By Mark Schnabel
WICHITA — The Mulvane Patriots of the Sunflower Collegiate League are one win away from a first-week playoff spot at the 83rd National Baseball Congress World Series, stopping the 316 Elite 10-5 Monday night at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.
The Patriots improve to 2-0 in pool play, while the Elite fall to 1-1. The Elite are the NBC Hap-Dumont 18U champions.
University of Oklahoma pitcher Braden Minor led the Patriots with the win, allowing three unearned runs in seven innings on four hits with three walks and eight strikeouts. Sloan Baker and Drake Harper finished the game.
Hunter Aguirre went three for five hitting with two RBIs. Adam Brown and Caleb Cox both went two for five with two RBIs.
Riley Dick of Wichita Collegiate took the loss for the Elite, lasting just 2 1-3 innings and striking out two. Four other pitchers followed for the Elite.
An error in the top of the first led to an Elite run. The Patriots came back with two runs in the first, a run in the second, three runs in the third, a pair of runs in the fourth and a run in the fifth.
The Elite scored a pair of runs in the top of the sixth and held the Patriots scoreless in the bottom of the sixth.
The Patriots scored a run in the seventh, leaving the run-rule run on base. The Elite scored a pair of runs, the first earned for the team, in the top of the ninth.
The first-year Valley Center Mud Daubers gave up an eight-run eighth inning in an 11-4 loss to the Sterling Xpress in pool play.
Valley Center drops to 0-2 in the pool, while Sterling is 1-1.
Nathanial Forwood threw two innings of relief for Sterling for the win, striking out three. Starter Spenser Dexter struck out three in six innings. Mark Galloday took the loss.
Hesston College pitcher Brad McBride went seven innings for Valley Center, allowing three runs on eight hits with a walk and two strikeouts.
Zac Zagoda finished the game for the loss.
J.T. Patterson went three for four hitting for Sterling with two RBIs. Kyle Robbins went two for four with two RBIs. Riley Bausch also drove in two runs.
Zach Baxley went two for four for Valley Center.
Down 2-1, Valley Center scored three runs in the top of the fifth. Logan Brown had an RBI double. Trent Smith drove in a run on a fielder’s choice. Carson Armsbury hit a sacrifice fly.
With one out in the bottom of the eighth, Riley Bausch hit an RBI single to tie the game. After a hit batter, Kyle Robbins hit a ground-rule double to put the Xpress back in the lead. Sterling re-loaded the bases. Kodee Martin then hit a three-run triple. Sterling added two more runs before the inning ended.
In the opening game of the day, the Round Rock Express claimed a 2-0 win 7-5 over the Fort Collins Bandits.
Trailing 3-2, the Express scored five runs in the fifth to take a lead it would never relinquish. Fort Collins, 0-2, scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth. With two runners on base in the bottom of the ninth, a shallow fly ball to center and a 6-4-3 double play ended the game.
For Round Rock, Kelton Caldwell went three for five hitting. Tim Bechtold went two for three. Ramon Vingochea Jr. drove in two runs.
For Fort Collins, Quinn Tomasino went two for two hitting with two RBIs. Dakota Popham went two for four.
Daniel Lewis threw 2 2-3 innings of relief for the win, striking out three. Jack Engelmann threw the last three innings for the save. Starter Carson Childers went 3 1-3 innings, striking out four.
Locke Bernhardt took the loss for Fort Collins in relief of starter Holden Bernhardt. The Bandits used five pitchers.
In the late game, the Austin Shockers overcame six errors and a six-run deficit to down the Northwest Boom 14-9.
Down 8-2, the Shockers scored four runs in the bottom of the fifth inning and four more in the sixth. Garrett Prossner hit a three-run home run in the sixth inning to put Austin ahead.
Henry Hausman put things away with a three-run double in the bottom of the eighth.
Logan Garza pitched four innings of relief for the Shockers for the win. Starter Mateo Carranza went five innings, allowing two earned runs on seven hits with a walk and three strikeouts.
Prossner went three for six. Colton Barrington went three for four with two RBIs. Hausman finished two for four. Salvador Apud-Martinez went two for four with two RBIs. Drew Helberg also drove in two runs.
For the Boom, Austin Grijalva took the loss in relief. The Boom used four pitchers.
Manny Riverez went two for five with two RBIs. Daniel Diaz also drove in two runs. Marcus Catalano and Nick Gonzalez each went two for four.
LOCAL NOTES — Newton Rebel Rob Lain pitched threw three innings for the Inland Empire Golden Bears in a 5-4 loss to the Hattiesburg Black Sox. Lain started for the Bears in a no-decision, allowing an unearned run, no hits, a walk and two strikeouts.
Hesston High grad and former Newton Knight Freddie Loeffler is pitching for the Valley Center Mud Dawbers.