Kaleb Sieger, Logan Litton, Caden Woods, Owen Taylor.
BB--Jared Sauer, Brandon Miller, Bryant Miller, Easton Woods
(2), Troy Levinson, Cameron Campbell.



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