OTTAWA — The Hays Senior American Legion Eagles baseball team’s summer came to a close in dramatic fashion Saturday morning.
After taking a 5-4 lead in the seventh, the Eagles surrendered a pair of runs in the bottom half, suffering a 6-5 walk-off loss to host and defending champion Ottawa in the Class AAA State Tournament.
The Eagles end their season at 21-15 under coaches Dustin Schumacher and Kelton Rule. They were one game shy of a rematch with Great Bend in the title round of the tournament. Ottawa advances to play the Chiefs needing two wins to take the title. Great Bend needs just one.
The Eagles took a 1-0 lead in Saturday morning’s game when Dawson Harman reached on an error, driving in Cole Murphy in the second inning, but Hays then had to battle from behind with three runs in the sixth inning to tie the game at four. Trailing 4-1, Hays got a two-run single from Grant Coffman that scored Brady Kreutzer and Palmer Hutchison, then Coffman scored the tying run on an error.
Hays then took the lead in the seventh when Murphy hit a line drive to score Trey Riggs with two outs, then Hutchison got caught running to record the third out.
Hutchison, who went the distance on the mound for Hays, got two outs in the seventh, but then gave up a line-drive single with runners on that ended the game.
Hutchison gave up six runs (four earned) on seven hits with two strikeouts in four walks.
The Eagles managed just four hits with Murphy having two and Hutchison and Coffman each finishing with one.