The weather conditions weren’t exactly ideal for baseball over the weekend. The hot temperatures settled in.
So did the Salina Falcons, who might be a tad bit hotter at the moment.
Salina rolled to the championship and held off Emporia 5-3 to win the Sam Ellis Classic Championship in Emporia. Brogen Richardson was named the tournament’s most valuable player, propelling the Falcons to an 11-0 start.
Richardson started the title contest getting hit by Emporia starter Sawyer Slayden. First baseman Ethan Kickhaefer singled Richardson over to second, who then scored off a throwing error.
Salina doubled its lead in the fourth as left fielder Layne Haddock singled in Zach Farmer, who singled and swiped two bags to get to third. Haddock delivered again in the sixth, earned an RBI single. Richardson capped off the three-run third with a double to left, giving Salina a 5-0 advantage.
Pitcher Cade Sterrett did run into some trouble in the bottom half of the frame. After throwing into the sixth, Brady McAfee took over and locked down Emporia, giving up just one hit in an inning and two thirds. Sterrett went five and a third, coughing up six hits, three runs with three strikeouts.
Richardson was 9-for-16 with 15 RBI and seven runs. Salina prepares for Concordia next, starting the doubleheader at Dean Evans Stadium at 6 pm on Wednesday.
Game 1 – Salina 12, Wellington 1
Ryan Dix had one hit that resulted in four RBI. Richardson was 2-for-3 with three RBI while Haddock was 0-for-1 with two RBI. Pitcher Richard Davis threw all four innings, giving up five hits, one run and striking out four.
Game 2 – Salina 9, Wichita Aviators 0
Pitcher Cason Long blanked Wichita, tossing six innings with three hits given up and three K’s. Richardson was 1-for-2 with four RBI. Seth Catania, Haddock and Kickhaefer all had RBI knocks.
Game 3 – Salina 11, Kansas Indians 3
The Falcons scored nine runs in the first three frames. McAfee was 1-for-3 with two RBI. Richardson, Haddock and Ben Driver had RBI hits. Farmer earned the win, going four innings with eight hits and three runs allowed while recording seven K’s. Catania finished off the game, giving up just two hits with four strikeouts in three innings of work.
Game 4 (semis) – Salina 11, Kansas Senators 1
Kickhaefer overpowered the Senators on the mound, accumulating eight strikeouts and giving up two hits and a run. Richardson paced the Falcons offensively with four RBI. Dix and Catania combined for four RBI.