The third time wasn’t quite the charm for the Pratt Panthers, as the Wichita Longhorns continued their high-scoring ways in last night’s championship game of the Hap Dumont 13 and Under World Series at the Green Sports Complex.


The third time wasn’t quite the charm for the Pratt Panthers, as the Wichita Longhorns continued their high-scoring ways in last night’s championship game of the Hap Dumont 13 and Under World Series at the Green Sports Complex.
Wichita came into the championship game averaging over 10 runs per outing in the tournament, and the Longhorns finished the tournament with a 19-9 win over the Panthers.
The game was interrupted twice by rain delays in the fifth and sixth innings, and lasted nearly three hours.
Pratt struck first as Matt Marshall doubled with two outs in the bottom of the first, then scored on third baseman Eric Ruiz’s single. The inning ended when Michael McEachern grounded into a fielder’s choice, but the Panthers were on top 1-0.
Wichita’s leadoff batter Justin Burba grounded out to Kendall Shelite at second base, but Trent Dunnegan followed it with a single. The Longhorns’ Bryce Whitchurch flew out to Marshall in left field, but Alex Leff blasted a two-run shot to put Wichita up 2-1.
Pratt pitcher Easton Herring got Alex McNew to ground out for the third out, and things looked good for the Panthers, who had faced larger deficits in both earlier games against the Longhorns.
Jarod Gilmore was the only Panther to get on base in the top of the second, and Wichita was back at bat.
The Longhorns wasted little time building their lead, as Garrett Kane led off with a standup double,  and Wichita’s next six batters also got on base.
By the time Marshall retired three straight batters to get out of the inning, the Longhorns had scored seven runs to take a 9-1 lead into the third inning.
Herring’s two-out double was the only hit Pratt could manage in the top of the third, as Wichita came back to bat with an eight run lead.
Kane led off with another double, and Junior Guerrero followed it with a single that scored Kane.
But with Kane McCarthy at the plate, Guerrero was thrown out trying to steal second base by Panthers catcher Skylar Dean.
That gave the Panthers some much-needed momentum, and they got out of the inning when Tony Resendez grounded out to Ruiz at third.
Ruiz led off the top of the fourth with a walk, but was stuck on the bases until Shelite singled with two outs.
From there, things went south for Whitchurch, the Longhorns’ starting pitcher, as three straight Panthers drew walks.
Keith also got on, loading the bases for Herring. His double scored three runs, and suddenly the Panthers were back in the game, down 10-7.
Pratt held Wichita scoreless in the bottom of the fourth, giving themselves a golden opportunity to cut even further into the Longhorn lead.
Ruiz led off the fifth inning with a double that set the stage for home run derby champion Michael McEachern, who blasted a shot over the left field fence to pull Pratt within one with no outs.
Shane McEachern drew a walk, but got caught in a rundown between first and second base for the first out of the inning, and Gilmore’s stand up double was sandwiched between a pair of strikeouts as Wichita got out of the inning up 10-9.
The bottom of the fifth was where the problems started to pile up for Pratt, as Guerrero led off the inning with a double, then scored when McCarthy grounded out.
Two Longhorn batters in a row drew walks, and Wichita was back to the top of the order. Burba’s triple extended the Longhorn lead, and by the end of the inning, Wichita was up 15-9.
Pratt was unable to generate any runs in the top of the sixth, as Keith’s triple was the only Panther hit of the inning.
McNew led off the bottom of the sixth with a single, but was thrown out at second on a fielders choice hit by Kane.
With Kane on first base, Guerrero, McCarthy, Dane Byfield, and Resendez strung together four straight hits to drive in just enough runs to end the game early.
The Longhorns, who went 6-0 in the tournament, finished with 15 hits in the championship game.
The Panthers came up with nine hits in the game. They finished the tournament with a 4-3 record, and all three losses were against the Longhorns.
Ruiz was two-for-two at the plate with a single and a double.  The Panthers also got a pair of doubles from Herring.
Michael McEachern’s home run, Keith’s triple, Gilmore’s double, and Marshall’s single were the only other hits for Pratt.
Other Panthers who saw action in the championship game were Gage Angood, Mitchell Baird, Chase Hageman and Garret Smith.
The Pratt Panthers were coached by Troy McEachern, Chris Pfannenstiel and Wendell Shelite.
The Sumner County Shockers (1-5) finished third in the World Series, while the Country Boys (1-4) of South Central Kansas came in fourth.