Swather baseball team reaches state
EMPORIA — The Hesston High School baseball team is just a few years old, but the Swathers have finally made it to the state tournament.
Hesston upset top-seeded Southeast of Saline 3-2 Thursday in the finals of the Class 3A regional tournament at Soden’s Grove in Emporia.
In the semifinals, Hesston downed Eureka 4-3.
The games were originally scheduled to be played in Council Grove but were moved to the artificial turf site in Emporia because of wet fields.
In the championship game, Whitley Rhodes pitched 4.2 innings for the win, allowing two runs on three hits with three walks and six strikeouts. Cody Wolhgemuth pitched the final 2.1 innings for the save, allowing a walk and two strikeouts.
Eli Harris took the loss for Southeast of Saline, allowing three runs on seven hits with three walks and seven strikeouts.
Hesston scored in the top of the second inning on a wild pitch. Hesston scored in the top of the fourth on a Tigean Lange squeeze bunt and a Dalton Carey RBI double.
With two outs in the bottom of the fifth, Evan Nicholsen hit a two-run single for the Trojans. Southeast managed just three more baserunners for the remainder of the game.
Brett Cox, Beau Warden and Owen O’Halloran each had two hits for the Swathers.
Southeast ends the season 20-2.
In the semifinals, Hesston scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the fourth inning on a wild pitch and an O’Halloran ground out. Gunnar Lewis added an RBI single in the fifth.
Eureka scored a run in the sixth inning on a Quentin Campos RBI single. Eureka tied the game in the top of the seventh on an error and a two-out RBI single for Connor Hughes.
In the bottom of the seventh, Lewis drew a leadoff walk. After a strikeout, Lewis went to second on an error. Brady Cox then singled to score Lewis.
Brady Cox pitched 6.2 innings for Hesston, allowing three runs on seven hits with a walk and six strikeouts. Kael Shelite pitched the final out for the win, allowing a walk and a hit.
Garrison Spoonts went six innings for Eureka, allowing one earned run on four hits with three walks and five strikeouts. Cole Strickler took the loss, allowing an unearned run on one hit with a walk and a strikeout.
Strickler went two for three hitting. Hughes went two for four.
Eureka ends the season 12-8.
The state tournament is May 27 and 28 at the Tointon Family Stadium in Manhattan.
Spoonts, Strickler (L) 7 and Strickler, Campos 7; Cox, Shelite (W) 7 and Rhodes.
SE of Saline;000;020;0;—;2;3;0
Rhodes (W), Wohlgemuth (S) 5 and n/a; Harris (L) and n/a.