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Legion rolling early at tournament

Published on -7/8/2012, 8:10 PM

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By KLINT SPILLER

kspiller@dailynews.net

The Hays Senior Legion team got off to a good start in pool play at the Wild West Fest Tournament.

The Hays Eagles (31-4) crushed their first two opponents, run ruling Colby 12-1 in five innings and Seward, Neb., 14-0 in four innings before defeating the Topeka Capitols 11-7 in extra innings Saturday.

"It's going to get tougher for us down the road, but I told our guys if we can pitch like that and hit like that, we will be hard pressed to find somebody that is going to beat us," Kelly said after run ruling Seward on Friday evening. "Somebody is going to have to play an excellent game to beat us if we are playing like that."

The only run the Eagles surrendered Friday was the result of a mistake.

Trevor Henningsen (6-0) pitched during Game 1. During the first at bat of the fifth inning, Henningsen went to cover first on a ground out and mishandled the toss from the first baseman, ruining his own perfect game. With two outs, he then gave up a hit that drove in the unearned run.

"It just kind of bounced out of my glove," Henningsen said. "I reached out, and I thought I had it. I didn't focus all the way, and it kind of bounced out."

Other than that error and the single, Henningsen threw a perfect game. He struck out eight and didn't give up a walk.

"With the fastball, they weren't really catching up to it," he said. "I threw the fastball a lot to get ahead, and at 0-2, I broke out the curveball and got a few of them with it. I didn't need to use all my pitches today, which is good."

He threw a great game, but losing his perfect game on his own error, that was tough for him to swallow.

"(I wanted it) pretty bad," Henningsen said. "I was pretty frustrated when I missed it."

Otherwise against Colby, the Eagles were spot on, scoring runs in every inning.

Outfielder Casey Sedbrook led his team at the plate, hitting 3 of 3, scoring four runs and posting two doubles and an RBI.

In Game 2 against Seward, the Eagles got off to a hot start, piling up five runs in the first inning and eight runs in the third.

The Eagles were helped by five Seward errors, but Kelly said his players were making it difficult for Seward's defense.

"You hit it hard at people and sometimes hard hits makes holes," Kelly said.

"Offensively, we are just locked in. We are hitting the ball really well."

Josh Heifner (8-0) threw a shutout against Seward, allowing just three hits and no walks.

"I don't know what to say about Josh," Kelly said. "We have a lot of guys that are kind of the No. 1 guy.

"He's one of them. Every time he goes out, he throws strikes."

Against the Topeka Capitols, the Eagles had to do something they hadn't done yet this tournament -- play catchup.

Down 6-5 heading into the seventh inning, the Eagles scored a run to tie the game and then took over in the eighth.

With runners already on first and second according to the international tiebreaker, Austin Unrein doubled to score the go-ahead run.

Then Riley Kaus got on base due to an error, and Hayden Hutchison blasted a grand slam to take an 11-6 lead.

"We showed something to hang in there," Kelly said.

However, he said it was sloppy play that got them behind, committing errors and giving Topeka free bases via walks and hit by pitches.

"We just made some mistakes," Kelly said. "We are fortunate to come out with the win on this one."

The Eagles were scheduled to play Rock Creek on Saturday evening at Larks Park.

Prior to that game, the Eagles had won 22 of their past 23 games.

"If we keep playing ball the best we can, I don't know if there's a lot of teams out there that can hang with us," Hutchison said.

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