Varsity Kansas

6A baseball: Derby loses to defending-champ Free State in quarterfinals

Derby junior Tanner Igo opened Thursday’s Class 6A baseball quarterfinal against Free State with a single to center field.

Things went downhill for the Panthers after that.

Derby committed four errors, issued six walks, hit two batters and produced one other hit during a 10-0 five-inning loss at Hoglund Ballpark. Its day was best summed up by a play in the fifth inning in which it committed two errors on one play.

“They capitalized on every mistake we made and that’s what good teams do. That’s probably why they’re defending state champs,” Derby coach Todd Olmstead said. “Defense and pitching have been our strong points all year, and that kind of let us down today. Defensively we were horrible.”

Free State pitcher Hunter Gudde struck out eight without walking a batter. When Igo advanced to second on a bunt, it marked the only time the Panthers moved a player past first base.

“We faced a really, really good pitcher,” Olmstead said. “His breaking pitch is phenomenal.”

Landon Spillman’s bunt single in the third marked Derby’s other hit. Gudde retired the final eight batters he faced.

The Firebirds (19-4) opened the scoring in the bottom of the first on an RBI single by Kyle Abrahamson and an unearned run off a Panther error.

Michael Corbett and Zion Bowlin had back-to-back run-scoring doubles in the second, and Jaden Moore ripped an RBI double in the third.

Abrahamson’s two-run single highlighted Free State’s four-run fifth.

The Panthers ended their season 17-5.

“Obviously this is disappointing, but we had a really good season,” Olmstead said. “I’m super proud of the kids. I hate to see them go out this way but we had a great season. We played well, just not today.”

Derby 000 00 0 2 4
Free State 231 04 10 8 0

W – Gudde. L – Ash.