Hays High’s Brock Lummus has been named Most Valuable Player of the Western Plains Diamond Classic after a big showing in the 37th annual tournament this past weekend.
Lummus was instrumental in helping the Indians claim the tournament championship. He went 5 of 10 at the plate during the tournament with two home runs, a double, a triple, two walks and seven runs driven in.
The junior catcher is in the midst of a solid year for the Indians, making big strides from his sophomore to junior season.
“I’m trying to get better every day at practice and in the games,” Lummus said on Thursday. “Just trying to go through progression in my career and get better every game.”
“Each year that a guy is in our program we want them to progress and get better, and Brock sure has made a big jump this year,” Hays High coach Frank Leo said. “He’s had big hits for us and he’s doing a great job behind the plate.”
Lummus was joined on the all-tournament team by teammates Willie Sennett, Trey Riggs, Palmer Hutchison and Cody Petersen.
The Indians captured the Diamond Classic for the 15th time in program history and for the first time since 2011, sweeping through the tournament with four wins.
Hays High (17-1) wrapped up the title with a 9-5 win over Goddard-Eisenhower to close out the tournament on Saturday at Indian Field.
On a day where the Indians celebrated the legacies of Leo and assistant coach Keith Harper, Hays jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning, highlighted by a two-run home run from Lummus.
Eisenhower answered with four runs in the top of the second before the Indians tied it up in the bottom of the inning with a run off an error.
The Tigers regained the lead in the third but Hays took control with a three-run fourth inning. Hutchison drove in two with a double before Riggs brought in another run with a double.
Eisenhower was within a run heading to the bottom of the sixth but Lummus and Dylan Dreiling had RBI singles to add more insurance.
Dreiling went three innings on the mound, allowing five runs on four hits with four walks and two strikeouts. Sennett earned the win in relief after giving up two hits and a run in four innings.
Lummus and Dreiling each had two hits at the plate.
Leo and Harper, who have coached together at Hays High for 39 seasons, were recognized before the game. This season marks Leo and Harper’s last with the Indians. Saturday was the last regular season home game for the coaches, though the Indians assured this weekend that they will host a Class 5A regional.
A large gathering of Hays Hays baseball alumni were on hand to celebrate the careers of Leo and Harper. The coaches have guided the Indians to 18 Western Athletic Conference championships, 12 sub-state championships and two state runner-up finishes.
Leo and Harper were presented with gifts before the game, including a silhouette of the two that will be displayed at Indian Field.
Hays High opened the Diamond Classic Thursday by beating Manhattan 1-0 and taking a 6-3 win over Great Bend. The Indians then run ruled Salina Central 10-0 on Friday night before wrapping up the title on Saturday.
The Indians will play at Ulysses on Tuesday to close out the regular season.
“We’re getting down to nitty-gritty time and we want to be on top of our game,” Leo said. “Our defense and pitching is there. We’ve got some offense; we’ve proven that before. We’ll let the defense and pitching carry us, and when the offense gets going, we’re really tough.”