Beloit Legion Baseball at Legion AA Zone tournament hosted by Larned, Kansas.
What a baseball game played last night in Larned between Beloit and Ellis. The 6:30 start was the last game of the day played in the Pawnee County heat at Moffitt Stadium. It took 3 hours to decide a winner as the game ran 9 innings long. Beloit staved off elimination when it was all over by a final score of 3-2. Beloit will now play at 3:00 on Wednesday against Concordia.
Beloit sent to the mound Luke Hesting and Hesting answered the call by throwing the entire game. Hesting pitched all nine innings giving up 2 runs on 12 hits, striking out 4, and allowing no walks. Playing behind Hesting was an outstanding team defensive performance. Beloit turned 3 double plays. The first of which was in the first frame when Nick Meier playing third base rolled the hard to do, and not often seen in legion baseball, around the horn, 5-4-3 double play. Beloit the home team did not score in the first and turned to their defense again in the second inning. This time it was Paxton Harris snagging a line drive over first base and doubling off a would be runner at second base who had not tagged.
It was the 3rd inning that Ellis struck for the first scores of the game. Ellis made a leadoff single work for them behind a later inning error by Beloit. The runner reaching by error also came around and scored on a single to right field, but a heads up play by catcher, Noah Marozas, ended what could have been more damage by catching a runner between bases. Ellis snagged a two run lead but Beloit answered in their half of the 3rd with a run. Michael Peters gets hit by a pitched ball and makes his way around to third base and scores on Noah Marozas ground out to second.
Beloit ties the game in the 4th inning. Jared Mosher triples and later scores on a passed ball. Score 2-2 after four innings played and if it wasn’t dubbed a pitching duel yet then it was about to be. No runs were to be scored by either team for the next four innings as each defense continued to deny the other from tapping home plate. Ellis was turned back in both the 6th and 7th innings by 4-6-3 Beloit double plays. Dakota Shurts feeding Michael Peters completed to Paxton Harris. For Beloit and the many fans that had made the trek to Larned the bottom of the 7th seemed to be a lock for a hard earned victory. Dakota Shurts began the inning with a single to right field. Caden Emott lays down a nice sacrifice bunt to move him to 2nd but things go array for Ellis and Emott ends up safe at first. Bottom of the 7th and no outs- runners on first and second- and the hot bat of lead off hitter Luke Hesting stepping to the plate. Ellis decides to intentional walk Hesting and load the bases. Bases loaded and no outs game in the bag, but NO. Ellis pitcher, Easton Smith, strikes out three batters in a row and victory escapes Beloit’s grip.
Hesting dispatches Ellis in the 8th and likewise Smith does the same to Beloit. The game reaching the bottom of the 9th the speedy Ryan Jackson was inserted to hit. Jackson hits a slow roller to third and a throwing error is made by Ellis. The next batter, Caden Emott, would have the same quest asked of him that was asked of him in the 7th inning and that is to sacrifice bunt Jackson to second base. Emott does it in perfect fashion giving himself up to move Jackson. Luke Hesting comes to the plate and this time they elect pitch to the lead off hitter. Hesting ends all of the drama and drives a 2-1 pitch to deep center just out of the reach of a diving Ellis center fielder and Jackson scores the walk off winning run.
Dakota Shurts was 2-3, and Luke Hesting was 1-2 with 3 walks.
Beloit will now play Concordia at 3:00 in an elimination game. The 5:00 winner’s bracket game will be Larned Vs. Russell with the winner qualifying for state. The loser of that game will drop down and play the winner of the Beloit/Concordia at 7:00. The winner of that game will also qualify for state.
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