Colby, Kan. (westernkansasnews.com)–Two years ago, Hugoton trailed top seed Colby, before a rally upset the Eagles and gave Hugoton their first-ever trip to the state baseball tournament. History would repeat itself Friday night at Young Memorial Field in Colby. This time, Scott City would be the opponent. The Beavers led through six innings, but a late rally by the Eagles gave them the lead. In the eighth, Hugoton scored the winning run, and held off Scott City 4-3 to win the Class 3A Regional Championship.
Scott City would take advantage of some early Hugoton errors. In the bottom of the first, the Beavers put up two runs, as JP Harris singled, scoring Brady Welker, and Harrison King scored on a throwing error to third on a pickoff attempt by the Eagles, which gave the Beavers the early 2-0 lead. Hugoton got on the board in the fifth on a one-out single by Sawyer Harper that scored Adam Mendoza. The Eagles next score came on Scott City’s second error of the inning that saw Andres Salinas reach base, and Harper score to tie the game. With two outs, Hugoton took their first lead at 3-2, on an error that scored courtesy runner Ray Arceo.
Scott City answered with a Harris lead off double, followed by a Jeffery Nix sacrifice bunt, and a Lawson Bailey sacrifice fly that tied the game at three.
In the second extra inning game for both teams in as many days, Hugoton took the lead for good on a Jayce Korf RBI single that scored Mendoza to give them the 4-3 lead. The Beavers had two runners on in the bottom of the eighth with no outs. They would be caught stealing third, and two straight strikeouts ended the game, as the Eagles picked up the 4-3 win.
Jayce Korf went five innings for Hugoton, giving up two runs, one earned, on seven hits, and had seven strikeouts. Adam Mendoza pitched the next two-plus innings, giving up a run on three hits, and Zevin Littell picked up the save. Sawyer Harper went 4-5 with an RBI in the game. JP Harris went 6 1/3 innings, giving up two runs, one earned, on five hits, with nine strikeouts. Brady Welker went one inning, allowing an unearned run and Jeffery Nix took the loss, giving up a run on a hit in 2/3 innings relief. Harris had three hits, while Harrison King and Ryan Cure collected two hits in the finals.
In Scott City’s first game of the day, they would take on Lakin. The Broncs came out strong early, as they had a four-run first inning. Jace Bachman doubled to score Allen Martinez, and Bode Fisher singled in Bachman to give them a 2-0 lead. They scored on a balk and a dropped third strike as Kade Lovelady came home from third. Scott City responded with two in the bottom of the frame, as Jeffery Nix had a two-run single that scored Brady Welker and Harrison King. The Beavers inched closer in the third on a two-out error that scored Harrison King. They tied the game at 4-4 in the bottom of the fifth on a JP Harris RBI double that scored King. In the sixth, the floodgates opened, as the Beavers hung seven runs on the board, capped by Nix’ RBI double to make it 11-4. He would pitch the seventh and advance Scott City to their first regional final game since 2010.
Harrison King gave up four runs, three earned, on three hits in 1/3 of an inning. Brady Welker went 5 2/3, giving up one hit and striking out 10. Jeffery Nix had two hits and drove in four runs, while JP Harris had a three-hit and three RBI performance. Jace Bachman started the game for Lakin, going 4 2/3 innings, giving up four runs, one earned, on four hits, with nine strikeouts. Bode McCormick surrendered four runs, three earned on just one hit, in 2/3 of an inning, and took the loss. Matt Morgan gave up three runs and a hit as well. Lakin ended their season at 10-9.
The second semi-final game featured Hugoton and Cimarron. Hugoton led for a majority of the game, before Cimarron scored three in the sixth to take a 7-5 lead. However, Hugoton rallied in the bottom of the seventh, to pick up an 8-7 win. The Bluejays ended their season at 5-16.
Scott City finished their year at 16-5. It was the most wins in a season since 2006, when they finished 19-5.
Hugoton is now 15-8, and will compete in the Class 3A State Baseball Tournament at Tointon Family Stadium in Manhattan next Thursday & Friday, May 27-28.
Coach David Dirks Postgame