Tuesday, 27 July 2021
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Valley Falls Baseball Finishes Runner-Up at 2-1A State Tournament
By Jonny Kane
Copyright: MSC Sports

Back at state for the first time since 2016 the Valley Falls baseball team survived a long week of baseball to finish runner-up at the 2-1A state tournament in Great Bend Friday afternoon.

The Dragons got the week started with one of the most thrilling baseball games in state tournament history, taking down traditional power Pittsburg-St. Mary’s Colgan in 15 innings by a 3-2.

Valley Falls had several chances to win throughout, holding a 1-0 lead going into the seventh inning before Colgan got a leadoff triple and an RBI groundout to force extras.

In the ninth the Dragons had one of their best opportunities with the bases loaded and Avery Gatzemeyer hitting a bullet to right field, but Colgan had it played perfectly to end the threat.

Gatzemeyer got another shot in the 13th after the Panthers took a 2-1 lead, lining a ball to third base with the bases loaded tying the game while the winning run was gunned down at the plate forcing the game to go all the way to the 15th.

In that 15th, Gatzemeyer came up again with the bases loaded and this time ended things with a base hit to right field to propel the Dragons into the semifinals.

Valley Falls had strong pitching all night as Gatzemeyer got things started with 7.1 innings allowing just four hits and one run with 8 strikeouts, while Gage Burdiek added six innings allowing just one run while striking out 11. Brennen Miller finished things off with 1.2 hitless innings to pick up the win.

Cooper Jepson and Dylan Cervantez each collected three hits in the win, while Denton Elias and Gatzemeyer each recorded two hits.

In the semifinals against Ellis the pitching proved to be huge again, as Miller got the start and threw all seven innings allowing just four hits in a 3-0 win for the Dragons.

Valley Falls took advantage of four Ellis errors in the game with only four hits total and an RBI from Trenton Kraxner.

After the two games the Dragons then headed into the championship with little pitching, and it proved to loom large in a 11-1 loss to Sedgwick to finish runner-up.

The Dragons collected just three hits in the game including one each from Gatzemeyer, Miller and Carson Clark.

Valley Falls ends the year with a record of 21-3 marking one of the best in school history and high hopes heading into next year with just three seniors in Cooper Jepson, Gage Burdiek and Cade Norris.

©2021 MSC Sports
Hiawatha, KS 66434
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