Triple play highlights baseball tourney as Tonganoxie Reds win league crown
The intermediate boys recreational baseball tournament was held July 16 through 18 in De Soto.
Tonganoxie Red, coached by Jerry Stockman, had a strong showing at the tournament, earning first place.
Tournament action began Friday night when the boys took on Tonganoxie Blue, coached by Rob Bieniecki.
The Reds won the opener, 9-3. The Reds looked to extend their winning streak later that evening against De Soto's team. De Soto was stacked with pitchers and coached by Tim Roddy. Tonganoxie Red pounded De Soto, defeating them 12-1 despite four pitching changes.
Saturday morning, the Reds went head-to-head with Tonganoxie Yellow, coached by Mark Nowasell. It was an exciting match-up with terrific plays executed by both teams.
The game-clinching play for the Reds was spectacular.
The yellow team was the home team and up for their final bat. The score was 3-2 in favor of the Reds with runners on at first and second.
Suddenly, the Reds were in the midst of a rare play.
The next yellow team batter hit a liner between the mound and third base. Pitcher Logan Forbes dove off the mound to his right. With his arm outstretched, he snagged the ball for out No. 1. Forbes, lying on his stomach, then rolled and threw the ball to Blaize Oelschlaeger at second base for out No. 2. Oelschlaeger then fired the ball to Ryan Stockman at first for out No. 3 as the Reds turned a triple play. The base runner collided with Stockman as he tried to retreat back to first, but Stockman held onto the ball and ended the game.
The play even impressed the first-base umpire, who commented that he had never seen such a play -- even in college action.
The Reds advanced to the championship Sunday morning, but they were short on pitchers.
Tonganoxie faced off against well-rested De Soto.
The Reds, however, overcame fatigue and outlasted De Soto, 8-6, for the league title. Had Tonganoxie Red lost the game, a second game would have been necessary because it was a double elimination tournament.
As it was, the Reds advanced undefeated through tournament play.
Upon victory, the team and parents went to Sonic Drive-In in Tonganoxie to celebrate. Sonic was one of the team's co-sponsors.
Other teams participating in the tournament were two from Basehor, two from Bonner Springs and one from Lansing.