The Abilene Cowboy baseball team pulled off an improbable comeback Tuesday night at the Pratt Regional to advance to their first State Tournament in school history. The Abilene baseball program started in 2000. #8 Abilene defeated #9 Mulvane 3-2 in the semifinals to advance to the Regional Championship against #16 Andale/Garden Plain. The Cowboys trailed 7-3 as they entered their final at bat in the bottom of the 7th but were able to score 5 runs enroute to an 8-7 victory. Andale/Garden Plain looked destined to be the Cinderella of the State Tournament as they knocked off top-seeded Pratt 5-2 in the semifinals.
Abilene Senior, Carter Taplin started the rally with a walk and it was followed by a single by Sophomore, Stocton Timbrook. Sophomore, Kyson Becker would then get the rally started with a double to left-center that drove in Taplin and Timbrook to cut the deficit to 7-5. Senior, Sam Burton would then reach base courtesy of a walk and Freshman, Thomas Keener would run for him. Kyson Becker and Keener both scored to tie the game on a bad throw to first base on a bunt laid down by Senior, Kaleb Becker. He would go on to move to third base on multiple wild pitches. Kaleb Becker then scored the winning run on a ground ball hit by Sophomore, Drew Hansen.
The Cowboys fell behind 7-0 in the game. Andale scored 1 run in the first and 6 runs in the 3rd inning. Abilene chipped away with 1 run in the 3rd, 4th and 5th innings before their 5-run 7th inning. Kyson Becker got the start in the championship and was relieved by Sam Burton who pitched the final 3 2/3 innings to pick up the victory. Andale/Garden Plain finished the season with an 8-14 record.
Abilene fell behind 2-0 in their opening round win over Mulvane (10-9). The Wildcats scored 2 runs in the top of the 3rd inning. The Cowboys rallied with 2 runs in the bottom of the 3rd inning. Hansen and Zach Miller scored on an RBI by Taplin and a sac-fly by Timbrook. Taplin then drove in Hansen in the 5th inning in what turned out to be the winning run. Taplin had a big day at the play as he went 4-5 with a walk and 2 RBI, in 2 games. Timbrook picked up the win, while Burton notched the save. Abilene enters the State Tournament in Salina next Thursday with a 13-8 record.