Opening day of Butch Foster Memorial Baseball Classic is in the books
Kansas City, Kan. The Butch Foster Memorial Baseball Classic is under way at CommunityAmerica Ballpark, and St. James Academy is on to the winner's bracket.
The Thunder claimed a 7-1 victory over Perry-Lecompton in the first game of the day Thursday, but it didn't come as easily as the score might indicate.
Perry-Lecompton took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Freshman Cody Amerine smacked a two-out double, and he came around to score on senior Brock Harden's base hit. The Kaws mustered just three hits the rest of the way, but for a while it didn't matter because sophomore pitcher Brad Phillips limited the Thunder to just three hits and no runs during the first five innings.
St. James junior pitcher John Huber was equally crafty after the first inning, and it paid off once the offensive support kicked in.
Sophomore Chase Jackson reached base on a fielder's choice in the bottom of the fifth and sophomore Ryan Cantrell earned a two-out walk. Sophomore Otis Miller hit a single that plated Jackson and Cantrell. That put the Thunder ahead 2-1.
St. James piled on more runs in the sixth.
Huber smacked a leadoff double in the bottom of the sixth. Junior Joe Kelling was hit by a pitch. Then sophomore Chase Jackson laced a triple that brought Huber and Kelling home. Junior Jake Decelles singled, scoring Jackson. Then Cantrell capped the onslaught with a two-run inside the park home run. That made the lead 7-1.
Huber retired the side in order in the seventh to seal the win.
Huber finished the game with 12 strikeouts and earned the victory.
St. James will play in the tournament semifinals at 7:30 p.m. Friday against the winner of the Bonner Springs-Holton semifinal.
BONNER SPRINGS 8, HOLTON 1
The Bonner Springs Braves defeated Holton by a score of 8-1 Thursday afternoon in the opening round of the Butch Foster Memorial Baseball Classic. Bonner moves on to play St. James Academy at 7:30 p.m. Friday under the lights.
Junior Chris Smith got the Braves started with a triple to dead center that landed just under Kyle Porter's glove as he slipped on the wet grass to lead off the bottom of the third inning. After a Zach Mills fly out, Chance Crawford walked and freshman catcher Kyle Day blooped a single into the outfield that plated Smith. Braves pitcher Austin Anderson followed with a hard single that scored Crawford. Then Ryan Morris reached on an error allowing Day to score making the score 3-0 in favor of Bonner.
Holton answered with a run on two hits in the top of the fourth inning. That is all the Wildcats would score all day off Anderson. He struck out 13 batters and walked only four on his way to victory.
"I threw my best; it felt great," Anderson said of his dominant performance.
The Braves sealed the victory in the bottom of the sixth inning by capitalizing on three Wildcat errors. The five-run inning was capped when Day's single knocked in Bush to make the score 8-1. Day led the way with two RBI, two runs scored and two hits in the game.
"We have been struggling offensively of late, but I had some opportunities today and came through for my teammates," Day said. "If we come out with the same attitude that we did today, we will be fine tomorrow."
The Bonner Springs coaches and players really wanted to win the game for their assistant coach Butch Foster, the son of the late Butch Foster, for whom the tournament has been named. Foster said that today Bonner took him back to the way his father always taught baseball, "To hustle and give everything you've got in each pitch," Foster said. "That type of play exemplifies what he always said, it meant a lot."
Coach Rick Moulin, who was coached by the late Foster, said, "The reason we named the tournament after Butch was because he was so important to the entire Bonner Springs community. He has coached every kid that has come through Bonner. He was the best baseball person that I have ever been around."
Moulin went on to say that no matter where a Bonner Springs baseball player was playing in the state of Kansas, Butch was there.
It was no different today. Though the senior Foster was not there in person, his influence has certainly shown through in his son, Moulin and all the way down to the players.
Friday's game against St. James is for the right to advance to the championship game Saturday.
SPRING HILL 7, TONGANOXIE 3
After getting out of a jam in the bottom of the first and scoring three in the top of the second on Thursday at Community America Ballpark, the Tonganoxie High baseball team looked poised to score a first round win against Spring Hill at the Butch Foster Memorial Baseball Classic.
However, the Broncos exploded in the bottom of the fifth with a two-out, seven-run rally and held on to beat the Chieftains, 7-3.
Erick Lowe started for the Chieftains (6-6) and was efficient through four innings, allowing just three hits before running into trouble in the fifth and being replaced on the mound by Rob Schlicht, who pitched the final 1 1/3 innings.
In the bottom of the first, the Broncos' first two batters - Patrick Donahue and Jordan Miller - singled, but Lowe and the Chieftains defense got out of the jam. Second baseman Keith Wentz-Hall snagged a screaming line drive off the bat of Ryan Bontrager for the first out. THS catcher Tyler Lupton then threw out Miller as he attempted to steal second, and Lowe got Cody Lillich to ground out to end the inning.
The Chieftains kept the positive momentum rolling in the top of the second, when they scored all three of their runs. Logan Forbis led off with a walk and advanced to second when the Broncos' starting pitcher, Miller, threw the ball away on a botched pick-off attempt. Wentz-Hall then reached base on a fielder's choice when Spring Hill attempted to get Forbis out at third, the throw was off and a heady Wentz-Hall advanced to second to give the Chieftains two runners in scoring position with no outs.
Todd Brown struck out, but Forbis was able to score when Grant Ebbert grounded to first and Forbis beat a throw home. Jared Lamb then drew a walk to load the bases for Ethan Lorance, who laid down a bunt and reached safely when the Broncos opted for the force at home. Schlicht, however, came through with a single to right field, which plated Ebbert and Lamb. Lupton grounded out to end the inning.
THS finished with three hits in the loss, while Spring Hill had 10, six of which came in the decisive fifth inning. The Chieftains will play Friday in the consolation semifinals against Paola at noon.
BASEHOR-LINWOOD 5, PAOLA 2
The Basehor-Linwood baseball team rallied past Paola in the late innings for a 5-2 victory in the first round of the Butch Foster Memorial Baseball Classic on Thursday night at CommunityAmerica Ballpark.
Both teams were scoreless through the first three innings, but Paola got on the board with a run in the top of the fourth. Basehor answered in the bottom of the inning when senior Augie Pierce singled and came around to score on a single by junior Justin Gripka.
Paola plated another run in the top of the fifth, but the Bobcats erupted with four runs in the bottom of the inning and seized control of the game. Senior Travis Inlow was hit by a pitch with one out, sophomore Brandon Leppke walked, sophomore Tyler Henley singled and Pierce doubled. He later scored on a ground ball, making it 5-2.
Paola never threatened down the stretch.
Paola will play Tonganoxie at noon Friday in the consolation semifinals. Basehor will meet Spring Hill in the championship semifinals at 2:30 p.m. Friday.