Big fifth inning lifts CHS to regional win over Larned
Through four and a third innings of the Class 3A regional opener, the Concordia Panthers had managed just one run and two hits against Larned starting pitcher Aidan Smyth.
Smyth had walked four, but had picked off three Concordia baserunners.
The Panthers finally got to Smyth with two out in the bottom of the fifth inning.
A three-run triple by Dyelan Reed and a two-run double by Gavin Thomas propelled third-seeded Concordia to a 6-1 win over sixth-seeded Larned Monday afternoon at the Concordia Sports Complex.
“Larned was the best six seed in the state,” Concordia coach Brandt Hutchinson said, “We knew going in Larned was going to be a good team. It was a good win. Even though we made some mistakes, we found a way to win.”
The Panthers (14-5) advance to the regional semifinals to play second-seeded Thomas More Prep-Marian (14-3) at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Concordia Sports Complex.
Thomas More Prep-Marian thumped seventh-seeded Beloit 13-3 in five innings in the first round of the tournament.
Top-seeded Minneapolis (17-2) shut out Lincoln/Sylvan Grove 10-0 in five innings, and fourth-seeded Hoisington/Central Plains (13-7) blanked Ellsworth/Wilson 10-0 in five innings.
Minneapolis and Hoisington/Central Plains will meet in the other semifinal game Wednesday at 2 p.m.
The championship game is scheduled for 5 p.m. Wednesday with the winner advancing to the state tournament in Emporia.
Concordia had three baserunners in the bottom of the first inning against Smyth, but had two of them picked up.
Hunter Schroeder led off the bottom of the second inning with a single, but was caught stealing.
Concordia starter Chase Parker worked out of jams in the first, second and fourth innings.
The Panthers scored their first run off Smyth in the bottom of the fourth.
Chas Carlgren walked with one out, and Reed singled.
Smyth attempted to pick off Carlgren, but made a bad throw.
Carlgren was able to beat the throw home to make it a 1-0 game.
Schroeder and Thomas walked to load the bases, but Smyth got Parker to ground into a double-play.
Larned (10-9) scored its only run off of Parker with two out in the top of the fifth inning.
Smyth walked and Jack Stelter followed with a run producing double.
Tryston Jochems led off the bottom of the fifth inning with a walk. He was forced out at second on a ground ball by Nick Vignery.
Vignery then got picked off.
Jacob Williams, Wyatt Trost and Carlgren walked to load the bases.
Reed laced a triple over the head of the Larned left fielder to empty the bases and give Concordia a 4-1 advantage.
“He hit it hard with two out. We were running on contact, and he was able to clear the bases. A big two-out hit,” Hutchinson said.
Schroeder walked, and Thomas lined a two-run double to extend the Panthers' lead to 6-1.
Jochems and Reed combined to shut Larned out over the final two innings.
Parker gave up one run on two hits, struck out nine and walked five in five innings to get the win.
Jochems worked an inning and a third and allowed one hit. He struck out two and walked three.
Reed got the final two outs. He struck out one. He also had two of Concordia's five hits and drove in three runs.