At most times, late in the game, it appeared that neither the Hays Legion Eagles or the Lawrence Raiders would go away.

At most times, late in the game, it appeared that neither the Hays Legion Eagles or the Lawrence Raiders would go away.
Both teams rallied back from deficits of three and four runs, respectively, but it was Lawrence that came away with a 9-8 win Wednesday in the first round of the Kansas AAA American Legion State baseball tournament at JayCee Ballpark.
Lawrence started by plating three runs in the bottom of the first inning when Bryan Kindle grounded out to score a run and Robert Vestal hit a sacrifice fly to center field to plate another.
John Bush cranked out an RBI single to through the left side that scored Kindle from third and gave the Raiders a 3-1 edge.
The Raiders put up another run in the second on an RBI walk issued to Tanner Kilmer.
Hays battled back from a 4-1 deficit in the top of the fourth inning after Kelton Rule led off the inning with a single to right field.
Travis Budke moved Rule to second with a single through the left side and Riley Kaus followed that with a right-field single to load the bases.
Justin Klaus grounded out to score Rule and Tanner Wilhoft singled into left field to score Budke from third, cutting the Lawrence lead to 4-3.
After Matthew Mallott drew a walk to load the bases, but Dylan Karst grounded out to end the inning.
The Eagles continued their comeback in the top of the fifth after Budke picked up two more RBI with a single up the middle that scored Rule and Jay Sanders, giving Hays a 5-4 lead, putting the Eagles up 5-4.
Hays got solid defense in the fifth after John Bush was walked and, subsequently, picked off by pitcher Logan Downing to end the inning.
Their lead increased in the sixth after Karst hit an RBI single to center field to plate Mallott then Jay Sanders reached on an error which scored Karst.
With one out and runners at second and third, Budke picked up his third RBI of the game with a ground out to second that scored Sanders.
After the inning, the damage for Hays tallied three runs on two hits and one error to give the Eagles an 8-4 lead.
But, Lawrence did not go away quietly as Christopher Parker laced a double to left-center field to score a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth to cut Hays’ lead to 8-6.
The Raiders came back and loaded the bases again in the seventh. With two outs, Matthew Abel belted out a three-run triple to score Nick Hassig, Robert Vestal and Tanner Kilmer — allowing Lawrence to retake the lead 9-8.
That was enough as Lawrence advanced to take on Tonganoxie in the winner’s bracket at 5 p.m. today while Hays will face Atchison in the loser’s bracket at 10 a.m. today.

Matthew Clark can be reached at or at 620-231-2600, Ext. 140. Follow Morning Sun sports at

Kansas AAA American Legion State Tournament
at JayCee Ballpark
Wednesday, July 29
Game two
Lawrence 9, Hays 8
Hays    100 223 000 — 8 14 0
Lawrence    310 002 30X — 9  8  1
Taylor Gentry, Drew Noble (6) and Bryan Kindle. Jesse Hart, Logan Downing (2), Kelton Rule (7) and Jay Sanders. WP — Noble (1-0). LP — Rule (0-1). E — Gentry. LOB — Lawrence 9, Hays 11. 2B — Travis Budke; Matthew Abe, Christopher Parker. 3B — Abel.