The Tri-County Huskers 13 and Under traveling baseball team captured the USSSA State Championship on July 1 after sweeping all six games in the series. Players on the team come from Pratt, St. John and Greensburg.
The Tri-County Huskers baseball team won the United States Specialty Sports Association 13 and Under State Championship on July 1 in Kansas City with a true team effort.
“We are the 13 and under state champs,” said Huskers Head Coach Larry Eisenhauer of Pratt.
This traveling team is now preparing for the USSSA World series that will be July 5-8 in Liberty, Mo. Kansas will be one of seven states at that tournament.
The team, made up of players from Pratt, St. John, Greensburg and Haviland, went undefeated in the state tournament which took place over four days in the 3 & 2 Sports Complex in Kansas City and Lenexa.
The Huskers went undefeated in six games in the tournament that had 53 teams. Eisenhauer said the Huskers were the most team-oriented players in the tournament. While the other teams had better players, the Huskers were better as a team, getting hits from top to bottom in the lineup. Pitching was a strong suit for the team.
“We used eight pitchers. That’s not bad to have eight pitchers that are all moderately to very successful,”
Team members work hard and play hard to achieve their success. And it has paid off for the team every season.
“As a group, we have never had a losing record for a season,” Eisenhauer said.
The toughest game for them was the championship game against the Wichita Yankees but the Huskers came out on top winning 4-3.
The Huskers scored one run in the first and second innings then Wichita responded with one run in the third and two in the fourth to take the lead at 2- 3. The Huskers tied the game in the bottom of the fifth then scored again to take the lead then blanked Wichita for the rest of the game for the 4-3 championship victory.
This game came on the heels of their semi final game where they run ruled the Augusta Bullets 8-0 in five innings. This was a bit of revenge for the Huskers who were eliminated from the tournament last year by the Bullets.
Game scores for the Huskers: Game one-Huskers 6, Eudora Titans 4; Game two-Huskers 9, Buck Commander 6; Game three-Huskers 6, Eudora Titans 2; Game four-Huskers 12, BC Bulls 2; Game five-Huskers 8, Augusta Bullets 0; Game six-Huskers 4, Wichita Yankees 3.
There are 12 players on the Huskers team, six from Pratt, two from St. John and four from Greensburg. Players are either eighth graders or will be freshmen in the fall.
As the team heads to the World Series, they are hoping to better their last appearance when they took third place in the 11 and under division two years ago.
The Huskers have played in the USSSA for three years. The USSSA is a governing body that covers basketball, baseball, hockey, volleyball and soccer. The Huskers have also played in the National Baseball Congress for six years. While USSSA is a national organization, the NBC is more of a Kansas thing, Eisenhauer said.
Tri-County Huskers team members, town and jersey numbers are: Pratt 23-Tucker Eisenhauer, 15- Carson Hoeme, 21-Dawson Malone, 7-Dawson Evert, 25-Gerardo Martinez, 13-Carter Helm. St. John: 35-Caden McCandless, 8-Connor Gillespie. Greensburg: 3-Caydan Pore, 1-Connor Pore, 27- Brady Deterding, 30-Martin Marshall.
The Tri-County Huskers coaching staff is Head Coach Larry Eisenhauer, assistants Chad Pore, Brian Deterding, Jeff Malone and Mark McCandless.
Championship game stats: runs-4, hits-5, RBIs- 4, base on balls-4, strikeouts-7, stolen bases-6.
Runs: Eisenhauer-1, Evert-1, Hoeme-1, Marshall-1. Hits: Eisenhauer-1, McCandless-1, Caydan Pore-1, Helm-2. RBIs: Eisenhauer-1, McCandless- 1, Helm-2. Base on balls: Eisenhauer-1, McCandless- 1, Cayden Pore-1, Evert-1. Stolen bases: Hoeme-1, Marshall-1, Martinez-1, McCandless-1, Caydan Pore-2.
Pitching: Deterding: IP-2, H-2, R-0, SO-5, BB-0, ER-0. Hoeme: IP-2, H-4, runs-3, SO-3, BB-1, ER-3. Malone: IP-3, H-0, R-0, SO-1, BB-0, ER-0.