Holton rallies to beat THS at BFMBC
Kansas City, Kan. The Tonganoxie High baseball team relinquished a six-run lead and was bounced to the consolation bracket of the Butch Foster Memorial Baseball Classic with a 10-9 loss to Holton on Thursday afternoon.
The Wildcats didn’t lead until their final at-bat, when Bryce Bennett knocked in the winning run with a sacrifice fly to center field at CommunityAmerica Ballpark.
THS center fielder Jeremy Carlisle caught the fly ball and threw home but catcher Dylan Fosdick, who leapt up to try and corral the throw, couldn’t catch it and Holton advanced to the tournament semifinals.
The Chieftains were up 6-0 midway through the fourth inning before Holton (11-1) capitalized on three THS errors in the bottom of the fourth and scored five runs.
The first two batters for HHS in the momentum-swinging inning reached base on errors — first second baseman Ben Williams dropped a pop-up, then shortstop Ethan Lorance misplayed a grounder.
Although Chieftains starting pitcher Dylan Puhr was able to strike out the next batter, Holton junior Jay Morris made THS (5-11) pay for the errors with a three-run home run to left field, giving the Wildcats their first runs of the game.
Holton kept its rally alive with a walk and a single after the homer, then got some more help from Tonganoxie when Lorance fielded a grounder and his toss to second base for a force out was dropped by Williams.
With the bases loaded, Holton’s Jacob Spalding drove in a run with a single to right field, cutting Tonganoxie’s lead to 6-4.
A bases-loaded walk given up by Puhr plated the Wildcats’ fifth run of the inning.
HHS tried to tie the game with a squeeze bunt when Drew Porter was up, but when he couldn’t lay down the sacrifice, THS catcher Fosdick tagged out Garrett Burns, who slid head-first under the catcher’s legs, at the plate.
The bleeding finally ended with a groundout to shortstop but the damage was done, with Holton knocking five runs off a six-run hole.
Despite the huge inning, Tonganoxie didn’t flatline. The Chieftains responded by scoring a run in the top of the fifth. Shane Levy led off with a walk and after a HHS got back-to-back outs, Fosdick hit a bloop single down the right field line to score Levy, giving THS a 7-5 lead.
Holton scored twice in the bottom of the fifth to tie the game, but Tonganoxie regained the lead with a pair of runs in the top of the sixth. Carlisle led off with a walk and Puhr was hit by a pitch. Following a deep fly out by Lorance, Williams drove in Carlisle with a single to left field and Puhr scored on the play as well after a throw home got away from Holton, giving the Chieftains a 9-7 lead.
Morris did more damage for the Wildcats in the bottom of the sixth with a two-run double that tied the game at 9-all.
THS went down in order in the top of the seventh, the only inning in which the Chieftains failed to produce a run or a hit.
Tonganoxie got out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning. After Carlisle led off with a triple to center field, Puhr drove him home with an opposite-field double to right.
Puhr later scored on a passed ball and Williams was driven in by Tyler Freeman, who hit into a double play.
The Chieftains scored one run in the second, third and fourth innings. Puhr scored Fosdick with a single to left field in the second inning, Corey Klinkenberg knocked in Williams with a base hit to center in the third and Lorance drove Carlisle home with a triple to the right-field gap in the fourth.
With the comeback win, Holton advanced to the tournament’s semifinals. The Wildcats will take on Spring Hill at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
THS, meanwhile, moves to the consolation bracket, where it will face Perry-Lecompton at 5 p.m. Friday.
Spring Hill defeated PLHS, 10-3, in a first-round game Thursday afternoon.
Holton 10, Tonganoxie 9
THS 3 1 1 1 1 2 0 — 9
HHS 0 0 0 5 2 2 1 — 10
Tonganoxie highlights: Dylan Puhr 2-for-3, 2 RBI, 2 R; Jeremy Carlisle 2-for-3, 3 R; Ben Williams 1-for-2, 2 R, RBI.
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