The Pratt Gators entered the NBC State tournament playing some solid baseball after a 2nd place finish at Smoky Ford's Wood Bat Tournament. They reached the semi-finals before bowing out.
The Pratt Gators entered the NBC State tournament playing some solid baseball after a 2nd place finish at Smoky Ford's Wood Bat Tournament.
They had earned enough points throughout NBC tournament play to be seeded second in the State Tournament but nonetheless were pitted against a solid Wichita Nationals team.
The Gators led 2-1 after the first inning with Kaden Evert hitting a single and Kauy Kuhn drawing walk and both scored on RBIs from Travis Theis and Grant Bolen. After the first inning, the Gators were held scoreless until the 6th inning when Theis tripled and Bolen earned an RBI on a sacrifice grounder to short.
The Gators entered the top of the 7th inning down 7- 3 and needing 4 runs to stay alive. The Gators responded in big fashion as Nate Kolm started off a 6-run rally with single followed by hits from Evert, Kuhn, Bolen, Blankenship and Schrag, a walk from Theis and Zenger was hit by a pitch. This put the Gators up 9 -7 with Evert earning the save to finish out bottom of the seventh.
The Gators went into the next game of the day hitting on all cylinders— throttling their next opponent, the Elite Baseball, 21 -0 in 3 innings. Every Gator but one scored at least twice and had at least one hit.
The Gators started bracket play Saturday morning against the Wichita Bullets and the winner would make it into the semi-finals. Theis startedoff the first inning with a double and caused a throwing error on a steal to third, allowing him to score. Two more runs were scored in the second. Schrag reached base on an error and was driven in by a single from Thompson. Evert then doubled getting Thompson in for the score before ending the inning with a 3 -1 lead.
A five-run rally in the fourth was started with a single from Nate Kolm. Thompson was hit by a pitch, then Zenger got a single, driving in a run. Evert followed with a double driving in Zenger with Theis drawing a walk. Bolen drove in Zenger and Evert with a two-run double, giving the Gators an 8 -1 lead after four. Grant Bolen pitched a solid game into the fifth when Travis Theis came in for the save in a 12-5 victory over the Bullets.
After beating the Wichita Bullets, the Gators were the last home townteam left standing to compete against two hand-picked teams from the Wichita area and one from the Manhattan/ Junction City area.
The Gators played a hard-fought game before succumbing to the Twins Red in a 9 - 1 loss.
The coaches were very upbeat about how this group of kids competed all year. Coach Schrag commented "This is a great group of boys to coach and be around. They have done everything we have asked of them and they keep getting better each year. I look forward to seeing what they can accomplish next year."