Cinderella Central wins again, upsets Carroll

WICHITA, Kan. — The Salina Central Mustangs (10-18) continued their historic post season charge on Thursday, upsetting the top-seed in the Kansas Class 5A State Baseball Tournament, Bishop Carroll (22-6). The Mustangs knocked off the defending 5A State Champions 7-2 in the opening game of the State Quarterfinals at Eck Stadium.

Salina Central started the game off hot, scoring a run in the top of the 1st inning thanks to a pair of walks and a fielders’ choice groundout by Bodie Rodriguez. Carroll answered back in the bottom of the 2nd, tying the game on a pair of walks and a two-out single from Parker Flax.

The Mustangs were able to hold Bishop Carroll’s offense in check thanks to a stellar pitching start from Sophomore Grayton Gross, who tossed five innings, allowing just two runs on five hits and four strikeouts.

Central took advantage of what was given to them as well, scoring a go-ahead run in the top of the 3rd on a walk and a pair of hits from Rodriguez and Ty Young, the latter putting Central ahead. One again though, the Golden Eagles would answer, tying the game at 2 on a double by Isaac Lager in the bottom of the 5th inning.

To the Mustangs’ credit, their pitching and timely defense was one of the big differences in the game, but they made their hay on offense, taking advantage of eight walks dished out by the Carroll bullpen in the game.

BCHS came into the game boasting one of the state’s best stables of arms in any classification, holding just a 1.3 ERA as a staff entering Thursday, but Central was unbothered. After upsetting 5A West’s #1 seed in Maize South last week, no team Central can or will face will intimidate them, and that showed true in the victory.

The Mustangs loaded the bases in the 6th with no one out, when Keaton Smith laced a bases-clearing, three-run double into the left field corner, putting the Mustangs ahead 5-2. They would add a pair of runs on four walks in the 7th inning, to push the lead out to 7-2 heading to the final half inning.

Bodie Rodriguez stifled the Carroll offense in the final two innings, allowing just two hits, and striking out a pair while not allowing a run, cementing Salina Central’s spot in the 5A Semifinal round Friday morning at 11 AM, set to face the winner of 4-seed Spring Hill and 5-seed Topeka-Shawnee Heights.

Fans who want to relive the thrilling upset win over Bishop Carroll can tune in to the archived broadcast on the Newsradio 1150 KSAL Soundcloud page below.

The Semifinal game, as well as either the 5A Third Place game (3:30 PM, Friday) or State Championship (6 PM, Friday) will all be broadcast on 1150 AM KSAL and 106.7 FM in Salina, as well as online at




Grayton Gross (W): 5.0 IP, 5 Hits, 2 Runs (2 Earned), 4 Strikeouts, 2 Walks – 85 pitches, 49 strikes

Bodie Rodriguez: 2.0 IP, 2 Hits, 0 Runs, 2 Strikeouts, 1 Walk – 39 pitches, 24 strikes



Keaton Smith: 1-4, Double, Walk, 3 RBI

Jack Gordon: 1-3, Single, Walk, Hit by pitch

Gunnar Gross: 0-3, 2 Walks

Grayton Gross: 2-3, 2 Singles, Walk

Bodie Rodriguez: 1-4, single RBI

Ty Young: 1-3, Single, Walk, RBI

Oscar Perez: 1-3, Single, Walk

Maximus Maes: 1-3, Single, Walk

Chance Hogan: 0-2, 2 Walks, RBI