If the third time is the charm, then the Pratt Panthers are in for a win tonight when they face the  Wichita Longhorns for the Hap Dumont 13 and Under World Series title.


If the third time is the charm, then the Pratt Panthers are in for a win tonight when they face the  Wichita Longhorns for the Hap Dumont 13 and Under World Series title.
The Panthers and Longhorns have faced each other twice this weekend, with the Longhorns winning both games.
Their Saturday afternoon meeting determined the top seed in Sunday’s bracketed portion of the tournament, and the Sunday afternoon game sent the Panthers into the losers bracket final.
After falling to the Longhorns Sunday afternoon, the Panthers bounced right back with a 9-2 win over the Sumner County Shockers.
That win punched their ticket to the championship, where they have to beat the Longhorns twice tonight to be named World Series champions. The first game will begin at 6 p.m., with a second game starting at 8 p.m. if Pratt wins the first.
Against the Shockers, the Panthers broke open a 2-2 tie with a three-run fifth inning.
After a scoreless sixth, the Panthers struck for four runs in the seventh, putting the game well out of reach.
In the seventh, Easton Herring, Matt Marshall and Eric Ruiz got three straight singles. Ruiz’s single scored both Herring and Marshall.
After Michael McEachern reached on an error, Shane McEachern hit a hard grounder to the second baseman, who mishandled it, allowing both baserunners to score.
In the bottom of the seventh, Sumner County loaded the bases with one out, but Pratt pitcher Jarod Gilmore got some help from his defense as Michael McEachern caught a foul ball for the second out, and Herring snagged a line drive at third base to end the game.
Earlier Sunday, the Panthers beat the Country Boys, a team from South Central Kansas, 4-3, in their opening game of bracket play.
Pratt scored the winning run in the bottom of the sixth as Herring scored on a single by Ruiz.
In the top of the seventh, the Panthers retired the Country Boys in order to end the game.
That win set up an afternoon matchup with the Longhorns.
Wichita scored four runs in the top of the first, but the Panthers rallied with two in the btottom of the second.
The Longhorns managed four more in the top of the fourth, two in the fifth, three in the sixth and two in the seventh.
Pratt hit back with three runs in the fourth, one in the fifth and five in the sixth, but couldn’t quite get over the hump and fell 15-11.
In three games Sunday, Ruiz was 6-for-9 at the plate. Herring and Shane McEachern each had four hits on the day and Matt Marshall had three.
POOL PLAY
Panthers 15, Shockers 6
Pratt got the tournament off to a good start, winning their first game Saturday morning.
The turning point was a seven-run outburst in the fifth inning, which saw Pratt send 11 batters to the plate and come away with five hits. The Panthers also took advantage of two Sumner County errors in the inning.
Marshall, Michael McEachern, and Ruiz each had three of Pratt’s 15 hits.
Longhorns 16, Panthers 9
The Panthers gave up three runs in the top of the first inning, and could never quite get back in the game.
Gilmore, Chase Hageman, Herring, and Michael McEachern each had two of Pratt’s 12 hits.
Panthers 5, Country Boys 4
Pratt built a 5-1 lead after three innings, but had to hold off a late rally by the Country Boys, who scored two in the fourth and one in the fifth to pull within one run.
But, Gilmore allowed just one hit in the final two innings as the Panthers held on for the win.
Shane McEachern led the Panthers with three singles. Gilmore, Herring and Ruiz each had two hits as Pratt finished with 12 hits in the contest.