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Humburg jumping well for Ness City -4/16/2014, 9:59 AM

Doubles team rolls at HHS Invitational -4/16/2014, 9:59 AM

HHS soccer improves to 6-2, beats Great Bend -4/16/2014, 9:59 AM

Prep golf results, April 15 -4/16/2014, 9:59 AM

Tiger tennis ends MIAA season in loss -4/16/2014, 9:59 AM

Tiger golfers ninth in St. Charles, Mo. -4/16/2014, 9:59 AM

Track results, Redmen Relays, April 15 -4/16/2014, 9:58 AM

TMP boys win at Ellsworth -4/16/2014, 9:58 AM

TMP softball sweeps Ellis -4/16/2014, 9:58 AM

TMP soccer suffers loss at Garden City -4/16/2014, 9:58 AM

TMP boys' golf third at Goodland -4/16/2014, 9:58 AM

TMP baseball rolls past Ellis -4/16/2014, 9:58 AM

HHS baseball splits with Junction City -4/15/2014, 9:53 AM

TMP softball swept at Colby -4/15/2014, 10:10 AM

TMP golf begins season today -4/15/2014, 10:09 AM

HHS soccer rallies for victory -4/15/2014, 10:09 AM

Rare time off for Tiger softball -4/15/2014, 10:09 AM

KSU, WSU Barnstormers coming to Hays -4/15/2014, 10:09 AM

Watson wins Masters -4/14/2014, 10:08 AM

Royals swept by Twins -4/14/2014, 10:07 AM

Harvick wins at Darlington -4/13/2014, 6:51 AM

Royals ace James Shields struggles in loss to Twins -4/13/2014, 6:42 AM

K-State's Deante Burton feels ready to take his game up a notch -4/13/2014, 6:39 AM

Former Jayhawks address football team about facing struggles -4/13/2014, 6:39 AM

HHS basketball camp May 27 to 29 -4/13/2014, 6:32 AM

Tigers’ Wolf second at K.T. Woodman -4/13/2014, 6:32 AM

FHSU tennis drops pair of MIAA outings -4/13/2014, 6:31 AM

FHSU softball 3-1 in weekend -4/13/2014, 6:31 AM

Tiger offense shines in Spring Game -4/13/2014, 6:31 AM

Tiger baseball 1-3 in series -4/13/2014, 6:30 AM

Mattheyer jumps onto scene at Ellis -4/13/2014, 6:30 AM

HHS golf finishes second in Garden City -4/13/2014, 6:32 AM

HHS pitcher, catcher share chemistry -4/13/2014, 7:56 AM

HHS relay team wins Elite -4/12/2014, 6:37 PM

Panama-born Chen closing in on retired Rivera -4/11/2014, 10:29 AM

FHSU set for Spring Game -4/11/2014, 10:27 AM

HHS softball blows by Dodge City -4/11/2014, 10:25 AM

HHS soccer wins in OT -4/11/2014, 10:25 AM

HHS golf fifth in McPherson -4/11/2014, 10:24 AM

Indian swim team ninth at Topeka Invitational -4/11/2014, 10:26 AM

Big win for TMP soccer -4/11/2014, 10:23 AM

Ortiz turns the page -4/11/2014, 10:27 AM

Bill Haas takes lead after first round at Masters -4/11/2014, 10:26 AM

TMP track and field competes at Russell -4/11/2014, 10:24 AM

Rough outing for TMP softball -4/11/2014, 10:23 AM

Royals pick up win against Rays -4/10/2014, 10:27 AM

Victoria’s Nowak decides on Colby -4/10/2014, 10:28 AM

Huser headed overseas -4/10/2014, 10:28 AM

FHSU in the MIAA mix -4/10/2014, 10:28 AM

Tiger baseball falls to red-hot Panthers -4/10/2014, 10:29 AM

Embiid to enter NBA draft -4/9/2014, 5:42 PM

Plainville's Wiesner signs for wrestling -4/9/2014, 5:34 PM

FHSU tennis wins at Hastings -4/9/2014, 5:19 PM

Sports Scores

Tuesday

Prep basketball

Boys

Atwood 76, St. Francis 65

Dighton 62, Oberlin 47

Hillsboro 50, Goodland 47

Lakeside 42, Lincoln 32

Minneapolis 68, Russell 35

Rock Hills 42, Natoma 37

Salina Central 62, Andover 58

Salina South 62, Sacred Heart 47

Sharon Springs 75, Leoti 38

St. John's Beloit-Tipton 57, Osborne 34

Sylvan-Lucas 61, Thunder Ridge 48

Girls

Dighton 44, Atwood 11

Dodge City 71, Hays High 28

Hesston 51, Goodland 18

Hoisington 60, Victoria 46

Hoxie 65, St. Francis 13

Lincoln 33, Lakeside 26

Minneapolis 47, Otis-Bison 24

Osborne 59, Wilson 34

Sharon Springs 63, Oberlin 42

Sylvan-Lucas 43, Natoma 41 (ot)

Tescott 41, Rock Hills 33

Trego 56, Leoti 27

Thunder Ridge 33, St. John's Beloit-Tipton 30

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SPOTLIGHT
Offense boosts Eagles to another win

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Offense boosts Eagles to another win

Published on -8/2/2013, 10:35 AM

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By CONOR NICHOLL

cnicholl@dailynews.net

Hayden Hutchison leads the Hays Senior Legion baseball team in virtually every statistic, including a .491 batting average. He finished 2 of 6 with two RBIs and a run scored, though did line out hard twice Thursday night.

Kade Parker had the third-best average on the team at .383, but didn't hit because coach Brad Kelly used Cameron Klaus as the designated hitter for Parker, the game's starting pitcher.

Still, the rest of the Eagles' offense delivered in a big way for the second straight contest. Hays collected 18 hits, including five from Chandler Rule and three apiece by John Griffith and Layne Downing, and delivered a 16-4 victory against Finney County in the championship bracket semifinal of the Class AAA state tournament at Larks Park. The game was called after eight innings because of the mercy rule.

"It's huge when you have other people step up," Griffith said. "(Hayden) has been the catalyst for our offense the entire year, there is no doubt about that. When you have other people step up, that is huge for your team."

Hays trailed 2-0 after the first inning, then tallied one in the second, two in the third, one in the fourth, four in the fifth, three in the sixth and five in the eighth. The Eagles moved to 26-17 and joined Pittsburg as the only 2-0 teams left in the eight-team, double-elimination tournament. Hays leads the tournament in scoring by a wide margin and has defeated its first two opponents 28-6 combined. Kade Parker (5-2) threw a complete game for the win.

"It's a mentality thing," Griffith said. "We realize that it's win or go home. We are just really going up to the plate with a plan. We are seeing some results, because we are going up there with a different mentality than we've probably had all year, and it's really helping us."

Hays, the defending state champion, needs to win two more contests to capture another state crown. The Eagles will play Pittsburg at 5 p.m. today, while Finney County plays in a consolation game around noon. Clayton Basgall is the scheduled starter for Hays.

"When you are on a roll like we kind of are right now, especially offensively, you just want to keep playing, and kind of stay in that groove, and luckily for us, we get to play again tomorrow and hopefully our bats stay hot," Eagles coach Brad Kelly said.

Finney County coach Lyle Befort missed Thursday's game because of school in-service and will likely miss today's contest, too. Assistant coach Kirk Dechant helped run the Blues (28-9).

"He and I are pretty much on the same page," Dechant said. "Put it on the field, and go from there."

Garden City started Mario Montoya, who has kept opponents off-balance with his slower speeds this season. Montoya (4-1) worked out of the first inning when Hutchison lined into a double play.

In the bottom of the first, the Blues delivered two runs off an infield single, an error on a bunt, a clear obstruction call on a ground ball at second base, a walk and a force out.

"I was wound tight there at the beginning," Kelly said. "These games are so important. If you are going to win a state championship, you have to win your first two. Our guys did a good job of probably calming me down more than anything else."

In the second, Rule started a rally with a leadoff single. He advanced to second on a Montoya throwing error on a pickoff and scored on a Griffith single.

"Hays is a good hitting team, and Mario has had some success in the past against guys that are good hitting teams," Dechant said. "But he is like any pitcher. He has to hit his spots, and he needs all of his pitches going, and he didn't have all of his pitches going. The curveball wasn't working. It was mostly fastballs and trying to place them."

Griffith, a WaKeeney-Trego graduate, can't play spring baseball because the Golden Eagles don't offer the sport.

A standout football and basketball player and Tabor College basketball signee, Griffith is in his first season of varsity baseball.

He has struck out a team-high 39 times, but carries a .317 average because of a .464 average on balls in play. Kelly said Griffith has one of the squad's quicker bat speeds and has seen the left-handed Griffith often hit batting practice homers, though Griffith has not homered.

"You keep on waiting that it is going to happen in a game sometime, and people are going to ooh and aah about it a little bit, but his ball does travel far when he squares it up," Kelly said.

He collected a run-scoring single and scored in the fifth and singled and scored in the sixth.

"It's all about your hands being quick and everything like that," Griffith said. "I don't think I have ever had anybody tell me to swing harder. It's just kind of one of those things that when I am making contact with the ball, it is going to come out with some pop. It's just kind of how I have always hit the ball."

In the fifth, Rule, who bats fourth behind Hutchison, led off the inning with a double, one of five hits and two doubles in the inning. In the sixth, Rule again led off the inning. This time, he singled, one of four straight base hits to start the inning.

"I can't really express how big it is for us," Kelly said. "We need guys across the lineup. It just can't be Hayden all the time. ... Any time we can multiple guys going like we did tonight, we are a dangerous ball club."

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