PITTSBURG — As much as Winfield tried, they could not seem to get rid of the Newton Knights in their elimination game Thursday in the Kansas AAA American Legion State baseball tournament.
In fact, the Warriors had the lead most of the game until Newton drew level and, eventually, took a 6-5 lead in the top of the ninth.
However, Winfield could not get runners on as the Knights held on for the win, eliminating the Warriors from the state tourney.
Newton, down 5-3 and trying to stay alive in the top of the ninth, started when Nathan Briar led off with a double and moved to third after Baxter Schmidt singled.
Jon Bonczyk scored a run when he hit a ball that went under the glove of Tanner Bailey at short. Schmidt tied the game when Guy Moreland hit a sacrifice fly to center field.
Garrett Bane came in to replace Eric Faust and promptly struck out Evan Gilbert for the second out of the inning.
But, Kyle Boulet hit an RBI single to center that scored Bonczyk with Newton’s go-ahead run.
Winfield seemingly had things in control after Bailey scored on a fielder’s choice in the first inning and Derek Brogan added a run in the second on a fielding error.
The Warriors extended their lead in the bottom of the fourth when Bailey doubled with two outs and Bannister hit an RBI single. Kendall Delp followed that up with an RBI single to score Joe Vargas and put Winfield up 4-0.
But, Newton started to make a charge back in the sixth after Kevin Ronen smacked a two-run homer off Winfield starter Eric Faust.
That cut the lead in half for Winfield but Newton did more damage in the seventh.
Evan Gilbert grounded out to short but that allowed Michael Kelly to score from third, putting Winfield up just 4-3.
Winfield right fielder Daelor Osen put the Warriors back up when he hit a ball that was fielded by Newton second baseman Baxter Schmidt, but pitcher Kyle Boulet did not make the first-base bag in time, allowing Randall Campbell to move to third.
Newton’s new pitcher Evan Thomas — who came to pitch from right field — hit Bailey to load the bases and then hit Vargas to score Campbell, giving Winfield a 5-3 lead.
That seemed to help Faust, who picked up a 1-2-3 inning on the mound to keep the Warriors’ lead at 5-3 heading to the bottom of the eighth.
With two outs in the bottom of the eighth, Kevin Meyer reached on an error by Boulet — now at third — and, subsequently, moved to third but was left stranded.
Kansas AAA American
Legion State Baseball
at JayCee Ballpark
Newton 6, Winfield 5
Newton 000 002 103 —6 9 4
Winfield 110 200 100 —5 11 1
Kyle Boulet, Evan Thomas (7) and Nathan Briar. Eric Faust, Garrett Bane (9) and Kevin Meyer. WP — Thomas (1-0). LP — Bane (0-1). E — Guy Moreland, Kevin Ronen, Baxter Schmidt, Boulet; Tanner Bailey. LOB — Newton 7, Winfield 14. 2B — Tanner Bailey. HR — Ronen.