After losing a heartbreaker in the first round of the Kansas AAA American Legion State baseball tournament, the Hays Eagles decided to go on a tear in their first game of the consolation bracket.

After losing a heartbreaker in the first round of the Kansas AAA American Legion State baseball tournament, the Hays Eagles decided to go on a tear in their first game of the consolation bracket.
The Eagles — with help from a seven-run third inning — blasted the Atchison Senior A’s 23-9 Thursday morning at JayCee Ballpark, eliminating Atchison from the tournament.
And it was Kelton Rule that provided a lot of the spark for Hays — including getting a pair of RBI doubles in the seventh.
In their half of the seventh, Rule led off for Hays with a double to left-center field. After Logan Downing doubled, Riley Kaus drove in the first round with an RBI single up the middle.
Tanner Wilhoft drew an RBI base-on-balls and Dylan Karst hit a two-run single followed by an RBI double from Matthew Malott.
Later in the inning, Rule picked up his second double — this on a two-run shot — that scored Jay Sanders and Karst.
Hays picked up seven runs on seven hits in the inning to jump out to an 11-0 lead.
Rule got yet another double in the fifth to score Karst and put the Eagles up 12-0.
Hays starter Travis Budke kept the Senior A’s off-balance by mixing up his pitches and holding Atchison to just two hits through four innings.
In the bottom of the fifth, Atchison started to show some signs of life when Brett Norris led off with a triple and Ben Hawk hit an RBI single up the middle to give Atchison their first run of the game. Charles Schneider came up and hit a double down the left-field line to move Hawk to third.
The Senior A’s picked up their second run when Chase Hager grounded out to short allowing Hawk to score from third, cutting Hays’ lead to 12-2.
But, Budke kept the pressure on in the sixth after leading off with a double down the left field line. Justin Klaus brought Budke home with an RBI single but Riley Kaus was thrown out at home in the same play. A third run scored when Karst reached on an error allowing Malott to plate from third — after he connected with a triple.
But, Atchison kept the game interesting with three runs in the bottom of the seventh to avoid the run-rule.
But, Jay Sanders plated a run with an RBI single and Rule screamed a triple that scored Sanders, putting Hays back up 17-6. Rule later scored on an error. Budke followed that up with an RBI double to score Downing.
Hays went on to score eight runs in the inning to extend their lead to 23-6
On the day, Downing went 3-for-4 with four RBI and three runs scored — including a three-run home run in the first. Rule was 4-for-6 with three of his hits going for doubles.

Matthew Clark can be reached at matthew.clark@morningsun.net or at 620-231-2600, Ext. 140. Follow Morning Sun sports at twitter.com/mssports

Kansas AAA American Legion State Tournament
at JayCee Ballpark
Thursday, July 30
Game one
Hays 23, Atchison 9
Hays    317 013 08— 23 25 2
Atchison    000 021 33 — 9 11 4
Travis Budke and Jay Sanders. Brett Norris, Matthew Hager (3), Charles Schneider (8) and Christopher Lund. WP — Budke (1-0). LP — Norris (0-1). E — Kelton Rule, Logan Downing; Chase Hager, Greg Denton, Schneider. LOB — Hays 11, Atchison 6. 2B — Matthew Malott, Rule 3, Downing Budke; Schneider, Matthew Hager, Christopher Funk. 3B — Malott, Rule; Brett Norris 2. HR — Downing; J. Legats