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Rattlers rally by Junction City for 8-7 win for state title PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 17 July 2017 08:08


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By EARL WATT

• Leader & Times

The Liberal Rattlers faced a tough opener at the Babe Ruth State Tournament, knocking off Parsons 4-3, but they dominated their way to the state championship game before they had another gut check performance for an 8-7 win over Junction City and a State Championship.

The Rattlers completed Pool play with dominating wins over Junction City (12-2) and Walnut-Ark Valley (14-4) to advance to the four-team single-elimination championship bracket Sunday.

Braxton Hyde pitched a complete game and only allowed one run on five hits while walking two and striking out four in an 8-1 win over CVL.

Liberal trailed 1-0 after two innings before erupting for five runs in the third, two in the fourth and a single run in the fifth.

Cole Evans and Cesar Burciaga each had doubles in the win. Evans also had three RBIs, and Burciaga along with Elijah McCarter each had two.

Junction City advanced to the state title game with a win over Abilene, and the Rattlers and Junction City faced off in a rematch.

Liberal took a 1-0 lead in the first on an RBI single by Burciaga, and the Rattlers added two more in the third with a single by Evans that scored Hyde and Burciaga, and Liberal led 3-0.

Junction City broke through against Liberal starter Kaleb Wilmes in the fourth by taking advantage of a lead-off walk, and after a sacrifice bunt, a single allowed the runner to score to cut Liberal’s lead to 3-1.

The Rattlers were able to get the run back in the bottom of the fourth after an error allowed Pancho Terrazas to reach first, a one-out single by Ethan Green pushed Terrazas to third, and another error allowed terrazas to score to extend the lead to 4-1.

But a rough fifth inning for Wilmes included four straight singles, and error, and Junction City took  5-4 lead.

Alex Yanez relieved Wilmes, and he allowed two doubles before recording the third out, and Junction City led 7-4.

But the Rattlers rallied in the bottom of the fifth, starting with lead-off singles from Yanez and Evans.

Wilmes followed with a bunt that resulted in Evans being thrown out at second, and Brodie Warren singled to score Yanez and cut the lead to 7-5.

Walks to Terrazas and Max Valles loaded the bases with two outs, and Eric Green was hit by a pitch to score Warren and cut the lead to 7-6.

After a Junction City pitching change, Elijah McCarter followed with a single that scored Terrazas and Valles, and Liberal led 8-7.

Yanez gave up a lead-off walk in the sixth, but the defense performed a fielder’s choice and caught a runner trying to steal third to end the threat, and Yanez retired Junction City in order in the seventh to secure the 8-7 state championship win.

 

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The High Plains Daily Leader and Southwest Daily Times are published Sunday through Friday and reaches homes throughout the Liberal, Kansas retail trade zone. The Leader & Times is the official newspaper of Seward County, USD No. 480, USD No. 483 and the cities of Liberal and Kismet.  The Leader & Times is a member of the Liberal Chamber of Commerce, the Kansas Press Association and the Associated Press.

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