GREAT BEND — Inman and Little River took decidedly different routes to end up in the same destination.
Both teams were winners on Tuesday in the Class 2-1A Regional Baseball Tournament at Barton County Community College to advance to Thursday's semifinals. One game was a tense affair, while the other was a no-contest from the start.
In a terrific matchup, rivals Inman and Moundridge hooked up, with the Teutons holding off a late Wildcat charge for a 5-4 win. Inman has its hands full at 2:00 Thursday as it takes on No. 1 seed and tourney favorite Sedgwick.
Inman scored three runs in the first inning and two in the fifth for a seemingly safe 5-0 lead, but back came the Wildcats with four runs in the sixth.
“A very well-pitched game on both sides,” Inman coach Matt Mikulecky said. “Landen Snyder took a no-hitter into the sixth inning. He threw a smart game, pitched to soft contact and let his defense work for him. Our defense was solid for five innings and made all the plays behind him, but we made some mistakes in the sixth inning that really hurt us and helped contribute to a big four-run inning forcing us to make a change with two outs in the sixth, bringing in Connor Brown. Connor came in and was razor sharp, ending the rally and slamming the door in the seventh to seal the deal.”
Carter Brown was on fire offensively for the Teutons, going 2 for 3 with two runs scored and an RBI. Connor Brown, Jayden Leonhardt, Carson Munoz and Snyder all contributed offensively.
Collin Kohl went the distance for the Wildcats and fanned seven in a valiant effort.
“We knew that we were going to have a battle on our hands with Collin Kohl throwing for Moundridge,” Mikulecky said. “We've seen him twice earlier this season and he's been tough. The guys made some adjustments at the plate and were able to manufacture runs. Nothing came easy, it felt like we had to scratch and claw for every run. I expected a dogfight and that's exactly what it was.”
Cody Hazelton hit a two-run homer for the Wildcats’ big blow. Moundridge finished the year with an 8-11 record.
Meanwhile, Little River had a laugher in its first game and will face Ellis in Thursday's semifinals.
The Redskins were an 18-3 winner over Ellinwood, needing only four at-bats. They scored seven runs in the first and put the game away with 10 in the fourth.
Matt Dougherty and Graham Stephens went yard to highlight the robust Little River offense. Dougherty, Kaden Schafer and Brayden Sears all drove in three runs, while Stephens and Hunter Thomas drove in two apiece.
Stephens finished 3 for 3 with four runs scored. Jayden Garrison scored three runs and added two hits. Thomas also had two hits.