SALINA — Valley Center freshman Tate Anderson didn't care what was discussed by Silver Lake on the mound with two outs in the top of the seventh. The go-ahead run was on second base and all he wanted was the next pitch.
Anderson delivered, driving in Aaron Laurinec Valley Center over top-seeded and previously unbeaten Silver Lake 8-7 Friday at Evans Stadium at the Class 4A baseball tournament. Valley Center advances to the semifinals today to play Kansas City Ward.
"It didn't matter, I thought they were going to walk me, but they didn't, so I was just looking for the fastball. I wanted it bad, wanted to get the hit," Anderson said.
Not bad for a freshman called up midway through the season.
"We knew he was going to be a player for us and this is just an example, he came through with big hits and a big day for us," Valley Center coach Chad Gerwick said.
Nathan Williams battled through seven innings to earn the win for the Hornets. He struck out 12 and allowed six hits. Williams shut down Silver Lake's 2-3-4 hitters (who finished 4 for 11 with four RBIs) in order to finish the game.
"That last inning, coming in with confidence and a little bit more zip on the fastball, it felt good and I knew we needed to win the ballgame right there," Williams said.
Anderson and Laurinec combined to go 5 for 7 with six RBIs in the seven and eight spots on a day when the top three in the Valley Center order were a combined 1 for 11.
But none of the Hornets shook, even after being rattled.
Twice, Valley Center gave its lead back to Silver Lake (19-1).
After getting up 5-0 in the third, Silver Lake tied it with five runs in the bottom of the inning. Then ahead 7-5 in the fifth, Valley Center gave up two runs on a dropped fly ball in right field by Laurinec with two outs.
Laurinec came back to beat out a potential double play in the seventh and then stole second to get in scoring position for Anderson's game winner.
"Being able to come back from mistakes and errors like that and being as young as we are, it's an amazing thing," Williams said.
Valley Center (8-16) 104 020 1 — 8 8 2 Silver Lake (19-1) 005 020 0 — 7 6 3
Topeka Hayden 9, Mulvane 1— Hayden jumped all over Mulvane with two runs in the first inning and three in the second and was backed up by the strong pitching of senior Shanan Engroff.
Hayden (17-7) advances to play Spring Hill in the other semifinal today.
Engroff pitched seven innings, struck out five and held Mulvane scoreless until the seventh when Austin Duncan tripled and drove in Connor Dempsey for Mulvane (12-10).
Mulvane junior Gus Strunk pitched four innings and gave up five runs, three earned, and struck out four.
Topeka Hayden 9, Mulvane 1
Mulvane (12-10) 000 000 1 — 1 4 2 Topeka Hayden (17-7) 230 040 x — 9 11 0
W—Engroff. L—Strunk. HR—Hayden, Mullen.
KC Ward 5, Fort Scott 0
Fort Scott000 000 0 — 0 3 4 KC Ward000 203 x — 5 5 1
Spring Hill 2, Scott City 1
Scott City (13-11) 000 001 0 — 1 4 3 Spring Hill (18-6) 000 002 x — 2 3 4
W—Miller. L—Fyler. HR—Scott City, Baker.