Panthers advance to regional title game

thumb thumb thumb

 Challenged for the first time in 10 games, the Concordia Panthers persevered.
Concordia, which had reeled off 10 consecutive wins by 10 or more runs, scored in the bottom of the seventh inning to get past Nemaha Valley 6-5 in the semifinals of the Class 4A baseball regional tournament Monday night at the Concordia Sports Complex.
 The Panthers had to overcome six errors, and battle back from 5-4 down to advance to the regional championship game, and keep alive its hopes for a second straight trip to the state tournament.
 “I thought we showed some perseverance. At the start of the game we came out kind of tight and didn’t make plays that come routinely,” Concordia coach Brandt Hutchinson said.
 Concordia (16-2) will play Rock Creek in the title game Wednesday night in Wamego.
 Rock Creek defeated Holton 3-2 in the first round and  Wamego 5-2 in the other semifinal on Monday.
 Concordia advanced to the semifinals by shutting out Clay Center 15-0 in the first round.
 Nemaha Valley defeated Abilene, 9-4.
Trailing 5-4, The Panthers tied the game with a run in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Tanner Gilbert, leading off the bottom of the seventh, singled with two out.
 Hutchinson called for Derek Pearson to bunt, but then took it off when the first pitch was a ball.
 When Dustin Rottinghaus threw a second straight ball, Hutchinson put the bunt back on.
 Pearson laid down the bunt, and Nemaha Valley catcher Josh Schraad threw the ball away allowing Gilbert to score all the way from first base for the winning run.
 “He made a beautiful bunt,” Hutchinson said.
 Concordia got on the board first when Drake Hake walked, stole second, went to third on a wild pitch and scored on a ground ball by Nathan Gieber in the bottom of the first inning.
 Two Concordia errors helped Nemaha Valley score three runs in the top of the second inning.
 The Panthers loaded the bases in the bottom of the second when Gilbert reached base on an error and Pearson and Hake walked.
 Jordan Mehl was hit by a pitch to force home Gilbert to make it 3-2.
 Nemaha Valley scored two runs on one hit and three errors in the top of the fourth inning to go up 5-2.
 Concordia answered with two runs in the bottom of the inning.
 Gilbert got things started with a walk and Pearson doubled.
 Will Strommen singled home the first run in the inning.
 A ground ball by Hake got pinch runner Ethan Bechard home, and it was 5-4.
Two Nemaha Valley miscues allowed Concordia to tie the game in the bottom of the sixth inning.
 Mehl reached base on an error to start the inning. He moved to second on a bunt by Trevor Nordell and went to third on a wild pitch.
 A fly ball by Gieber got the tying run home.
The Panthers then scored the winning run in the seventh.
 “We had respect for Nemaha Valley. We knew they were going to be a good team,” Hutchinson said, “We just need to cut down on the errors, and we will. We will in the finals, we will play looser.”
 Gieber pitched three and a third scoreless innings to get the win. He gave up three hits, struck out eight and didn’t walk any.
Mehl allowed five unearned runs on three hits and walked two.
 Gilbert had two hits and scored three runs.
Gieber drove in two runs.
 Concordia cruised past Clay Center in the opening round.
 The Panthers got out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning.
 Nordell singled and scored on a triple by Gieber.
 An error allowed Gieber to score.
 Strommen singled on a ground ball from  Nordell in the second inning to put the Panthers up 3-0.
 Concordia then sent 13 batters to the plate and scored 10 runs in the third inning.
 Hittle tripled with the bases loaded to drive in three runs.
 Strommen had a two-run single and knocked in a run with a fly ball.
 The Panthers scored a run in the bottom of the fourth inning to end the game because of the 15-run rule.
 Blane Payeur singled and scored on a base hit by Gieber.
 Braden Johnson pitched all four innings to get the win. He gave up eight hits, struck out one and didn’t walk any.
 Concordia scored 15 runs on 10 hits.
 Mehl had three hits and scored three runs.
 Strommen was 2-for-3 at the plate with three runs batted in. He scored two runs.
Nordell and Hittle drove in three runs each.
Gieber knocked in two runs.

SPORTS

Chevrolet/Buick rallies for 9-8 win

Concordia Chevrolet/Buick scored four runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to rally past AuBurn Pharmacy in Peewee Baseball play Monday night at the Concordia Sports Complex. AuBurn Pharmacy had taken an 8-5 lead with a run in the top of the fifth inning. Taking advantage of... [More]

CNB earns split with Clay Center

Citizens National Bank knocked off Clay Center 6-1 to earn a split in a K-18 Baseball doubleheader Friday night at the Concordia Sports Complex. Clay Center shut out Citizens National Bank 6-0 in the first game of the twinbill. Hunter Schroeder singled and scored on a single... [More]

More Sports

NEWS

Concannon says school funding bill is a step forward

After only two days in a special session called in response to the Kansas Supreme Court's threat to close schools on June 30, the Kansas Legislature came to a decision regarding the equalization of school funds. “I'm pleased that there was a compromised bill with full bipartisan... [More]

Thoman has 75 years of harvest memories

Wheat harvest is always a major event for Cloud County farmers but few can share as many memories of harvest as Ted Thoman. Thoman, 93, has been part of the harvest scene for 75 years, only taking time off during World War II and a brief period following his medical discharge... [More]

Wind project proposed

As the second windiest state in the United States, Kansas has seen an influx of wind energy development in the past few years and Cloud County is no different. Founded in 2003 and now one of the largest and most successful developers, Tradewind Energy, based in Lenexa, Kan.,... [More]

More News

OPINIONS

Prairie Pondering

 “The Walk” . . .  Not so long ago, every country music star probably had “Time Changes Everything” stashed somewhere in his repertoire. It came to mind recently when I attended the high school graduation of my granddaughter in Olathe.  When... [More]

Letter to the Editor 5-27-16

Dear Editor,  Last week, Gov. Sam Brownback announced his solution to the state’s budget problem, which includes significant cuts in KanCare, the state’s Medicaid program. There has been a flurry of inaccurate or incomplete information, and we need to set the... [More]

More Opinions

Buy Photos