Huge fifth inning rally dooms Chieftains
Kansas City, Kan. 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 in the Butch Foster Memorial 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 inning and a third.
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 SHHS 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.