The Newton American Legion Post 2 Junior Knights baseball team is just one win away from state after a 13-3 win over El Dorado Post 81 in the semifinals of the Class A Zone 3 and 4 tournament at Klein-Scott Field.
The Knights face the Salina Hawks at about 5 p.m. Wednesday, with the winner advancing to the Class A state tournament in Topeka. The loser competes in the Zone 4 championship game at about 7 p.m. Thursday at Kenny Williams Field.
Newton scored in every inning but the fourth. The Knights broke things open with a seven-run third inning.
Drew Barron threw 3.2 innings for the win, allowing three runs on four hits with four walks and three strikeouts. Jake Schmidt finished the game with two hits and a strikeout.
Caleb Winter took the loss for El Dorado. Kolby Roberts and Ethan Manke finished the game.
Cade Valdez went four for four hitting for the Knights, driving in four runs. His final hit of the game came with two outs in the bottom of the sixth, driving in the run-rule run to end the game.
Valdez also stole three bases.
Joel Franz and Barron both finished with two hits and two RBIs.
Jett Roberts finished two for three hitting for El Dorado, which moves to Wednesday’s Zone 4 quarterfinals.
Trip Baker, Brandon Scribner and John Ferley each drove in a run.
Newton now faces a Salina team that swept the regular-season series 4-0.
Salina 7, Junction City 3
The Salina Hawks overcame an early two-run deficit to down the Junction City Blues 7-3 in semifinal play.
The Blues scored a pair of runs in the top of the first, but Salina came back with six unanswered runs, capped by a three-run Ethan Bolen double in the fourth inning. Jarret Pittenger hit a two-run double in the third inning.
Junction City scored in the fifth inning on a Trevor Laughlin RBI single, but Salina answered in the bottom of the fifth when Jayton Mathis stole third base and home.
Evan Vaughn pitched the distance for Salina for the win, striking out seven.
Laughlin took the loss for Junction City, which plays in the Zone 4 semifinals.
Pittenger finished three for four hitting. Mathis, Vaughn and Bolen each had three hits.
Hutchinson 12, Derby 2
The Hutchinson Hawks stayed alive with a 12-2 win over the Derby Bandits in a game that ended in six innings on the 10-run rule in a Zone 4 elimination game.
Hutchinson scored in every inning but the fourth. Derby scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth, but couldn’t keep the game going.
Bennett Turner pitched four innings for the win, striking out five. Carter Booe finished the game, striking out two.
Bradon Unkel took the loss for Derby, allowing just three earned runs in five innings, striking out four. Christian Harris and Trevor Hanson ended the game.
Hutchinson was outhit 8-3, drawing seven walks, seven hit batters and three Derby errors.
The loss ends the season for Derby.