Updates with 4A-II teams.
Derby (17-5) has won eight straight. Junior Tanner Igo is hitting .394 with four doubles and junior Cooper Welch hits .333 with 16 RBIs. The Panthers hit .305 as a team. Senior Branson Bishop leads the pitching staff with a 4-0 record and a 1.31 ERA, striking out 43 and walking 16.
West (16-6) ended a 122-game City League losing streak two years ago and is at state for the first time in nearly 30 years. Coach Jeff Hoover and pitcher Colby Pechin were suspended from Thursday’s opener because Pechin pitched 10 innings in a regional game, a violation of KSHSAA rules for innings in a day.
Heights (17-5) makes its fourth state trip in five years. Heights began the year 9-1 and has had quality pitching from junior Aaron Bechtel and a strong senior class has shown leadership. The senior class is 70-19 in their four years.
Maize (16-6) has won eight straight and had been to the 6A tournament 14 of the last 17 years. According to coach Rocky Helm, the Eagles have outstanding leadership this season and will hope to carry that into Thursday.
Maize South (20-2) beat Carroll in extra innings for a state berth. Jordan Maxson, a junior, his hitting .442. Chase Hampton (5-0, 1.49 ERA), a senior, is the top pitcher.
Andover Central (12-10), The Jaguars upset host Andale 4-3 in the regionals to return to state after a one-year absence. This will be the Jaguars 11th trip to the state tournament in the past 15 seasons. Senior CF Andrew Rafferty is hitting .338 and 2B-P Dane Pederson is hitting .328.The pitching staff is led by junior Austin Ray (4-0, 1.98).
Buhler (17-5) advanced to its first state tournament after beating McPherson 11-9 in the regional final. Two Crusaders broke school records, along with the school’s win-loss record being broken. Senior Jace Williams broke the school’s record for season average of .500, with 17 RBIs and 9 doubles. Williams is also 6-0 on the mound with a 1.56 ERA. Senior Jack Goertzen broke the school’s season ERA record with a 0.78 ERA in 45 innings.
Pratt (19-3) got through its regional with 11-1 and 13-3 wins. Pratt has three players batting over .400, including freshman Travis Theis hitting a team-high .448.
Collegiate (9-13) The Spartans reached the state tournament for the first time in 11 years. Senior Caleb Egan leads the team with a .431 average. Senior DH Austin Freed has came on strong as of late and is hitting .385 in the last 10 games.
Remington (17-2) earned its first state tournament appearance in the program’s second year. Remington is led by senior SS/P Paul Claasen and senior 3B/P Blake Thunberg. The pitching staff has been vital all year long, with ERAs ranging from 0.50 to 3.42.
Cheney (16-7) beat No. 1 Independent in regionals and is at state for the first time. Senior P/3B/1B Kaleb Howell is one of the senior leaders on the team along with OF Chase McGuire. Sophomore P/UT Micah Grover also adds a nice bat in the lineup along with solid pitching and defense.
Sedan (21-1) has won 19 straight and is the top seed. Senior P-SS Alex Perez is 8-0 with a save and a 1.11 ERA, striking out 69 while walking 12. Perez is also hitting a team-high .493 at the plate with 33 RBIs and just two strikeouts. Senior P/SS Billy Barnett has also been strong on the mound, going 7-0 with a 1.89 ERA and a .455 average at the plate.
Medicine Lodge (14-7) finished second last season and has won its last 11 games after a 3-7 start. Seniors Gage Axline and Micah Richert lead the Indians both on defense and with their bats.