INMAN — When Inman qualified for the Class 2-1A State Baseball Tournament last week with a 6-2 upset over No. 1 seed and state-ranked Little River, the Teutons probably were expecting to receive one of the lowest seeds.
After all, they were just 12-10 and that normally doesn’t warrant an upper-division spot.
But as the regional results trickled in, the Teutons continued to move up the ladder. So much so they’re the No. 4 seed at Great Bend on Thursday when they take on defending state champion Pittsburg Colgan at 1:30 p.m.
The victory over Little River alone should cement the Teutons as state-worthy. Little River had been ranked as high as No. 2 this year and was the state runner-up last year.
“We finished 10-10 (during the regular season) and played a very tough schedule,” Inman coach Jim Preston said. “In a very competitive HOA league, we also played Wichita Independent and Salina Sacred Heart. Our biggest strength is the ability to play together, compete and never give up. Keys in the tournament will be good pitching and defense, and timely hitting.”
The Teutons don’t have that one superstar player, but rely on the sum of their parts. The seven-senior starting lineup is led by Ryan Snow (.373, 21 RBIs) and Blayne Konrade (.362, 26 stolen bases). Wyatt Regehr is hitting only .224, but has driven in 16 runs. Blake Druecker (.273) has driven in 13.
The Teutons’ success could hinge on their pitching since they’re not robust offensively. Regehr (4-3, 4 saves, 1.75 ERA) is the staff ace, but Noah Tuscan (4-2, 30 strikeouts), Will McLain (1-3, 30 strikeouts), Druecker (2-2) and Walker Strange (1-0, 2.52 ERA) give the Teutons a lot of available arms.
Preston is well aware that Colgan isn’t your normal .500 team and No. 5 seed. The Panthers always seem to be the team to beat at state, no matter what kind of season they have enjoyed.
“Pittsburg Colgan has a great tradition and plays a very tough schedule,” Preston said. “They have good pitching and they will be fundamentally sound. We look forward to playing Pittsburg Colgan.”
Troy is far and away the top seed with a perfect 20-0 record, but there are questions about the level of its competition and it also has to stave off an upset bid by tradition-rich Sacred Heart in the first round. If it wins, it would play either Inman or Colgan in the semifinals.
• STATE SCHEDULE •
11:00 — Troy (20-0) vs. Sacred Heart (8-13)
1:30 — Inman (12-10) vs. Pittsburg Colgan (11-11)
4:00 —Medicine Lodge (17-4) vs. Olathe Christian (10-13)
6:30 — Moscow (17-5) vs. Oxford (11-11)
11:00 — Troy-Sacred Heart winner vs. Inman-Pittsburg Colgan winner
1:30 — Medicine Lodge-Olathe Christian winner vs. Moscow-Oxford winner
4:00 — Third-place game
6:30 — Championship game