Pitching is key to Redskins' state title hopes

By Steve Sell
May 28, 2014

LITTLE RIVER — The Little River baseball team figures to go as far as its pitching will take it in the Class 2-1A State Tournament that begins on Thursday in Great Bend.

The 18-5 Redskins begin their quest for their first-ever state championship when they play 15-8 Elkhart at 6:30 p.m. A victory and they would play the winner of Troy (19-3) and Ellis (12-8) at 1:30 p.m. Friday.

Little River started slowly, going 1-3 in its first four games. But it went on a serious roll the rest of the way, highlighted by some sensational pitching.

Redskin coach Terry Renken has his starting rotation lined up accordingly.

“We are looking at going with Tevin (Renken) since he is our No. 1 and a senior with great composure,” his father and coach said.

Cordell Moore expects to get the ball in the semifinals, then it’s either Levi Baldwin or Grant Harvey, both of whom have thrown their best at the end of the year, according to their coach.

Tevin Renken has been one of the state’s top pitchers. He is 6-1 with a microscopic 0.81 ERA. Most impressive are his 92 strikeouts in 43 innings and he’s also displayed pinpoint control with just 12 walks. Among his wins was a perfect game, the first in school history.

Moore, who threw a no-hitter of his own, was 4-2 with a 2.51 ERA. His biggest key will be throwing strikes as he brings plenty of heat.

Baldwin and Harvey were both 3-1.

Renken said there are other keys.

“We have to play good defense and put the ball in play,” he said. “It should be a very exciting state tournament. We want to get to Friday to enjoy the full state experience.”

Offensively, the Redskins hit .321 as a team. There are very few holes in the lineup as Renken has received production from top to bottom.

Udall is 23-0 and the No. 1 seed, but Renken has a feeling it may not make the championship game

“Pittsburg Colgan (which is on Udall’s side of the bracket) is the team to beat,” Renken said. “They won (Class) 3A last year and return their top pitcher. On our side of the bracket it is Troy. We have to beat Elkhart that has a really good pitcher and catcher.”

• SCHEDULE •

Thursday

11:00 — Udall (23-0) vs. Cedar Vale-Dexter (13-10)

1:30 — Mission Valley (17-6) vs. Colgan (17-6)

4:00 — Troy (19-3) vs. Ellis (12-8)

6:30 — Little River (18-5) vs. Elkhart (15-8)

Friday

11:00 — Udall-Cedar Vale-Dexter winner vs. Mission Valley-Colgan winner

1:30 — Troy-Ellis winner vs. Little River-Elkhart winner

4:00  — Third-place game

6:30 — Championship game


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