4 area teams left in Moundridge baseball sub-state

By Steve Sell
May 19, 2015

MOUNDRIDGE — A McPherson area baseball team is assured of making the Class 2-1A State Tournament next week in Great Bend.

The Moundridge Final Four includes all area teams following the completion of Monday’s first-round action.

The host Wildcats opened tourney play by receiving a dynamite pitching performance from Kyle Stucky in a 5-3 victory over Northern Heights.

The Wildcats attacked early, scoring singletons in the first and second innings, then popped two on the board in the third for a 4-1 advantage.

Northern Heights, which actually was the home team because of a better record, retaliated with two runs in the fifth, but Moundridge added some insurance with a run in the sixth.

The story of the day was Stucky, who permitted just two hits. Moundridge actually didn’t have much offense itself, but Bryant Olson did collect two of its five hits and Stucky greatly helped his own cause with two RBIs.

“Kyle Stucky pitched as well as he has pitched all year,” said Moundridge coach Lynn Eichelberger, whose extremely young team is now 6-15. “He had command of his pitches and could locate them almost the whole game. Freshman Bryant Olson hit the ball hard and got a couple of hits. Kyle helped himself with a double in the first inning to score Noah (Eichelberger) who had walked and stole second base. Our defense was solid except for the fifth inning when we had three errors, but we overcame those nicely to get the win.”

The Wildcats are playing top-seed and state-ranked Little River (15-5) in today’s 2 p.m. semi. The championship game is approximately 6:00.

And that would come against either Canton-Galva or Inman. While the Teutons received a free pass to the second round, the Eagles were a narrow 6-5 winner over Chase County in the other opener.

Nick Bray got the call for the Eagles and responded with five innings of seven-strikeout ball. C-G coach Kelly Nelson turned to his bullpen, with Reed Wiens and finally Connor Farnham nailing it down.

“Nick really pitched well in getting his first win on the year,” Nelson said. “Except for his first game of the year he has really pitched as good as anybody, but we just haven't supported him enough to get him the wins he deserves.”

The offense came in the form of Farnham and Ethan Loyd with two hits apiece, with Farnham roping a double. Tanner Klingensmith, one of the top hitters for average in the state, knocked in two runs.

“We hit a lot of balls hard, but their outfielders made some good catches to keep us from scoring more runs,” Nelson said.

Canton-Galva takes a 6-11 record into today’s game with Inman, which is 10-10. Nelson has some good pitching options, since Klingensmith hasn’t worked yet and Farnham worked only an inning.