www.mozilla.com Weather Central

HHS girls fall, will play for 7th -1/30/2015, 5:29 PM

Tiger baseball picked 11th in MIAA -1/30/2015, 1:58 PM

TMP picks up dual win at Plainville -1/30/2015, 10:31 AM

Olathe South too much for Hays High -1/30/2015, 10:13 AM

Hoxie girls chase record -1/30/2015, 10:12 AM

KSU prepares for Allen Fieldhouse -1/30/2015, 10:12 AM

Wichita State will appeal ruling that takes away baseball wins -1/30/2015, 10:12 AM

Nino Williams unlikely to play for Wildcats -1/30/2015, 10:12 AM

Tiger softball picked fifth in MIAA -1/29/2015, 11:27 AM

Tiger women win at Emporia -1/29/2015, 10:29 AM

FHSU men pick up needed win at Emporia -1/29/2015, 10:30 AM

No. 12 Wichita State survives Loyola's challenge -1/29/2015, 10:23 AM

KU wins ugly game -1/29/2015, 10:31 AM

Graham enjoying KU life -1/28/2015, 11:03 AM

Mountaineers take down Wildcats -1/28/2015, 11:03 AM

Tuesday's area prep basketball boxscores -1/28/2015, 11:03 AM

Belichick, Patriots focused solely on Seattle, Super Bowl -1/28/2015, 11:02 AM

MVC strong at the top -1/28/2015, 11:02 AM

Former Tiger, HHS coach named new FB coach at Mac -1/27/2015, 6:57 PM

Tiger women vault to No. 6 in poll -1/27/2015, 2:39 PM

James Shields remains a free agent, but Royals 'not sure there's a fit' -1/27/2015, 10:17 AM

Pats' owner defends Belichick, Brady -1/27/2015, 10:17 AM

Alexander newcomer of the week -1/27/2015, 10:17 AM

KSU's Edwards finding success as the sixth man -1/27/2015, 10:17 AM

FHSU wins Kansas Cup after scoring error -1/27/2015, 10:17 AM

FHSU wrestling takes second in Kansas Cup -1/26/2015, 10:27 AM

WSU baseball starts second season under Butler -1/26/2015, 10:36 AM

No. 14 WSU hammers Drake -1/26/2015, 10:37 AM

Stafford named Offensive MVP in first Pro Bowl -1/26/2015, 10:27 AM

TMP boys, girls claim MCL title; HHS boys fall -1/26/2015, 10:27 AM

Brand tops Deterding in Bob Kuhn Classic -1/25/2015, 8:41 PM

Tiger wrestling falls short of No. 3 UNK -1/25/2015, 8:41 PM

No. 17 Tigers dominate No. 4 Pitt State -1/25/2015, 8:41 PM

FHSU men fall short of Pitt State -1/25/2015, 8:41 PM

Friday's area prep basketball boxscores -1/25/2015, 2:45 PM

-1/25/2015, 2:00 PM

TMP girls use overtime for semifinal win -1/24/2015, 3:13 PM

Young key in Indians' semifinal win -1/24/2015, 1:22 PM

Defense lifts TMP boys to MCL title game -1/24/2015, 12:27 PM

Sports Scores


Prep basketball


Atwood 76, St. Francis 65

Dighton 62, Oberlin 47

Hillsboro 50, Goodland 47

Lakeside 42, Lincoln 32

Minneapolis 68, Russell 35

Rock Hills 42, Natoma 37

Salina Central 62, Andover 58

Salina South 62, Sacred Heart 47

Sharon Springs 75, Leoti 38

St. John's Beloit-Tipton 57, Osborne 34

Sylvan-Lucas 61, Thunder Ridge 48


Dighton 44, Atwood 11

Dodge City 71, Hays High 28

Hesston 51, Goodland 18

Hoisington 60, Victoria 46

Hoxie 65, St. Francis 13

Lincoln 33, Lakeside 26

Minneapolis 47, Otis-Bison 24

Osborne 59, Wilson 34

Sharon Springs 63, Oberlin 42

Sylvan-Lucas 43, Natoma 41 (ot)

Tescott 41, Rock Hills 33

Trego 56, Leoti 27

Thunder Ridge 33, St. John's Beloit-Tipton 30

Click To View All

myTown Calendar

[var top_story_head]

Eagles set to host state

Published on -7/30/2013, 9:56 AM

Printer-friendly version
E-Mail This Story



Last season, Hays Senior Legion baseball coach Brad Kelly discussed "setting a precedent hopefully" for an Eagle program that often reached the state tournament but had trouble winning a title. In 2012, Hays broke through, went 46-10, rolled to the team's first state crown since 1981 and played in a regional in New Orleans.

A year later, Hays returns just a few players from last summer's squad. The Eagles enter this week's Class AAA state tournament with a 24-17 record.

Yet Kelly believes the team "isn't too far off" from the 2012 team, especially at the top of the rotation. The win-loss record is a little skewed, too, with some fluky losses.

Kelly counted at least five contests Hays likely should have won this summer.

"This is what it's all about," Kelly said before a team workout Monday night. "It's all about winning this time of year. You just keep playing until they tell you that you can't play anymore. It's kind of that hidden elephant in the room. We are not going to really discuss it all that much, we are just going to go play, but everyday knows the ultimate goal is to win this tournament."

Hays plays in the last of four first-round games Wednesday at Larks Park against Leavenworth. Game time isn't set, but the Eagles are expected to start around 7 or 8 p.m.

"It's going to come down to pitching and defense," Kelly said. "If we can throw three or four runs up there on the board, I think if we are playing sound defensively, I think that we have got a good chance to win."

The eight-team, double-elimination tournament runs through Sunday. Hays hasn't played Leavenworth this summer, but played them in a doubleheader last year. Leavenworth defeated a strong Manhattan team twice in Zone.

"I think the field is about even, so I think we have a good opportunity," catcher Jake Sedbrook said.

In 2012, Hays' top three starters had earned-run averages of 1.47, 1.64 and 1.87. This summer, the Eagles' top three pitchers have ERAs of 1.66, 1.70 and 1.94. Right-hander Layne Downing (5-2, 1.70 ERA), the team leader in multiple categories, including starts (eight) and innings pitched (57.2) will pitch Game 1.

Like most of the staff, Downing is a pitch-to-contact arm. He has a a 43/18 strikeout to walk rate. Right-hander Clayton Basgall is the team's lone pitcher who has averaged more than a strikeout per inning pitched.

"He does a good job," Kelly said. "It doesn't seem like a lot of guys usually square him up all that well. He gets a lot of ground balls or lazy flyball outs, and he is efficient. That is kind of why we like him. He is not going to walk a whole lot of guys even though he is not going to strike out a ton of guys."

Downing has thrown a no-hitter in the spring and summer, but has pitched more consistently for the Eagles than Hays High School.

"The high school season, I had a few rough starts," Downing said. "I thought I was more of a reliever, and then in the summer, I think I am just a lot more relaxed and I am not really thinking on the mound, just go up there and throw. I feel like my outings have been a lot better.

"I think I just don't have as much on my shoulders," he added. "More games to play. I don't have to worry about school and stuff. It's a lot off."

Basgall (3-0, 1.66) is likely to throw Game 2 and left-hander Kade Parker (4-2, 1.94) will throw Game 3.

Because of Downing's durability, he could come back and pitch another contest later in the tournament. Basgall has felt some soreness/tightness.

"Clayton has kind of battled a little arm issues throughout the summer, so I know he will able to go one game for sure," Kelly said. "After that, I am not really sure whether we are going to be able to get much out of him."

Hayden Hutchison leads in virtually every statistical category with a .486 average, .574 on-base percentage, .798 slugging percentage, 16 doubles, six homers and 49 RBIs. After he set multiple single-season and career records for HHS in the spring, Hutchison could do the same this summer.

He currently stands second in single-season batting average, trailing only Jeff Bieker's .516 in 2000. He is one off the top-10 list for homers and doubles and four back in RBIs. Hays Legion doesn't track records for on-base or slugging percentage. Kelly has seen high school players who have been drafted and ranks Hutchison, a Neosho (Kan.) Community College signee, has one of the top players.

"Offensively, he can swing it with the best guys that I have really seen," Kelly said. "Just his plate approach - he just looks so comfortable when he is in the batter's box. He doesn't let anything get rattled. Even if he gets down 0-2, he doesn't let it bother him.

"He is just a guy who competes to the utmost at everything that he does," Kelly added. "Overall, I have seen guys that are faster. I have seen guys that have more arm strength, that can throw a little bit harder. Just an all-around competitor and an all-around hitter, he is definitely one of the best that I have been around."

Last season, the Eagles' top six batters hit between .348 and .375. No regular batted under .272.

As a team, Hays carried a .335/435/476 (batting average/on-base percentage/slugging percentage) line. This summer, Hays is batting .315/419/421.

"I don't think we are too far off from where we were last year," Kelly said. "Obviously, we don't have the depth offensively 1-9, but I think our pitching is just as good. As long as we can get some runs and play solid, I think we are going to be OK. It's good to have expectations for your program. The state tournament is kind of what you shoot for every year, and hopefully that's kind of where we are at right now."

digg delicious facebook stumbleupon google Newsvine
More News and Photos

Associated Press Videos

AP Breaking News