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Morning Sun
  • Frontenac 14s make it to state

  • It's a good thing the top two teams advance to state in 14-year-old Babe Ruth League competition, because the Frontenac 14s can't seem to solve the riddle of Spring River.

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  • It's a good thing the top two teams advance to state in 14-year-old Babe Ruth League competition, because the Frontenac 14s can't seem to solve the riddle of Spring River.
    After being no-hit and sent to the loser's bracket by Spring River Friday night, the Raiders advanced to face Spring River yet again in the District 5 championship game on Sunday. Spring River beat the Raiders 11-0 Sunday, but both teams will head to the state contest in Lyons.
    But before the Raiders were able to face Spring River, they first had to get by a Parsons team that had eliminated them last year as 13-year-olds.
    Going into the 6th inning, that looked like a tall task, as Frontenac was down 7-5. However, the team rallied in the 6th with two runs to tie the game, then scored five runs in the 7th to clinch a 12-8 victory.
    "These guys, the looser they are, the better they play," said Frontenac manager Todd Plouvier. "I want to get after them sometimes, because they're cutting up in the dugout, but they play better when I'm not hollering at them. The kids wanted this since Parsons sent us home as 13s. I think they were ready for it."
    Parsons and Frontenac matched blow for blow through the first three innings, tied at four.
    Frontenac would get one run in the top of the fourth, but Parsons would seemingly break loose with two runs scoring on Dylan Wisdom's single down the right field line. Tyus Brown would give Parsons a 7-5 lead with a double on the next play.
    The Raiders battled back, but it wasn't easy. In fact, the sixth inning started off with a double play. But back-to-back singles by Caiden Bolinger and Brandon Mlekus, plus a run scored on a bad throw to third by Parsons tied the game up.
    Frontenac was fortunate in the seventh to get and stretch the lead. After a single to start the inning, two of the next three batters would reach first on dropped third strikes before another Parsons error and a walk loaded the bases for Mlekus, who hit a single, assisted by another error, to score two and build the lead to 12-7. Parsons would score one in the seventh, but it was not enough.
    The game against Spring River went arguably better and worse than the no-hitter Frontenac had against them on Friday. Instead of Jarret Dotson on the mound, this time they had to deal with Kaid Karnes.
    Karnes, who was sung “Happy Birthday” after the game by Spring River fans, gave up more hits than Dotson on Friday (3 to 0) and had fewer strikeouts (8 in a five-innning game to Dotson’s 11 in six innings), but gave up fewer runs (0 to 2) and fewer baserunners (5 to Dotson’s 6) and never had a runner advance past second base in the run-ruled championship game. Karnes would strike at least two Raiders out in the first four innings.
    Page 2 of 2 - “He had an overpowering fastball. He threw the curveball in a little,” Plouvier said. “To have that coming from the left side, the kid’s going to dominate. Our kids haven’t seen that throughout the year. I’m glad we didn’t see another no-hitter.”
    However, the game was closer than one might think early. Frontenac onlly gave up two runs in the first three innings, keeping the score tight. Those two runs came on a pair of RBI singles by Chicago Elias and Noah Wilson.
    It was the fourth inning where things went really south. Thirteen batters for Spring River (made up largely of players from Baxter Springs) came up during the inning. A.J. Himes started it with a two-run single, which was followed several batters and two runs later with a two-run single by the inning’s leadoff batter, Austin Williams. By the end of the inning, a 2-0 deficit had been turned into a 9-0 rout. The onslaught could have been worse, but Himes would strike out with the bases loaded to end the inning.
    In the fifth, Spring River would tack on two more to put the run rule into play.
    “It was a close game for three or four innings. But that was the ballgame in the fourth inning,” Plouvier said. “I’m tickled we got out without anyone hurt. We just wanted to be competitive.”
    District 5 14-year-old Babe Ruth Tournament
    Frontenac Sports Complex
    Loser's bracket finals
    Frontenac 12, Parsons 8
    FRO 103 102 5 — 12 12 3
    PAR 103 300 1 — 8  10  8
    WP: Plouvier. LP: Tyus Brown. 3B: Mlekus, Bolinger. SB:  Martinez, Boydston, Fosha, Russell, Chavez. Mlekus, Bolinger, Gaven, Monsour, Baker.
    Championship game
    Spring River 11, Frontenac 0
    SR    200    72    —    11 12 0
    FRO    000    00    —    0  3 2
    WP: Karnes. LP: Mlekus. 2B: Flora. Wilson. SB: Karnes (3), Dotson, Elias (2). Loy, Gaven.
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