OTTAWA — The Hays Eagles started the AAA legion state tournament in impressive fashion, knocking off the host and defending state champion — Ottawa — by a 7-4 score Wednesday.
Trey Riggs got the ball to start the game and never handed it off, going the distance to pick up the win. Of the four runs he surrendered, only two were earned. He scattered seven hits and finished with six strikeouts against five walks.
Ottawa worked around a two-out double from Palmer Hutchison in the top of the first before scoring the first two runs in the bottom half on a pair of productive outs.
Jace Armstrong cut the lead in half with a two-out RBI single that scored Cole Murphy from second in the second inning.
Ottawa scored its final two runs in third to take a 4-1 lead to the fourth after an error led to a two-out, two-run double. Riggs was clean from that point forward, allowing the Eagles to take a lead behind a five-run fourth.
Riggs opened the big inning with a bases-loaded single that brought the Eagles within two. Hays then took a 5-4 lead behind Grant Coffman’s two-run triple to left.
An Ottawa error helped the Eagles plate the final run of the game-changing inning.
The Eagles tacked on an insurance run on Hutchison’s RBI single in the sixth.
Riggs induced a double play in each of the final two innings to hold on for the win.
The Eagles owned a 9-7 advantage in hits and committed one fewer error than Ottawa.
Armstong, Hutchison and Brady Kreutzer each had two hits for the Eagles, while Riggs and Coffman drove in a pair of runs apiece. Kreutzer scored a pair of runs from leadoff spot.
The Eagles are scheduled to play Oskaloosa in a winner’s bracket game at 8 p.m. today. Oskaloosa advanced with a 1-0 win over Arkansas City in the third game of the day.
The other winner’s bracket game features Nickerson, which beat Leavenworth 14-6 and Great Bend. Great Bend shut out Chanute, 2-0.