Chieftain baseball bounces back, defeats Holton in finale
THS finishes seventh at Butch Foster Classic
Dealing with a five game losing streak can be a difficult pill to swallow for a young team, especially for the Tonganoxie baseball team which has had major turnover this season.
But the Chieftains got the bats going in the first inning and never looked back as they took down Holton by the score of 5-3 in the Butch Foster Memorial Classic at CommunityAmerica Ballpark on Saturday to take seventh place.
“We’re trying to get some wins at the end of the season and gets some momentum rolling,” coach Mitch Loomis said. “Just giving the kids something good to feel about this weekend and getting one out here is always nice.”
Following a difficult top of the first inning where Tonganoxie senior Austin Harkrader gave up two runs, the Chieftains notched five runs on the board in the bottom of the inning. Harkrader led off the frame with a triple.
Harkrader also did an steady job on the mound going the distance while striking out 11. He walked eight and gave up three earned runs.
Still, having a five run lead helped Harkrader as he got his first win of his senior season after coming into the game 0-3.
“It’s a lot easier pitching with the lead than not so you can kind of go out there and get a feel for it,” Harkrader. “You know your team’s got your back.”
From there, Tonganoxie and Holton dueled it out with neither team separating itself with the bats.
Holton managed one more run in the sixth, but Harkrader shut the Wildcats down from there.
“We haven’t backed him well all year,” Loomis said. “I couldn’t be happier for him to get win in his last game at this stadium.”
With a few more games remaining in the regular season, Tonganoxie hopes this win can propel it to more success throughout the ensuing postseason play.
“We got two winnable games with Bonner,” Loomis said. If we can pick up two big ones there and get on a little bit of a winning streak into Regionals, it gives the kids a little bit of confidence in practice going into Regionals.”
Score by innings
Holton 200 001 0 — 3
Tonganoxie 500 000 X— 5
Leading hitters: Austin Harkrader 2-3; Connor Wentz-Hall 3-3, RBI; Brady Swedo 2-3.
Basehor-Linwood 5, Paola 2
Spring Hill 10, Tonganoxie 1
Perry-Lecomption 13, Holton 2
St. James 8, Bonner Spring 3
Bonner Springs 11, Holton 1
St. James 16, Perry-Lecompton 0
Paola 6, Tonganoxie 2
Spring Hill 16, Basehor-Linwood 1
Tonganoxie 5, Holton 3 (Seventh-place game)
Paola 7, Bonner Springs 1 (Fifth-place game)
Perry-Lecomption 3, Basehor-Linwood 2 (Third-place game)
St. James 4, Spring Hill 0 (Chamionship game)