David Reeder

Special to the Grove Sun

VERDIGRIS-Things got off to a slow start for Kansas at the 3A Regional Playoff at Verdigrisís Cardinal Complex on Thursday afternoon. And as the day went on, things really never got better.

After winning the coin toss against Vian, Kansas was designated to be the home team and took the field first, with starter Chance Bowling on the hill.

After the Wolverine lead off man grounded out to the infield, Vian pounded out five consecutive hits where Landon Becker, Chris Peeples and Billy Mahoff all had RBI raps. By the conclusion of the top of the first, the Wolverines had sent 10 players to bat and scored five runs.

Becker got the start for the Wolverines and got the top of the Comet order down on a pop up, a pickoff and a strikeout.

Bowling pitched out of some trouble in the second and it looked as if Kansas might put together a rally in the home half. With two outs Johnny Lewis picked up his teamís first hit and raced to third on Brett Odleís drive into the power alley. But the Vian centerfield deftly cut the rolling ball off and threw a strike to the shortstop covering second base, just nipping Odle and ending the inning with the Comets still trailing 5-0.

Cotton Meisner led off the visitorís third with a single and moved to second on an error in the outfield. Meisner moved to third on a single by Kevin Knight and scored on Warren Zacharyís base hit to make the score 6-0.

In the bottom of the stanza the Comets were able to get on the scoreboard when Cody Bright walked and then stole second. Bright came in to score when the Wolverines muffed a fly ball in right field to cut the deficit to 6-1.

Whatever momentum Kansas generated in the third quickly evaporated in the fourth. With three hits peppered in with a pair of walks and a hit batsman, Vian sent nine hitters to the dish, scoring five more runs to make the score 11-1.

The big hit of the inning came on Dylan Taylorís bases loaded two-RBI single. Down 11-1, the Comets needed to score at least once for the game to continue. C.J. Foreman reached based on a one-out single, advanced to third on some defensive lapses and scored on long Zac Carnes sacrifice fly to right to make the score 11-2. And it looked as if Kansas might have another rally in them when Kelsey Wells banged a double to the wall. But Wells would be left in scoring position as Becker pitched his way out of any further trouble.

After managing to extend the contest by another inning on offense, the Comet defense needed to hold their opponents scoreless. But three hits, a walk and an error opened the door for another pair of Vian runs.

Kansas was unable to put together a rally in their half of the inning, ending the game on the short side of a 13-2 score.

In game three of the tournament, Tahlequah-Sequoyah eliminated the Comets by a 7-0 final. The Indians were able to force a fifth game by defeating Verdigris, but fell in the finals, also versus the Cardinals.