SALINA – The Hays Senior Eagles rallied for five runs in the bottom of the sixth to take a four-run lead then held off a seventh inning rally to beat the Topeka Senators 13-11 in their opener at the Kansas Grand Slam Wood Bat Tournament at James Matson Field.
Trailing 9-8, the Eagles (8-0) scored five runs in the bottom of the sixth to go up 13-9. Brady Kreutzer started the rally with a leadoff single then scored the tying run when Colby Dreiling reached on an error. Brock Lummus followed with an RBI triple on a ball the left fielder failed to locate. Carson Jacobs then doubled to left scoring Lummus. Jacobs touched the plate when Remington Cox singled then Garrett Wellbrock drove home Cox with a base hit to left.
The Senators opened the seventh with a single and RBI double, then added another run on a two-out fielding error by Wellbrock, but Brady Kreutzer got a strikeout to end the game and picked up the win The TMP-Marian senior allowed two runs (one earned) on two hits with three strikeouts and a walk over two innings of relief.
Both teams took advantage of a strong southerly wind blowing out to left, combining for 30 hits, three of them home runs. 13 of the game’s 24 runs came in the first two innings.
After retiring the first two batters of the game, Eagles starter Dawson VonFeldt ran into trouble and gave up three runs.
The Eagles responded with four runs in the bottom of the first on RBI singles from Brock Lummus, Josh Haynes and Dawson VonFeldt.
The Senators retook the lead at 5-4 with a two-run homer in the second but the Eagles came back with a four-spot in the bottom of the inning. Two of the runs came on Carson Jacobs home run giving Hays an 8-5 lead.
Garrett Wellbrock replaced VonFeldt on the mound in the third and pitched two scoreless innings, allowing two hits while striking out six and walking none.
Dalton Dale pitched the fifth for Hays and gave up four runs, three of them on a wind-aided home run which put the Senators up 9-8, where it would remain until the Eagles rally in the sixth.
Carson Jacobs and Josh Haynes both had three hits. Jacobs drove in three and Haynes two. Dawson VonFeldt also had two RBIs.
The Eagles close out pool play with two games Friday. They take on defending tournament champ Millard North at 10 a.m. at Dean Evans Stadium then face the Salina Falcons at 2:30 p.m. at James Matson Field.
Junior Eagles lose twice
The Junior Eagles started pool play 0-2 Thursday, losing 8-0 to the Topeka Scrappers and 12-4 to Omaha Sportsclips.
The Junior Eagles (4-6) close out pool play Friday at 10 a.m. against the Salina Hawks.