HAYS, Kan. - The Great Bend Panthers advanced to the State Baseball Tournament for the second year in a row after defeating Western Athletic Conference rival Hays 6 to 2.
For the fourth time this year, Great Bend and Hays faced off on the diamond. The Indians held a 2 to 1 record on the season over the Panthers. The one loss was Hays' lone loss on the season coming into the Regional Tournament.
Early in the day, Hays won the first game of the tournament in a 9 to 3 victory over the Newton Railers. In the second game of the day, Great Bend advanced to the Championship game after winning 7 to 3 over the Wichita Northwest Grizzlies. Once the Championship game started, Great Bend wasted no time in getting on the board.
Eddie Bujanda batted in two runs off a double hit to the fence in the top of the first inning. In the bottom half of the first inning, Hays had a runner on first when Palmer Hutchison hit a pop up that drifted to first base. Eddie Bujanda was there to catch the ball. He also was in a position to touch the bag to get William Sennett out as he overshot the base in trying to tag up and earned himself an unassisted double play.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, Hays got on the board. Trey Riggs hit a two-run batted in single to tie up the score at two all. Great Bend retook the lead in the top of the sixth inning. They would add three more in the seventh to cap off the game.
Hays ends their season with a record of 20 and 2. Both Indian losses come at the hands of the Great Bend Panthers. Great Bend will head to Wichita for the State Tournament with a record of 10 and 10.