LAWRENCE — No. 2 seed BV West used pitching, defense and timely hitting to escape an upset bid by No. 7 seed Olathe Northwest in the Class 6A baseball tournament.
By CHARLES REDFIELD
Special to The Star
The Jaguars scored the only run in the game in the bottom of the fourth inning in winning 1-0.
Sophomore shortstop Connor Kaiser opened the frame with a bunt single to third. He stole second and advanced to third on a one-out ground ball to second by junior catcher Tanner Gragg.
Junior third baseman Ryan Ralston grounded the first pitch from senior right-hander Shane Hummel up the middle for the RBI single.
“He had been throwing me off-speed pitches,” Ralston said. “I hit the first pitch right back up the middle.”
Junior right-hander Zach Engelken fanned five, walked three and gave up just two hits.
When he walked senior catcher Lucas Knight with one out in the seventh, BV West coach Bill McDonald pulled Engelken and brought in Kaiser to pitch.
“Engelken didn’t have his good stuff,” McDonald said. “Kaiser’s a strike thrower, and I wanted someone fresh.”
Junior first baseman Ryan Wedermyer grounded the second pitch to junior first baseman Dan Reilly near the first base bag. Reilly tagged the bag and threw to Kaiser’s replacement at shortstop, junior Luke Viestenz, who applied the tag for the game-ending double play.
Kaiser got the two-pitch save for the Jaguars, 19-4.
Hummel pitched well for the Ravens, 14-9. He just allowed four hits, fanning five and not walking a batter.
Blue Valley 12
Wichita Northwest 8
No. 6 seed Blue Valley trailed by four into the top of the seventh, but scored eight runs, including six after two were out, in beating No. 3 seed Wichita Northwest 12-8.
“These guys have given me more gray hairs, but they have no quit in them,” first-year coach Tony Scardino said.
The Tigers gave up six unearned runs in the first two innings, but senior right-hander Daniel LaMunyon came in and just allowed two runs in his five innings of work.
And with the Tigers trailing 8-6 with two outs in the seventh, LaMunyon jumped on the first pitch he saw, lining a double to left center that tied the game.
“He’s a very tough kid,” Scardino said. “He performed all over the field for us.”
Senior Nathan Snow followed with a double down the left field line that scored LaMunyon with the go-ahead run.
The Tigers got RBI hits by juniors Caeden Harris and Chance Nelson and a walk with the bases-loaded to senior Daniel Kralicek.
Blue Valley, 14-7, meets BV West in the semifinals Friday at 1:30 p.m. The two teams split 1-0 decisions during the regular season.
Olathe South 4
Olathe South’s unearned run in the top of the sixth inning was the difference.
Senior Chase Hanson grounded a single between third and short, stole second and went to third on an error by the second baseman on a slow roller by senior Samuel Rose. Hanson scored when the second baseman’s throw was wild at first.
Sophomore right-handed pitcher Isaiah Campbell gave up seven hits and three unearned runs.
“He threw a great game,” Falcons coach Josh Perkins said. “He was able to come back (after the three unearned runs) and command the strike zone.”
The Falcons scored two runs in the top of the third. With one out, senior Miles Orschein walked and advanced to third on senior Brett Nickle’s ground single between first and second.
Campbell singled to right-center, driving in the first run, and Nickle scored on a sacrifice fly to right by junior Blaine Fisher.
The Falcons made it 3-0 in the fifth on a triple to right-center by senior Matthew Elliott and sacrifice fly to center by Orschein.
The Indians tied the game in the bottom of the fifth, but Falcons scored the game-winning run in the sixth.
The Falcons, 17-5, will meet Derby, 10-11, Friday at 11 a.m. in the semifinals.