After advancing out of Legion Zone play, the Hays Sr. Eagles and Hays Sr. Monarchs will begin their bids for state titles this week.
The Eagles will open the Class AAA Legion State Tournament against Nickerson at 3:15 p.m. on Wednesday at Soden's Grove in Emporia, while the Monarchs will begin the Class AA Tournament at 3:15 p.m. Wednesday against Garnett in Sabetha.
The Eagles (32-5-1) earned a state berth by rallying for four runs in the bottom of the seventh to pull out a 5-4 win against Great Bend this past Wednesday. Brock Lummus and Brady Kreutzer keyed the rally with triples and Trey Riggs had a walkoff hit to left.
The Eagles went 2-1 in the Zone Tournament, also beating Great Bend 4-0 and falling 6-1 to Salina.
“We’re just going to try keep the momentum and refocus,” Eagles coach Dustin Schumacher said. “We didn’t hit the ball as well as we can (in zone play). We pitched it well, I thought, all three games and played some good defense. But we’ll try to refocus on getting those bats going.”
The Eagles are in Pool B along with Nickerson, Emporia and Topeka. Hays will play Topeka at 10 a.m. on Thursday before finishing pool play against Emporia at 6 p.m. on Friday.
Pool A is comprised of Newton, Salina, Leavenworth and Pittsburg. The top two finishers in each pool will move on to the semifinals on Saturday.
The Monarchs (15-4-1) claimed the AA Zone title with a 12-7 win over Hoisington on Thursday in Colby. Chase Werth earned the win on the mound and had three hits with four runs driven in.
In the AA State Tournament, the Monarchs will be joined in Pool B by Garnett, Marysville and Sabetha. They will face Sabetha at 6 p.m. on Thursday and will finish pool play against Marysville at 8:15 p.m. on Friday.
The other pool consists of Hoisington, Iola, Russell and Silver Lake. The AA semifinals will begin Saturday morning.