Wednesday, 18 July 2018
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AA Legion Baseball Zone Tournament - Doniphan Beats Sabetha to Head to State for Fourth Straight Year
By Mike Smith
Copyright: MSC Sports

2017 Northeast Kansas League Legion Baseball Standings - click here

2017 KNZA McDonald's "Player of the Game" selections - click here

AA State Tournament (at Marysville) bracket - click here

AAA State Tournament (at Ottawa) bracket - click here

Thursday night set up to be a win and you’re in spot in the legion baseball AA Zone tournament at Sabetha between Doniphan County and Sabetha and it proved to be a battle to the end. Doniphan County with a 6-5 win earned a spot at the AA State tournament for the fourth-straight year. 

Doniphan County got going early notching four-hits in the top of the first including a RBI double by Zeb Speer and RBI single by Bryson Kirkland helping them score three runs to take the initial lead. Sabetha got on the board in the bottom of the second with two runs on a walk, error and pair of hits including an RBI single by Mason Spellmeier making it 3-2. The lead swung to Sabetha in the third as they once again got the first to guys on and used three-hits, a walk and sacrifice fly to plate two more runs and give them a 4-3 advantage. After getting another run in the fifth Sabetha led 5-3 but Doniphan County got a run back in the fifth and then tied the contest in the top of the sixth and had the bases loaded looking to take the lead but Sabetha escaped the inning giving up just the one run making it 5-5. Tied entering the seventh Doniphan County got a one-out base runner in Levi Watts who was hit by a pitch for the second time in the game but then the next batter struckout making it a two-out situation, Clayton Ridout hit a single to center to continue the inning then Brock Blair delivered a single to bring in Watts for the go-head run. Up 6-5 Doniphan County was looking to shut the door in the bottom of the seventh after a infield popup Sabetha got a single by Brayden Becker but Reid Greaser on in relief of starter Watts got two more fly balls and Doniphan County earned the 6-5 win. 

Doniphan County on the mound had Watts throw three strong innings giving up four runs on five hits and three walks, while striking out one and Greaser finished out the game going four innings picking up the win surrendering just one run on four-hits and struckout two. Kirkland led the offense going 2-4, while Wil Smith was 1-2 with a double and two walks but it was Blair's RBI single in the seventh that was the decisive hit. Blair's game winning earned him McDonald's "Player of the Game" honors on KNZA. 

In the loss Sabetha had Braden Argabright tossed a solid six and two-third innings giving up six runs on eight hits, five walks and two hit batters, while striking out four. Kyle Grimm led the offense going 3-3 with an RBI, while Brownlee was 2-4 with a run scored. The loss closes the season for Sabetha with a 24-12 record as the legion program won 20+ games for the seventh time in the last eight years. 

The win moves Doniphan County to 22-8 on the season and into the AA State tournament next week in Marysville. The trip to State is the fourth straight for Doniphan County as they are in their fifth straight season of 20+ wins. 

AA State tournament is set to commence Wednesday, July 26th in Marysville. Teams joining Doniphan County and the host Marysville at State this year will be Hoisington and Hays Monarchs from Zone 4, along with Russell and Beloit from Zone 3 and Garnett and Iola from Zone 2. Doniphan County will play the first game of the State tournament on Wednesday, July 26th at 1:00pm versus Hoisington. (All Doniphan County State games will be broadcasted on 103.9 KNZA) 

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Hiawatha, KS 66434
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