Morning Sun
  • Solid offense, strong defense help lead Frontenac to victory at state

  • Pitching. Check. Defense. Check. Timely hitting. Check.

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  • Pitching. Check. Defense. Check. Timely hitting. Check.
    The Frontenac Raiders displayed all three attributes of winning baseball Friday afternoon during their 5-2 win over defending state champs Silver Lake in the quarterfinals of the Class 3A state tournament at Tointon Family Stadium.
    “Timely hitting was big today,” Frontenac head coach Bill Sullivan said. “I talked to the guys and I said we swung the bats like we’d be OK. It was up-and-down the lineup. We hit the ball well today.”
    Frontenac center fielder Bryce Burdette led off the home side of the first with a single, the first of 11 hits for the Raiders on Silver Lake starting pitcher Tyler Brown, a tall, angular hard-throwing right-handed junior. In the fifth inning, Brett Macary nearly drove Brown out of the game on a liner off Brown’s shin.
    The Raiders jumped ahead 3-0 on the Eagles after four innings — Burdette scored in the first, Burdette doubled home Avery Coronado in the third and Blake Barto singled in Blake Vail in the fourth to gain its crucial three-run lead. All three innings were marked by leadoff singles from Burdette, Coronado and Vail.
    “That was our goal,” Sullivan said. “To come out and start fast. We want to come out and strike first and put pressure on the other team. I mean, that’s the defending state champs right there. That’s a good ball team. We’re pretty happy right now.”
    Silver Lake found out why Vail emerged as the No. 1 Frontenac starter this season. Vail threw four complete innings of no-hit ball and of the Eagles’ five hits, two were infield singles. He allowed two earned runs — striking out six, walking one.
    “Of course, what you can say about Blake’s effort on the mound,” Sullivan said. “He gave up five hits and he threw really well.”
    The Frontenac defense behind Vail played solid, fundamentally sound baseball. Matt Standlee (6), Ross Edge (4) and Barto (3) turned a pair of 6-4-3 double plays to end Silver Lake rallies in the fifth and seventh innings. The Eagles only managed two runs partly because of Frontenac defensive plays.
    Frontenac (22-2) meets top seed Humboldt (24-0) in the early morning semifinal game starting at 10 a.m.
    “I watched them earlier,” Sullivan said. “They look like a team that plays really good defense and they have some good pitching. We’re going to have to come back and play well (Saturday). They’re the No. 1 seed for a reason.”
    In other Class 3A games Friday, No. 2 seed Thomas More Prep (22-1 entering Friday) and No. 3 seed Rock Creek (21-2) both lost to lower seeds.
    Wellsville edged Thomas More Prep 9-7 and Salina-Sacred Heart rolled over Rock Creek 8-1. Wellsville and Sacred Heart play in the other semi at 12:30 p.m.
    Page 2 of 2 - Class 3A State Tournament (Manhattan)
    Frontenac baseball 5, Silver Lake 2
    SLHS 000 010 1 — 2 5 2
    FHS 101 120 X — 5 11 1
    Tyler Brown and Peter Pfannenstiel. Blake Vail and Bryan Wade. WP: Vail. LP: Brown. 2B: Pfannenstiel; Bryce Burdette. SB: Vail. SH: Blake Barto, Avery Coronado. LOB: SLHS 2, FHS 7.

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