GREAT BEND A stellar regular season that provided promise for the future came to an end for the Ellis baseball team in the quarterfinals of the Class 2-1A state tournament Thursday at the Great Bend Sports Complex.
The No. 4 Railers were kept in check by Medicine Lodge (No. 5) righty Ethan Hargett, who struck out 13 and no-hit Ellis en route to a 5-0 victory for the Indians.
Medicine Lodge advances to face No. 8 Sacred Heart, who defeated top-seeded Sedan on Thursday, in the semifinals. Ellis season ends at 17-5.
Each team put two men aboard in the first inning, though neither team could muster up an RBI. Ellis found the only baserunner of the second inning, but a storm system rapidly hit Great Bend and suspended the contest for nearly four hours.
When play resumed, it was all Hargett.
Ellis was victim of six strikeouts over the first four innings, including one with two outs and two on after consecutive walks in the fourth. Medicine Lodge made the Railers pay in the fifth.
Rigthy starter Easton Smith walked the first batter of the inning. An error by shortstop Dalton Hensley allowed the batter to reach and the runner to score. The Indians then found a two-RBI single to left with the bases loaded to take a 3-0 lead. A single to the right side of the infield scored the fourth runner of the inning with two outs.
Hargett struck out two more in the fifth. Medicine Lodge added a run in the bottom of the frame.
Two more Railers struck out in the sixth before going down in order in the seventh, giving Hargett the no-hitter.
Smith allowed just five hits and two earned runs in his complete game, striking out nine. Three Railers struck out multiple times. The Railer defense committed four errors.
Ellis loses just one senior, Theron Schmidt, who saw limited action this season.
Medicine Lodge 5, Ellis 0
No. 5 Medicine Lodge 000 041 0 5 5 2
No. 4 Ellis 000 000 0 0 0 4
WP Hargett. LP Smith (6-2). ML: Hargett at Axline; ELL: Smith and LaBarge.