Chieftains rally to beat Braves in BFMBC
6-run 6th inning leads to Tonganoxie’s 2nd ‘W’
Kansas City, Kan. The Tonganoxie High baseball team put together a one-out, six-run rally in the bottom of the sixth inning against Bonner Springs on Friday night to salvage what looked like yet another loss.
Chieftains senior Dylan Caywood drove in the go-ahead run and after Jeremy Wagner knocked in two more with a double, Ethan Lorance entered in relief in the top of the seventh to help the team hold on for a 7-4 victory in the consolation semifinals of the Butch Foster Memorial Baseball Classic.
Lorance was the first of seven straight THS batters to get on base in a surge that led to the team’s second win of the season.
Lorance and Dylan Puhr both drew walks from Braves starting pitcher Ryan Morris, prompting BSHS coach Barry Richards to take the senior right-hander out after five and one-third innings at CommunityAmerica Ballpark.
But Tonganoxie sophomore Tyler Freeman kept things going with an RBI-single off of reliever Sergio Valenzuela.
After Dalton Harrington reached on an error, Chieftains coach Phil Loomis inserted pinch hitter Corey Klinkenberg, who delivered a clutch double down the left-field line to score two runs and tie the game at 4-4.
BSHS then turned to another reliever, Dalton Vitt, who entered with one out, two runners in scoring position and Tonganoxie’s leadoff hitter coming to the plate.
A Caywood single gave THS (2-10) its first lead since the first inning, then Wagner pounded a double to left field to up the advantage to 7-4.
It was Bonner Springs third baseman Luke Porras who stopped the bleeding by diving to snag a line drive off the bat of Ben Williams and then turning it into an inning-ending double play.
Lorance retired the first two batters he faced in the top of the seventh before Braves Brian Callahan and Joseph Dooley had back-to-back singles. But Lorance ended the game and picked up a save by striking out the potential tying run, Joey Robertson.
After falling behind, 1-0, after an inning, the Braves (3-8) were able to manufacture a few runs against Tonganoxie starter Brandon Yoder, who allowed only four hits and struck out five batters in six innings of work.
Dooley got the first BSHS hit of the game in the top of the second with a double to left. The sophomore catcher was then replaced on the base paths with courtesy runner Max Barren, who hustled 180 feet to score from second base on a Joey Robertson groundout.
Bonner Springs scored a pair of runs in the third after Porras walked and Shawn Jones was hit by a Yoder pitch. Vitt drove them both in and gave the Braves a 3-1 lead with a double to the left-field gap.
Dooley helped produce what seemed at the time to be a comfortable, 4-1 cushion for the Braves by leading off the top of the sixth inning with a triple to deep center field. Barren once again scored as a courtesy runner, this time on a groundout by Brandon Eastland.
The Chieftains got ahead early after Caywood led off the bottom of the first with a double down the left-field line. He was driven in by Williams.
THS plays in the fifth-place game Saturday at 2:30 p.m.
BSHS plays just before, in the seventh-place game at noon.