Three teams sit atop Ripken tournament
By J. LEVI BURNFIN
Three teams head into the final day of the Cal Ripken 9-and-under State Tournament today with a 3-1 record. But only one controls its own destiny.
Paola, which lost to Parsons 6-3 on Friday, has already beaten the two other teams with 3-1 records — Dodge City and Cimarron River — eariler in the tournament. With the first tie-breaker for the tournament being head-to-head matchups, that means all Paola has to do is win today against Garden City in the tournament finale at 2:30 p.m. at Peebles Sports Complex and they will be state champions.
Meanwhile, Dodge City and Cimarron River match up at 12:15 to decide who is in line for the tournament title should Paola fall. If Paola finishes off the tournament with a win, however, the winner of Dodge City and Cimarron River still has a shot of being invited to the regional tournament in North Platte, Neb., on July 26-31, making the game that much bigger.
Paola 8, Dodge City 6
One big inning from Dodge City, which scored all six of its runs in the fourth inning of Sunday's opener, was not enough to overcome Paola's consistent offensive attack. Paola scored two in the first, three in the third, two more in the fourth and its final tally in the fifth for the victory over Dodge City.
Paola's top four hitters did most of the damage, scoring six of the team's eight runs in the contest. Paola pitcher Wyatt Foley recorded the win.
The victory kept Paola in the driver's seat for the tournament title.
Cimarron River 5, Parsons 3
Parsons delivered the first strike when catcher Hunter Bennett came around to score in the top of the first. However, Cimarron River delivered back-to-back two-run innings in the second and third to take a 4-1 lead — a lead they would not concede. Cimarron River scored an insurance run in the bottom of the fourth — a run that was almost the deciding factor. Parsons loaded the bases in the top of the fifth, scoring two, threatening to tie with the tying runs on base but ultimately could not push them across.
Cimarron River's Braden Holder picked up the win.
Winfield 9, Garden City 3
Both teams searching for their first wins, Winfield and Garden City clawed for every run they could push across in a six-inning affair on Sunday. Winfield jumped out to a 6-0 lead through three innings, scoring two in the first, one in the second and three in the third. Garden City answered with two in the fourth, but threatened for even more.
With only one out, they loaded the bases with Zane Buns at the plate. Buns delivered a clutch hit to right field to score two, pushing Sebastian Rodriguez to third. However, Garden City was not able to plate Rodriguez in the next few at bats as they trailed 6-2 through 3.5 innings. Winfield scored once more in the fourth and twice in the fifth for insurance. Garden City was close to another big inning in the sixth but were only able to score once.
The win brought Winfield's record to 1-3 and Garden City dropped to 0-4.
Dodge City 7, Parsons 1
Dodge jumped out of the gate for a quick 2-0 lead in the first and starter Aiden Sowers was dominant in the six-inning victory over Parsons. Sowers struck out six in the complete-game effort, picking up the win and sending Dodge City to the crucial matchup with Paola today. Dodge City began to pull away in the third with back-to-back two-run innings. They added their seventh and final run in the top of the sixth before Parsons scratched one across in the bottom half.
The loss dropped Parsons out of tournament contention but they will be playing today at 10 a.m. against Winfield. The winner will claim fourth place.