WICHITA — It was the proverbial men against the boys for Hesston High grad Cameron Cox, who played for the 316 Elite at the 85th National Baseball Congress World Series this week at Eck Stadium.
The Elite finished 1-1 in pool play to qualify for Tuesday’s knockout round, where the Elite fell to the Derby Twins 5-2.
The Elite is an 18U team that qualified for the summer college tournament by winning the Hap Dumont Regionals for the third straight year.
“It was very fun playing in,” Cox said. “The atmosphere was very good. … (These players) are really mature. We’ve played a lot of games at this level. There was a lot you can learn from this.”
Cox said he played about 45 games with the Elite this summer. The team only lost five games.
The Elite made one of its deepest runs at the NBC World Series.
“This is a really good team,” he said. “We only lost about five games. We’ve got a lot of good players. This was one for the books.”
Cox will play this fall at Neosho Community College.
During the game against the Twins, Cox drew a walk and struck out in the game.
For the tournament, Cox batted .286, posting two hits in seven at bats. He had a double and two RBIs, drawing two walks.
Derby pitcher Brenton Thiels went six innings for the win, allowing one earned run on two hits with five walks and eight strikeouts. Chandler Ladd went an inning, allowing a hit with a strikeout. Kaleb Hornea finished the game for the save, allowing a hit and striking out three.
Jackson Hardy went two for four with a home run and two RBIs.
Corey Hahn went three for three for the Elite.
Derby scored two runs in the second inning on a Ryan McNally RBI single and a Mitchell Austin sacrifice fly. Justin Bundy added an RBI double in the fifth.
The Elite scored a pair of runs in the seventh inning on an error.
Hardy blasted a two-run home run to left field for Derby in the bottom of the seventh.
Alex Epp went five innings for the Elite in the loss, allowing two earned runs, five hits, two walks and six strikeouts.
In other games in the first knockout round, the Hutchinson Monarchs downed the Dodge City A’s 7-1, the Hays Larks edged the Denver Cougars 2-0 and the Great Bend Bat Cats downed the Wichita Sluggers 6-3.
Ed Scott went two for four hitting with four RBIs to lead Hutchinson over Dodge City. Cooper Elliott went two for three with two RBIs.
Riley Taylor pitched eight innings for the win, allowing an unearned run on three hits with a walk and four strikeouts. Dawson Linder pitched the ninth with a strikeout.
Dodge City used five pitchers with starter Tyler Van Stone striking out five in 3.2 innings.
Scott hit a two-run single for Hutchinson in the bottom of the first inning. Scott added another two-run single with two outs in the third inning.
Elliott hit a two-run single in the fourth. Dylan Nedved followed with an RBI single.
Dodge City scored in the sixth inning, aided by an error.
Hays pitcher Wyatt Divis helped lead the Larks to just the third shutout of the tournament in a win over the Denver Cougars
The win for the Larks ensured that both teams that advanced to Championship Week would be Kansas teams.
Divis went 7.2 innings of shutout ball, allowing four hits with four walks and nine strikeouts. Trevor Munsch got Divis out of a bases-loaded jam on one pitch in the eighth. Munsch retired the side in the ninth for the save, striking out one.
Denver starter Adam Artis went five innings, allowing a run on three hits with two walks and six strikeouts. Jaime Ponce and Payton Tinkler each struck out two.
Jarrod Belbin went two for three hitting for Hays, scoring both runs.
Hays struck in the bottom of the fifth inning when Jimmy DeLeon hit an RBI single. Max McGuire added an RBI single in the seventh.
The Great Bend Bat Cats scored three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to stop the Sunflower Collegiate League rivals 6-3.
Chandler Bloomer broke the tie in the eighth with a sacrifice fly. Chase Gibson followed with a two-run double.
Tyson Cheatum finished two for three hitting for the Bat Cats.
Mason Hartman went three for four for Wichita.
Bat Cat Zach Curry pitched three innings of relief for the win, striking out two. Starter Zach Pratt struck out four.
The Sluggers scored two runs in the third on a Ryan Koval sacrifice fly and a bases-loaded walk for Tony Slaughter.
In the bottom of the third, Great Bend’s Ryan Monson hit a two-run single. Another run scored on an error.
The Sluggers tied the game in the top of the eighth when Tanner White grounded out to drive in a run.
Braden Ash took the loss for Wichita.
The Great Bend Bat Cats lost but won Monday, falling to the Waco (Texas) Missions in the third round of first-week pool play at the 85th National Baseball Congress World Series at Eck Stadium.
In other games Monday, the Dodge City A’s downed the Jasper (Ind.) Reds 10-0, the Hutchinson Monarchs downed the Palm Beach (Calif.) Chill and the Denver Cougars edged the Wellington Heat 5-4.
Down 7-2, Great Bend scored two runs in the eighth inning and a run in the ninth to get into second place in the pool by run differential and advance to Tuesday’s knockout round.
The Bat Cats left the tying runs on base in each of the last two innings.
Great Bend, Hays and Waco all finished 1-1 in the pool. Hays was +3 in run differential, followed by Great Bend at -1 and Waco at -2.
Zane Morehouse was two for four hitting for Waco with three RBIs. Ray Sadler II was two for four with two RBIs. Cullen Mayhew went three for four.
Waco starter Evan Eubanks threw seven innings for the win, allowing an earned run on six hits with five strikeouts. Morehouse pitched the final out for the save.
Great Bend starter Easton Smith took the loss, striking out two. Three other Great Bend pitchers threw.
Dodge City advanced to the knockout stage with the win over Jasper, called in the bottom of the fifth on the 10-run rule.
Axel Arrieta went four innings for the win, allowing two hits and striking out four. Justin Hirschberg pitched the fifth, striking out one.
Tyler Brown went three for four hitting with two RBIs. Ryan Williams went two for two with a two-run home run. Five other A’s drove in runs.
Newton Rebel Zach Gillig, a late pickup for the Reds, went two innings in the loss. Another Rebels pitcher, Jackson Oldham, also threw.
The Hutchinson Monarchs won its pool with a 6-5 win over the Palm Springs Chill.
Hutchinson struck in the first inning, scoring two runs. Taylor Barber hit a sacrifice fly. Scott Wolverton hit an RBI single.
An error led to a Hutchinson run in the third. Brayden Whitechurch added a sacrifice fly in the fourth inning to drive in a run.
Palm Springs came back with a two-run Mark Kirkland single in the fifth inning, followed by an Ernesto Figueroa RBI double.
McCain Mason drove in the tying run for the Chill in the sixth on an RBI fielder’s choice.
Ed Scott broke the tie with an RBI single in the bottom of the seventh. Austin Davis tied the game for Palm Springs with an RBI double in the top of the eighth.
With runners at first and third base and two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning, Dylan Nedved flared an RBI single to right field.
Barber finished with two RBIs. Cooper Elliott and Mason Lowe each went two for four hitting.
Noah Kelly pitched 1.2 innings of relief for the win, allowing a hit and striking out one.
Kirkland went two for five for Palm Springs. Jeremy Husband took the loss. The Chill finishes the tournament 0-2.
In the late game, Nick Schifftner hit an RBI single with out out in the bottom of the ninth to lift the Denver Cougars to a 5-4 win over the Wellington Heat.
Denver breaks up an All-Kansas knockout round, finishing pool play 1-1. Wellington finishes the tournament 0-2.
Juan Familia drove in two runs for Denver. Ricardo Preciado went three for five with an RBI. Henry Peguero was two for three. Judah Wilber went two for four.
Schifftner also claimed the win on the mound, retiring the sole batter he faced. Starter Eli Thornquist struck out five in 6.2 innings.
Hunter Hudson went two for four for Wellington with two RBIs. Newton Rebel Luke Royle went three for five for Wellington.
Robbie Brown took the loss for Wellington.
Wellington scored a pair of runs in the top of the second. Hudson and Pete Shearer each hit an RBI single.
In the top of the second, Denver’s Familia hit two-run single. Preciado drove in a run on a double.
Wellington regained the lead in the top of the fifth inning on an RBI double for Christian Meza and an RBI triple for Hudson.
Denver tied the game with a run scoring on a wild pitch in the bottom of the sixth.