Pratt High baseball downed Smoky Valley 16-0 and 9-1 on Thursday at Lindsborg.
The Pratt High baseball team had to travel to Lindsborg twice this year. The first time they went, the baseball field was declared unplayable, so the fellas simply made the best of things and just went over and cheered on the girls.
All that did for Smoky Valley baseball was delay the inevitable, however. In Thursday night’s make-up doubleheader, the Greenbacks won both games handily, making the return trip to Lindsborg worth the effort.
Pratt won the opener 16-0 in a laugher. Scoring 8 runs in the top of first inning set the tone for the Frogs. They added 6 in the second and tacked on 2 in the third.
Meanwhile, PHS pitcher Grant Bolen was mowing down the Vikings. The Smokys were not able to muster so much as a single baserunner against Bolen, who tossed a 3-inning perfect game on just 31 pitches.
Game one only took 57 minutes, and was won by Pratt 16-0 in run-rule fashion after three frames.
Game two was a little bit more competitive as the Vikings had saved their ace for the nightcap. It took PHS until the third inning to get to him, but then they scored 3 in the third and 2 more in the fourth.
Kaden Evert went 4 innings on the bump for Pratt, yielding just 1 run on 2 hits for the win. AJ Arensdorf also threw a couple of innings and Travis Theis pitched the seventh, neither giving up a tally.
In the fifth, the Greenbacks added a run with base hits from Wyatt Schrag (who had 3 hits and a walk in the game) and Landen Studer. A leadoff triple by Travis Theis set up the sixth inning. Justin Lamatsch, AJ Arensdorf and Nate Kolm followed with hits and Pratt plated 2 more.
Back-to-back doubles by Theis (4th hit of the game) and Lamatsch (3rd hit of the game) gave PHS an additional insurance run in the seventh.
Pratt won game two 9-1 but it could have been worse as they left 11 on base. Still, it was a convincing win to end the regular season with.
“I told the kids we want to focus not on the opponent but on how we want to play,” explained PHS head baseball coach Ron Hill. “We showed a lot of discipline at the plate tonight. Our approach was good. We hit behind the runner a lot. Even a lot of our outs came on hard-hit balls.”
“And, obviously, our pitching was very good,” Hill added. “I like our arms.”
PHS enters the post season with a mark of 18-2, the #1 seed in the Holcomb 4Aii regional which will be played at Garden City Community College. In round one, they will face 8-12 Hugoton at 1 p.m. on Tuesday. 13-5 Holcomb faces 12-8 Larned in the other semi-final.
“If we’re able to focus on playing our game, I like our chances,” added Hill.
In what has to be one of the toughest top-to-bottom regionals in KSHSAA, Lady Green comes in as the 4th seed at 13-7 in the Hugoton softball regional. They will face 15-3 Holcomb at 2 p.m. on Monday. The other semifinal matches 15-3 Kingman against 14-6 Hugoton.