Cardinals claim 2-1A state title

Mark Schnabel
The Kansan
Sedgwick senior Henry Burns takes a pitch during play at the Class 2-1A state tournament. The Cardinals claimed the state title.
Sedgwick player Charles Austin Harjo pitches against Spearville in the semifinals of the Class 2-1A state championship. The Cardinals beat Spearville 7-6 and Valley Falls 11-1 to claim the state title.
Sedgwick catcher Justin Esposito looks to throw out a runner during the Class 2-1A semifinals in Great Bend.
Sedgwick player Lance Hoffsommer awaits a pitch during play in the Class 2-1A state tournament. Hoffsommer pitch the win and drove in three runs in the championship game.
Sedgwick High School baseball player Nolan Crumrine saves an errant pick-off throw during play in the Class 2-1A state tournament.
The Sedgwick Cardinal baseball team celebrates winning the Class 2-1A state title in Great Bend. Sedgwick ends the season 25-1.

GREAT BEND — The Sedgwick Cardinals had pitching left in the tank when Valley Falls’ tank went empty.

When Sedgwick starter Lance Hoffsommer reached his pitch count, Henry Burns still had something left, allowing the Cardinals to down Valley Falls 11-1 in the finals of the Class 2-1A State Baseball Championships at the Great Bend Athletic Complex.

The game was called in the sixth inning on the 10-run rule.

In addition to their pitching, Burns went four for five hitting with two RBIs, while Hoffsommer drove in three runs on one hit.

“I threw 45 pitches (in the semifinals and finals), so I can’t ask anything more,” Burns said. “I kept under what I needed to stay under. I finished out both games we needed to stay alive. It was more heartwarming (in the finals) to have a little bit of a lead. We played a little more with a swag. We came out with a win. I was not expecting (the run-rule win. I was expecting a close game.”

“I was really efficient there,” Hoffsommer said. “Even with the tight zone, I was really efficient. I only pitched 17 innings this year, but it came at a pretty big time.”

Hoffsommer said he didn’t play any summer baseball last year.

“I missed out of it,” he said. “I should have, but with COVID and everything, I didn’t.”

The Cardinals reached the finals by winning a pair of one-run games.

“In the state tournament, that’s what it’s all about,” Sedgwick coach Doug Mabry said. “You expect high-level competition. It was fun to watch all these close games all tournament long. We talked all season long about overcoming adversity and playing under pressure. And the guys came through. You never know how nerves will settle in, but the guys handled all of that very well. The guys have a ton of confidence. The guys can get through a three-game tournament pretty well if they do what they have all season long.”

Hoffsommer pitched five innings for the win, allowing a run on three hits with five walks and six strikeouts. Burns finished the game, walking one.

Jeff Nold went three for four hitting with two RBIs. Nolan Crumrine went two for four with two RBIs. Connor Tillman and Charles Austin Harjo each added a pair of hits.

Trenton Kraxner took the loss, going five innings and allowing four earned runs on 10 hits with three walks and three strikeouts. Cooper Jepson and Jackson Reich finished the game.

In the championship game, Sedgwick scored on an error in the bottom of the first inning.

With two outs in the top of the second inning, Valley Falls scored a run on a wild pitch. With two outs and two on in the bottom of the second, Sedgwick posted five straight hits to score five runs. Hoffsommer hit a two-run double.

“It was amazing,” Hoffsommer said. “I knew he was bringing fastball. I got the timing right and put the foot down. I took it where it came from. It was a big hit. We had fast baserunners.”

Sedgwick loaded the bases in the fifth inning on three, two-out, infield singles, but failed to score.

The Cardinals scored six runs in the bottom of the sixth. Nold and Burns each had two-run singles. Crumrine hit a ball between the first and second basement that neither attempted to field, allowing the run-rule run to score.

In the semifinals, Sedgwick spotted the Spearville Royal Lancers four runs in the top of the first before coming back for a 7-6 win. 

Against Spearville, the first five Lancer batters reached base on two walks and three singles. Dean and Joshua Cox each had two-run singles. Harjo and Austin Wilkes each had a two-out RBI single for Sedgwick in the bottom of the first.

A Spearville scoring threat with two outs and two on in the top the second was ended on a tag out at home plate. The Lancers scored a run in the third on a pair of Sedgwick errors.

Harjo hit an RBI single for Sedgwick in the bottom of the third. Jayden Towles led off the fourth inning with a double and scored on a Henry Burns single.

Spearville loaded the bases with one out in the top of the fifth. A pair of force outs ended the threat with no runs allowed.

With two outs in the bottom of the fifth, Justin Esposito tied the game with an RBI double.

The Cardinals opened the bottom of the sixth with two runners reaching on errors. A misplayed bunt for a fielder’s choice loaded the bases. After a pair of pop outs, Wilkes hit a two-run single.

With one out in the seventh, Spearville drew a walk and singles by Tanner Miller and Hadley Fisher to score a run. An overthrow on the second hit put runners at second and third. A strikeout and ground out to short ended the game.

Wilkes finished the game two for three hitting eith three RBIs. Lance Hoffsommer, Esposito and Harjo each went two for four hitting.

Kenneth Zimmerman, Dean and Miller all went two for four hitting for Spearville.

Burns pitched two innings of relief for the win, allowing a run on two hits with a walk and a strikeout. Harjo pitched five innings, allowing four earned runs on eight hits with six walks and three strikeouts.

Dean took the loss for the Lancers, allowing five earned runs in five innings on seven hits with two walks and three strikeouts, Zimmerman finished the game, allowing a hit.

Spearville ends the season 13-11.

Sedgwick ends the season 25-1, losing five seniors off the varsity.

“They are a big part of our recent success,” Mabry said. “They brought us a long way in the last few years. In 2019, they got us to a state berth. Losing last year to COVID was crushing to those guys, and probably even more crushing to (last year’s) seniors who didn’t get to play. These guys have been locked in and motivated. As cliché as that sounds, they did everything they could to bring us a title.”

Semifinals

Sedgwick 7, Spearville 6

Spearville;ab;r;h;bi;Sedgwick;ab;r;h;bi

Shenk c;3;1;1;0;Burns p;4;1;1;1

Kliesen rf;3;1;1;0;Crumrine 2b;4;1;1;0

Zimmerman p;4;1;2;0;Hoffsommer ss;4;2;2;0

Dean ss;4;2;2;2;Harjo 1b;4;0;2;2

Cox 3b;2;1;1;2;Wilkes 3b;3;0;2;3

Miller 2b;4;0;2;0;Werner 3b;0;0;0;0

Tasset cf;3;0;1;1;Esposito c;4;0;2;1

Fisher lf;3;0;0;0;Brown cr;0;0;0;0

Hubbell 1b;1;0;0;0;Tillman rf;2;0;0;0

Shulte ph;1;0;0;0;Towles rf;3;1;1;0

;;;;;Nold dh;3;1;1;0

;;;;;Anderson cr;0;1;0;0

;;;;;Hansen 3b;0;0;0;0

TOTALS29;6;10;5;TOTALS;31;7;12;7

Spearville;401;000;1;—;6

Sedgwick;201;112;x;—;7

E — Kliesen, Hansen, Esposito, Zimmerman, Cox. DP — Sedgwick. LOB — Spear. 8, Sed. 8. 2B — Towles, Esposito, Tasset. SB — Tasset, Dean 2, Crumrine, Anderson, Hoffsommer 2, Burns. CS — Burns.

Spearville;ip;h;r;er;bb;k

Dean, L;5;11;7;5;2;3

Zimmerman;1;1;0;0;0;0

Sedgwick;ip;h;r;er;bb;k

Harjo;5;8;5;4;6;3

Burns, W;2;2;1;1;1;1

Dean faced three batters in the sixth inning.

PB — Esposito. Time — 2:04.

Finals

Sedgwick 11, Valley Falls 1

(6 innings)

Val.Fls.;ab;r;h;bi;Sedgwick;ab;r;h;bi

Burdiek cf;2;0;0;0;Burns p;5;3;4;2

Norris c;2;0;0;0;Crumrine ss;4;1;2;2

Allen cr;0;0;0;0;Hoffsommer cf;3;1;1;3

Gatzemeyer ss;2;0;1;0;Harjo 1b;4;0;2;0

Kraxner p;3;0;0;0;Wilkes 3b;4;0;0;1

Allen 2b;0;0;0;0;Esposito c;4;0;1;0

Elias 1b;2;0;0;0;Brown cr;0;1;0;0

Miller lf;3;1;1;0;Tillman rf;2;2;2;0

Clark rf;3;0;1;0;Towles lf;2;2;0;0

Jepson p;2;0;0;0;Nold dh;4;1;3;2

Cervantez 3b;1;0;0;0;Scarlett 2b;x;x;x;x

TOTALS;20;1;3;0;TOTALS;32;11;15;10

Val.Fls.;010;000;—;1

Sedgwick;140;006;—;11

There were two outs when the game ended.

E — Gatzemeyer. LOB — VF 7, Sed. 9. 2B — Hoffsommer. SB — Burns 2, Hoffsommer 2, Miller. CS — Crumrine.

Val.Fls.;ip;h;r;er;bb;k

Kraxner;5;10;5;4;3;3

Jepson;.2;4;6;6;2;0

Rich;0;1;0;0;0;0

Sedgwick;ip;h;r;er;bb;k

Hoffsommer, W;5;3;1;1;5;6

Burns;1;0;0;0;1;0

WP — Hoffsommer, Burns, Rich. HBP — Tillman (Kraxner). Time — 2:13.

Mark Schnabel can be reached at mschnabel@thekansan.com