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PrattTribune - Pratt, KS
  • Hays takes pair from Greenbacks

  • There were some positives Thursday even though the Pratt High School baseball team was swept in a doubleheader at Hays High. The Indians took care of the visiting Greenbacks in both ends of the twin bill— 7-1 in the opener and 8-3 in the nightcap.
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  • There were some positives Thursday even though the Pratt High School baseball team was swept in a doubleheader at Hays High. The Indians took care of the visiting Greenbacks in both ends of the twin bill— 7-1 in the opener and 8-3 in the nightcap.
    Head coach Pat Stivers was pleased at the way his team kept battling, however, even though they were down early in both contests. “It’s a testament to our kids, how hard they fight,” Stivers said. “Hays wanted to put us away early in both games, but our kids wouldn’t let either game get out of hand and just kept battling.”
    The opener saw Pratt only able to plate 1 run on 4 hits while committing two errors. The Indians scored 7 runs on 11 hits and also erred twice.
    Will Fellhoelter did a pretty good job on the mound overall for the Greenbacks, according to Coach Stivers, but on the few occasions when he did miss his spots, the Indians made him pay. Hays clubbed 3 round-trippers during game one, including a 3-run shot in the bottom of the fifth that broke open a 4-1 contest— leading to the Indians 7-1 victory.
    In the nightcap, the Frogs were inconsistent on the mound and in the field, allowing Hays to establish the early lead. After a 2-run double gave Hays the lead in the bottom of the first, the Indians took advantage of Pratt’s generosity in the bottom of the second to seize command of the contest.
    Hays capitalized on 3 bases-on-balls and a PHS error to score 3 runs on no hits. “(Brandon) Ruckle just couldn’t throw strikes. Everything was up in the zone,” Coach Stivers explained. “You just have to work through that, but tonight he couldn’t. This was unlike the other night (against Lyons), when he pitched really well, and kept everything down.”
    The ferocious wind may have been a factor in pitchers being able to locate the ball, as hurlers from both teams yielded quite a few bases on balls.
    Hays added 2 more runs on a couple of hits in the third inning to go up 7-0. Sean Noel relieved on the mound after that and held the Indians to just one additional run the rest of the way— giving the Greenbacks a chance to get back into the game. “Sean did a good job when he came in to pitch,” Coach Stivers observed.
    In the fourth, the PHS offense began to show some signs of life. Jacob Kurz led off, reaching base via the BB but the inning was turned around when he was caught stealing. In the fifth, the Frogs threatened with two outs. Will Fellhoelter reached on an error and Hayden Schrag drew a walk, but the pair were left stranded.
    Page 2 of 2 - In the sixth, PHS broke through. Devon Evert singled leading off. Heath Milner courtesy-ran for Evert (Pratt High’s catcher) and raced all the way home on a double by Jacob Kurz. Dakota Venard and Sean Noel both walked to load the bases. Kurz scored on a passed ball and Ruckle drove Venard home with a sac fly. The inning ended with no further damage, but it had been a good round for the Frogs.
    Unfortunately, PHS went down quietly in the top of the seventh after Hays had gotten one back in the bottom of the sixth, and the game ended 8-3 in favor of the Indians.
    “I was proud of the way we battled back tonight,” Stivers commented. “We showed that we are resilient.”
    “One thing we need to continue to work on is our focus,” Stivers continued. “Our kids are young. They’re going to be inconsistent. They tend to occasionally lose focus on what they’re doing. We need to set long-term goals with this group, we just need to keep working.”
    Coach Stivers concluded by saying, “We’ll get better as the year goes on. We’ll see where we are at the end of the season. We don’t have to beat Hays (a very good 5A team) to get out of our sub-state. Playing them during the season makes us better, though.”
    PHS drops to 3-5 on the season with the defeats. They will return home to face CKL foe Halstead in a doubleheader at Green Sports Complex on Tuesday April 29 at 4:30.
    Game two
    PHS 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 3 2 3
    Hays 2 3 2 0 1 0 x 8 6 1

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