GALVA — If it’s true in baseball that “pitching is 70 percent of the game,” then the Little River Redskins should be one of the favorites in the Class 2-1A State Tournament next week.
The Redskins qualified for the field of eight by shutting down Chase County and Inman in Tuesday’s regional to punch their ticket next week to nearby Great Bend.
The Redskins were a 6-0 winner over Chase County, then blanked Inman 4-0 in the championship game. After starting the year 1-3, the Redskins are now 16-6.
“We pitched very well,” Little River coach Terry Renken said. “We gave up only three hits in two games.”
Against Chase County, Renken went with No. 2 pitcher Cordell Moore and he responded with one of his gems of the year. He gave up just one hit, but equally important was that he walked only two and blew away nine hitters on strikes.
Little River jumped out to a 5-0 lead after three innings, which allowed Moore to rare back and fire.
Tevin Renken had a double and single for the Redskins, who managed only six hits themselves. Laramie Peters added a double. Jeb Sauer contributed two RBIs.
It was thought the Redskins would face Hillsboro in the finals, but the Trojans were upset 8-7 by Inman.
Tevin Renken, one of the state’s best pitchers regardless of class, was dazzling in the championship game, throwing a two-hitter and whiffing 14 to send the Redskins to state. Runs were hard to come by for both teams, but Little River scored one in the first and two in the third to lead 3-0. It tacked on an insurance run in the fourth.
Inman pitchers Wyatt Regehr and Treyton DeVore tried to match Renken, but some early walks helped Little River. Renken and Dalton Arnold collected two hits apiece for the winners. Renken had a triple and Moore a double for the only extra-base hits. Both of Inman’s hits were singles.
The state tourney gets under way a week from Thursday, with the championship round on Friday.