Finding itself in the third place game at the 4A state tournament in Salina, the Pratt offense awoke on Saturday, with the Greenbacks scoring two runs in both the first and second innings to take a 4-1 lead into the third.


They continued to generate offense, adding runs in the third and fourth innings and taking a 6-2 lead over Baxter Springs.


Finding itself in the third place game at the 4A state tournament in Salina, the Pratt offense awoke on Saturday, with the Greenbacks scoring two runs in both the first and second innings to take a 4-1 lead into the third.

They continued to generate offense, adding runs in the third and fourth innings and taking a 6-2 lead over Baxter Springs.

Unfortunately, they would not score again as the Lions rallied for four runs in the sixth and two more in the seventh to stun the Greenbacks 7-6 and end their season with two straight losses.

Pratt had plenty of chances to add to its lead throughout the game, pounding out 13 hits but only scoring seven runs.

"We controlled the game the whole way," head coach Pat Stivers said. "But when you commit five errors, that'll get you beat any time, especially in state tournament games. We shot ourselves in the foot running the bases a few times, and it all added up.”

After the Lions tied the game in the sixth inning at 6-6, Pratt scored the go-ahead run on an RBI single by Justin Gilmore. They had two runners in scoring position with just one out and could not find ways to add to their lead, with the next two batters popping out to end the inning with Pratt clinging to a one-run advantage.

But the Lions had all the momentum late, picking up where they left off in the sixth and getting three hits off B.J. Dean, including the winning single by Hunter Miller.

Skylar Dean got the start for Pratt, pitching 2 and 2/3 innings before giving way to Gilmore, who lasted 2 and 2/3 innings. Jake Siroky came on in the sixth before B.J. Dean came in to close things out. He inherited runners on first and third and let one score on a pitch in the dirt while the other scored on an RBI single to tie the game.

 

St. James Academy 13, Pratt 1 – Final 5 innings

 

A day after pitching led the Greenbacks to a 3-1 over Maize South in their state championship opener, the Pratt hurlers struggled against the hard-hitting St. James Academy Thunder.

Pratt starter Justin Gilmore immediately found trouble against the Thunder, who scored three runs in the top of the first on three walks and two hits. Gilmore lasted 2 and 2/3 innings before being relieved by Austin Barnard, who gave up three-straight hits followed by three-straight walks without recording an out. Skylar Dean stopped the bleeding by getting the third out in the third, but by then, St. James had a commanding lead, 11-0.

Meanwhile, the Pratt offense struggled with St. James Academy starter Adam Burns, who did not allow a hit and struck out five in three short innings for the Thunder. He was relieved by Jake Heller in the fourth to save innings for the championship game.

Pratt was able to get a few hits off Heller, scoring Easton Herring on Skylar Dean’s sacrifice fly to right field in the fourth inning.

Jake Siroky pitched the fifth inning for Pratt, giving up two runs – one earned – on one hit.

Pratt 3, Maize South 1

 

Skylar Dean’s RBI bunt single scored the go-ahead run in the bottom of the fourth and Pratt held on the rest of the way during a wild first game in the first round of the 4A state tournament.

Dean’s bunt was one of many swinging bunts on the day for both teams as a result of tough pitchers on the mound.

Jake Siroky had two RBIs on the day and a double to lead the offense. Pitcher B.J. Dean pitched a complete game and allowed just five hits and one run. He struck out five and walked five while dealing with plenty of Maize South baserunners.

The Mavericks had the bases loaded with nobody out in the top of the fourth, but couldn’t bring home a runner as Dean struck out one batter and got two pop ups to get out of the jam. In the fifth, he walked three straight batters to begin the inning but got a pickoff from Jake Siroky to second base for one out and a double play on a great catch in the outfield by Garret Smith, who threw it back to second, doubling off the baserunner.