The Pratt 86s American Legion baseball team’s season is underway. This season’s version of the 86ers features a blending of players from Pratt and Medicine Lodge. Those two schools are rivals during the scholastic season, but for the summer, differences are put aside in deference to the common good.


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The Pratt 86s American Legion baseball team’s season is underway. This season’s version of the 86ers features a blending of players from Pratt and Medicine Lodge. Those two schools are rivals during the scholastic season, but for the summer, differences are put aside in deference to the common good.

Results have been promising so far, as the squad has fashioned a 3-1 record after its first week of action. A doubleheader was split against Hays to open the campaign, and then the 86ers swept a twin bill against Dodge City. Games against Newton were washed out over this past weekend.

In game one in Hays against a team comprised of mostly Thomas More Prep players, the 86ers prevailed 9-6 in extra innings. With the score knotted at 6 apiece after regulation, Drake Everett started a rally by drawing a base on balls. A single from Scott Beecher and a sac bunt by Jake Siroky put two runners in scoring position. With two down, Austin Barnard came up big, rapping a single that plated the pair. Jake Beecher then followed up with an RBI double for a little insurance.

Pratt scored in every inning except the 4th and 5th, and pitcher BJ Dean was able to hold Hays down enough to qualify for the win. Dean had a pair of doubles and a pair of RBI to go with them to pace the 86er offense. Jake Beecher had a single, a double and 3 runs scored. Austin Barnard plated a pair of ribbies with his clutch hit in extras and Scott Beecher crossed the plate three times, reaching on a single and 2 BB.

The nightcap was a slugfest, with Pratt on the losing end of an 11-8 count. The 86ers got off to a good start, plating five tallies in the first inning and following up with a pair in the second. Hays continued to score steadily throughout the game, however, while Pratt’s offense went cold after the 2nd inning. When it was over, Hays was on top 11-8 and had avoided the sweep.

Against Dodge City, the 86ers won the opener by a 7-1 count. Hurler Bryan Hellman had the Dodges off balance throughout the match, qualifying for the complete game victory. Offensively for Pratt, BJ Dean went yard and brother Skylar Dean went 4-4 with a pair of doubles and a sac fly. Joel Clark was on base all afternoon, receiving four free passes.

In the nightcap, Pratt took the mystery out of the outcome in the opening stanza, plating 11 runs. Yes, 11 runs. The first eight 86ers to step to the plate all scored, and the top three in the line-up scored twice in the frame. The strike zone was a mystery for the erstwhile Dodge City hurler, as he coughed up 5 walks to make things even worse for himself.

When the 86ers weren’t walking, they were whacking. BJ Dean, Skylar Dean, Sheldon Hart and Drake Everett all had singles, and Bryan Hellman and Joe Clark each had 2-baggers in the offensive onslaught.

In addition, Jake Beecher walked and scored twice, Shane McEachern reached once via the BB and came around to score. Even Logan Bertholf, the only 86er not to reach safely in the inning, was credited with an RBI, so everyone in the line-up contributed to the juggernaut.

The rest of the game was just playing out the string. Even Dodge’s 5 tallies in the 4th inning weren’t enough to get them back in the ballgame, especially when the 86ers answered with runs of their own in the 4th, 5th and 6th frames. The final count was a 14-6 victory for Pratt, in a game that wasn’t as close as even that lopsided score might suggest.

With the sweep, the Pratt ran their summer record to 3-1. The weekend series against Newton was lost to soggy conditions, so for the 86ers, their next action will be Thursday at home for the Smoky Ford tournament.