Early squad starts with 11-1 win, then edges rival, 2-1, in extra innings

EARLY — The Early Jayhawks collected a pair of victories on Tuesday’s opening day of the TTAB District 5 12U Open Base Tournament at the Early City Park — earning one by run-rule and the second in extra innings.

In the opening round of the tournament, the Jayhawks cruised past the Miles Dirty Dawgs, 11-1, in four innings. In the nightcap, the Jayhawks dished out a 2-1 loss to the rival Early Huskers, needing an extra frame to secure the victory.

 

Jayhawks 2, Huskers 1

 

The victory over the Huskers saw the Jayhawks score the winning run on a bases-loaded walk-off walk in the bottom of the seventh inning.

The Jayhawks’ seventh started with a rocket single up the middle by Gavin Sanders off Husker relief pitcher Connor King. Camden Gamblin followed with an infield single to no man’s land between the pitcher, first base and second base, which put two runners on with no outs. After Kevin Patton lined out to third base for the first out of the inning, Jordan Nickerson was intentionally walked. Jeremy Brown then came on to pitch to Cooper Jacobs, who drew four balls in five pitches to pick up the free pass and game-winning RBI.

The Huskers had a chance to capture the win in regulation, but left the bases loaded in the top of the sixth. First, Aidan Chapleau reached on an error, then stole second base. Following an errant throw on the steal, Chapleau tried to score but was gunned down at the plate for the second out of the inning. Caleb McCullough then singled, Caydon Laird was intentionally walked and Hayden Schroeder was hit by a pitch, but Austin Senger got out of the jam when King grounded out to first base.

The Huskers struck first in the top of the second inning as Laird reached on an infield single and later scored on a two-out, RBI infield single by Ethan Pallette.

The Jayhawks drew even in the bottom of the second as Cameron Patton drew a walk to start the frame and scored on Sanders’ RBI single down the first base line.

Earlier in the same inning, Nolan Godfrey singled but was picked off at third base, while later in the frame Kevin Patton doubled but Sanders was left started at third.

 

Jayhawks 11, Miles 1

 

Leading 2-1 after one inning, the Jayhawks used a seven-run second inning to take control in their 10-run victory Miles.

The Jayhawks’ second started with a single from Michael Morales followed by an RBI double from Godfrey. Gamblin then reached on an error ahead of a one-out RBI double by Nickerson. Jacobs followed with an RBI infield single then Senger drew a walk. Sanders then singled ahead of an RBI base hit by Morales.

Early grabbed a 2-0 lead in the top of the first as Nickerson led off with a double, stole third base and scored on an error. Jacobs later singled and scored on an RBI base hit by Cameron Patton.

The final two runs for the Jayhawks scored in the third inning as Chris Fernandez reached on an infield single and scored when Senger was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. Nickerson, who walked, came home on a pickoff attempt behind Senger at first base, who advanced to second with a steal.

Jayhawk pitchers Godfrey and Morales combined to strike out eight batters in four innings of work on the mound.

In other tournament action Tuesday, the Coleman Bluecats defeated the Winters Rangers, 6-4, then blanked the Santa Anna Mountaineers, 15-0.

Wednesday’s schedule features the Miles Dirty Dawgs against the Santa Anna Mountaineers and the Early Huskers against the Winters Rangers in a pair of 6 p.m. elimination contests. The winners of those two games will square off at 8:15 p.m. in another do-or-die battle, while the Early Jayhawks and Coleman Bluecats face off at 8:15 p.m. in a battle for the first berth in Thursday’s championship game.